Workshop

2017 WORKSHOPS AT BOWERY POETRY   

Bowery Poetry offers poetry and writing workshops, taught by some of the most exciting poets, artists, and educators New York City has to offer. Scroll towards the bottom to view an archive of past workshops.

While enrolled in a workshop, you are invited to come to any Bowery produced event for free. Scroll down to see all workshops offered through December, as well as past workshops.

QUESTIONS? – Contact Anton Yakovlev (yakovlev7@gmail.com

CURRENT WORKSHOP

POETRY OF WITNESS    5-week poetry workshop w/ Michael Collins

DATES: This workshop will meet the following Sundays: February 11, February 18, February 25, March 4, March 18
TIME/LOCATION: 12 PM – 2 PM at Bowery Poetry located at 308 Bowery
INSTRUCTOR: Michael Collins
Register Here

The goal of this class will be to explore the craft of poetry, specifically in one of its many essential roles, bearing witness -- either by recording direct experience or through acts of compassionate imagination. I don't think I need to explain to anyone why this particular approach to poetic craft is important in our current social and political situations. In times such as these, we need more empathy for those who are "different" -- apparently, anyway -- in one way or another, from "us."  We need more poets for this movement! Therefore, this class will aim to welcome newer poets with accessible lessons, invite those who have gotten out of the practice of writing to return to a writing community, and help all participants who value diverse perspectives to hone their visions into poems. Sessions will include discussion of model poems and related generative writing and guided exercises, and workshop. 

Michael Collins
’ poems have received Pushcart Prize nominations and appeared in more than 70 journals and magazines. He is also the author of the chapbooks How to Sing when People Cut off your Head and Leave it Floating in the Water and Harbor Mandala, as well as the full-length collections Psalmandala and Appearances. He teaches creative and expository writing at New York University and the Hudson Valley Writers’ Center and is the Director of Studies at Why There Are Words Press and curator of the New York City branch of the national Why There Are Words Reading Series.

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

TEXTASY!    5-week poetry workshop w/ Adeena Karasick

DATES: This workshop will meet the following Sundays: March 25, April 1, April 8, April 15, April 22
TIME/LOCATION: 12 PM – 2 PM at Bowery Poetry located at 308 Bowery
INSTRUCTOR: Adeena Karasick
Register Here

Taking as its jumping off point the relationship between text and ecstasy (from the gk ex-stasis), this workshop will investigate the pleasure and play within all aspects of language construction. From sound poetry, concrete poetry, renegade, neo-formalist ‘pataphysical, language-based visual art, it will track through the relationship between language, eros, meaning and being, exploring ways artists, philosophers, poets have subverting colonialist structures of language towards an ever widening scope of potential meaning. To this end, we will try on a range of poetic forms which highlight aspects of translation  and subversion -- such as 13th C. Kabbalistic alphabetic incantatory techniques, homophonic translations, emojilations, oulippean improvisation, erasure and vispo, exploring ways poems can be both a site of transgression and revolution. And, foregrounding the poem as an intermediatic, textatic space, celebrating language’s inherent viscerality, at the end of the 5 weeks, we will create chapbooks, highlighting how form is always-already an extension of content and how the book itself, a site of desire.

Adeena Karasick is a New York based poet, performer, cultural theorist and media artist and the author of seven books of poetry and poetics. Most recent is Salomé: Woman of Valor (University of Padova Press, Italy, 2017), and The Medium is the Muse: Channeling Marshall McLuhan (NeoPoiesis Press, 2014). She teaches Literature and Critical Theory for the Humanities and Media Studies Dept. at Pratt Institute, is co-founding Artistic Director of the KlezKanada Poetry Festival and Retreat, 2016 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Award recipient and winner of the 2016 Voce Donna Italia award for her contributions to feminist thinking. The “Adeena Karasick Archive” has just been established at Special Collections, Simon Fraser University.


SENSE, VISION, INSIGHT, FORM    3-week poetry workshop w/ Andrew Singer

DATES: This workshop will meet the following Sundays: April 29, May 6, May 13
TIME/LOCATION: 12 PM – 2 PM at Bowery Poetry located at 308 Bowery
INSTRUCTOR: Andrew Singer
Register Here

This workshop helps participants unlock and better realize their full poetic potential. In four carefully-detailed stages, a unique and elegant set of tools, techniques, examples and poetic understandings are presented and practiced. Group and at-home exercises further facilitate quickly reaching a new level of poetic connection and achievement. No prior experience or preparation is needed for this workshop.

"Andrew's poetry workshop was a master-class in immediacy. It introduced us to a way of observing / writing that pushed us beyond preconceptions and habitual responses into the living essence of the moment". ~ Kathy Tiernan, Author

"I felt inspired by being asked not only to describe a subject strictly faithfully, but wait till it 'speaks' and tells us about itself. Singer's unique method of poetry teaching fits so well with both Ben Okri's vision of the academies of the future in his 'Plato's Dream', and with neuroscientist Ian McGilchrist's emphasis of the incomparable importance of the right hemisphere in his groundbreaking book, 'The Master and his Emissary'. I look forward to the next… masterclass with Andrew"! ~ Narda Azaria Dalgleish, Experimental filmmaker, Poet

The instructor, Andrew Singer, has an MA in Creative Writing (Poetry) from Boston University, where his thesis supervisors were Nobel Laureate poet Derek Walcott, and twice Poet Laureate of the United States Robert Pinsky. Mr. Singer served as a first reader for poetry for the former Partisan Review, and is founding director and editor-in-chief of Trafika Europe, showcasing some of the best new literature from the 47 Council of Europe countries in English translation. He currently also teaches workshops and courses in creative writing, literary translation, and European literatures at Penn State University. A former cultural radio and television producer and host, he has given hundreds of talks, workshops, and hosted presentations in more than a half-dozen European countries, including extensive university teaching in poetry and literary translation for graduate students in Central Europe. He is widely published as a poet and literary critic and believes all things begin and end in wonder.

ENROLLMENT – Workshops fill up on a first-come, first serve basis. For this reason, we encourage you to sign up early. You're officially enrolled in the workshop when we've received your full payment. 

REFUNDS – You are entitled to a full refund before the workshop begins. This refund does not include the credit card processing fee from Brown Paper Tickets. After the workshop begins, no refunds are available.


PAST WORKSHOPS

2015
USING RADICAL FORM IN POETRY AND VERY SHORT FICTION

Getting out of our comfort zones and into a white heat
Instructor: BIANCA STONE
In this class we will explore unconventional form in poetry in response to weekly exercises. There will be in-class and out of class writing and reading. The classroom will be formulated similarly to a poetry workshop where students read and respond on one another’s work, but we will focus more on production, exploration and imperfection. Our goal will be to push our poetry and (short) fiction into new realms. The forms we’ll explore are: new uses of ekphrastic, erasures, poetry comics, video, pastiche, and others. Students will be encouraged to bring in their interests and personal skills, and collaboration is inevitable.

TOTAL LYRIC: POETRY OF THE PRESENT
Exploding the lyric's relevance in the contemporary moment 
Instructor: ANA BOŽIČEVIĆ
Put simply, a lyric is a poem that expresses deep personal feelings in the same way as song. Audre Lorde says that "our poems formulate the implications of ourselves, what we feel within and dare make real." If the lyric is a poetry of present tense and our presence, how do we sing more deeply now that the personal is made public, commodified, and more ephemeral than ever? And what can our song make real? In this workshop we will consider the history of the lyric: from ancient fragments to tweets, karaoke, and protest chants. Join us in writing, performance, and poetic engagement across the media as we foster the practice of a radical lyric. 

SOUND, SUBJECT, IMAGINATION: EXPLORING THE THREE PILLARS OF POETRY
Exploring your imagination through the music of poetry
Instructor: ROWAN RICARDO PHILLIPS
For writers who wish to study how the imagination and sound work together to enhance the subject of their poems. A poem is always about the relationship between its sonic and imaginative parts, this is what convinces the ear that the subject is not only real but important. We will study techniques used by poets across various eras as well as workshop your own poems extensively in search of the keenest balance in your work between these three pillars of the art of poetry.

2016
NO SECRETS
How to go off on a tangent and never return...
Instructor: LEWIS WARSH
We’ll explore the way daydreams, memories and fantasies are the key to who we are and to the dark and light sides of the stories and poems we write, using sentences and lines that might go on forever. How to go off on a tangent in the middle of a sentence, or in a conversation, or in the middle of a thought, or a poem–-and never return. We’ll explore possible ways of including our ideas about politics, our feelings of empathy or apathy about what’s going on in the world (our rooms, our neighborhoods, our cultures--and everything else). We’ll discuss different levels of openness in the poetry and fiction of Frank O’Hara, Renee Gladman, Ted Berrigan, Akilah Oliver, James Schuyler, Wang Ping and Lydia Davis, among others. As much time as possible will be spent reading and discussing our own work. This workshop is open to both poets and fiction writers.

PHYSICIANS, POETS, PATIENTS: CREATIVE WRITING FOR CLINICIANS + OTHERS
Learn ways to develop voice, narrative, and meaning in a medical memoir
Instructor: DONNA BULSECO 
This writing workshop will focus on the techniques of close reading, responsive writing, and the analysis of students' current work during each session. Students will be introduced to memoirs, poetry, creative non-fiction, and graphic narratives by writers such as Elizabeth Bishop, Byers Shaw, Marry Karr, Lillian Ross, Ian Williams, MK Czerwiec, and Atul Gawande. Their texts will serve as examples of the many ways of finding voice, narrative, and meaning when writing about personal experiences. Each week, students will do structured in-class writing to a prompt. The goal of the workshop will be to complete an essay, poem, or graphic narrative to review and send to a literary journal for consideration.

HOW TO SING ON THE PAGE 
Instructor: CORNELIUS EADY 

MEMORY CAN COLLAPSE THE BODY
What conversations can our memories have with an audience of bodies? How can different forms of poetry contribute to the memories & maintain a solid voice?
Instructor: MAHOGANY L. BROWNE
A generative workshop facilitating discussion, analyzation, performance techniques, and writing prompts that incorporate the body, and memory as language. We will be generating new poems & analyzing the technique and craft of poets like: Aracelis Girmay, Patricia Smith, Jake Adam York, Corneilus Eady, Chris Abani, Rickey Laurentiis, Ocean Vuong, Claudia Rankine and Toi Derricotte. 

Camp Lawless with AMY LAWLESS
With Amy Lawless, the author of two books of poetry including My Dead (Octopus Books, 2013), and co-author of I Cry: The Desire to Be Rejected (Forthcoming from Pioneer Works Press). At Camp Lawless, your primary goal is to develop new poems: a quantity of your own original writing. And like any Summer Camp, you will emerge as a somewhat unrecognizable but more experienced form of yourself. Our generative format will allow you to develop your voices, write voluminously, journal (yes, you may write home!), and scare yourself. This class will be playful, harness the fun of summer sun and Sundays, but it will also be hard work! We will study non-traditional forms, collaboration, ekphrastic writing, elegy, using the self, hybrid, anti-poems, found, nature, formal, conceptual, dreams, Twitter, and more. Class time will be spent on active writing, workshops, experiencing, listening to, and responding to fabulous visitors, a little editing, and you will also practice performing your new work. We will be visited by three amazing working poets, and read poetry, words, and letters from the past and present. Since it’s SUMMER, we will take a writing excursion to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as to the sidewalks, parks, and even poetry bookstores of our city for inspiration and writing. We will feel the summer heat, eat pizza, eat watermelon, and write hungrily, constantly, responsibly, and recklessly. The summer will end with a capstone project: a chapbook manuscript! If you’re doing it right, you’ll cry tears of joy and tears of wild emotion: either way changed and renewed.

WRITING ON THEME AND IN SERIES w/ BC Edwards 
Creating a unified collection of work at first feels like an insurmountable task. One of the simplest ways to tie a your work together is to create a constructive device, a cementing theme, or find source material from which a group of poems can be adapted. Instead of approaching poetry on a piece-by-piece basis, this course examines entire collections as single work and studies sources of inspiration and methodology to write multiple poems centered around one single theme or constructive device. Over the 5-weeks we will will explore many techniques, focusing primarily on constructing a thematically unified series of poems and adapting poems from non-poetic and poetic materials alike, as well as how these two methods can work in tandem with each other. Students will bring several pieces of new work to each class for review and discussion as well in class exercises to generate new work. We will look at a wide variety of poets such as Bidart, Carson, Lawless, Bang, Berrigan, Legault and many others. 

LET'S MAKE A LONG POEM, YA? w/Tommy Pico 
Hi. I’m not a poetry scholar, so I can’t offer you a comprehensive review and dissemination of the tradition of epic poems in the English language. But I write book-length poems, I believe in and am obsessed with them, and I make zines, so: In this generative workshop we’ll embark on our own creative odyssey toward making a long poem. We’ll discuss how we enter them, how to make the meat, and ultimately how to leave. We’ll read (and experience) longer work with a special emphasis on voices who have traditionally been denied the epic: Robin Coste Lewis, Jeffrey Yang, r. erica doyle, Jennif(f)er Tamayo, Beyoncé, and more. We’ll talk about form, collage, narrative, and other concerns of the long poem. We’ll practice poem-generating exercises, both during and outside of class, and welcome guest instructors Jason Koo and Stacy Szymaszek! The goal is: to make writing a daily practice wherein during the final workshop you’ll come in with enough material to make your own ~20 page, zine-length epic that I will help you construct, reproduce, and distribute punk af. 

2017
DOUBLE LIVES w/Lewis Warsh

We all lead double lives--internal/external, past/present--so part of our exploration as poets and fiction writers will be looking at the ways to articulate the interactions between the two. All the details of what goes in in our various worlds--memories, fantasies, observations, dreams, distractions--are the raw material for the poems and stories (or back stories) we try to tell. We’ll tap into writers who work with numerous narratives: Marguerite Duras, Renee Gladman, Ted Berrigan, Bernadette Mayer, W.G. Sebold and Georges Perec among others. This workshop is open to both poets and fiction writers. As much time as possible will be spent reading and discussing our own work.

EKPHRASIS: BEYOND DESCRIPTION w/Jennifer Franklin

In this workshop, we will write a series of ekphrastic (from the Greek, “to speak out,” “to tell in full”) poems. Since Homer described Achilles’ shield in the Iliad, Western poetry has had a tradition of responding to art. This workshop will examine ekphrasis on a deeper level than the occasional tool for writer’s block. The emphasis is your poetry but I will provide examples of how the form is used to explore personal, political, and social issues. More than honing language of description, students will learn the nuances writing about art. Photography, graffiti, outsider art, architecture, sculpture, music, painting, and literature will be open to mine. Sometimes considered a form dominated by male poets, we will read work by Griffiths, Fragos, Brock-Broido, and Cruz that will help shatter that stereotype as we compose a short manuscript over the five weeks. Bring a poem based on another work of art to the first class.   

ALTER/ALTAR: MEMORY/MIRROR/MONUMENT/MAP w/Lynne DeSilva-Johnson
For this workshop we will shred, table, excise, burn, and deconstruct the boundaries of poetics, both considering and creating works that challenge the genre. Can a hybrid documentation — that which invites in / explores historical and quotidian context, ephemera, detritus, found language, list making, and letters — alongside and in conversation with poetics — be a powerful, political, act of radical self-and-community archive-building? Can it be an act of healing? YES. Here is a small window into the vast resources of explorations with text coming from outside an academic / “writing” based relationship with the medium, rather, approaching text as one of many tools in an arsenal of exploration, documentation, and challenge. We will engage with work that resists categorization, exploring these interstices, and create our own short zine-style hybrid chapbooks.
http://www.theoperatingsystem.org/alteralter-memory-mirror-monument-map-workshop-spring-2017/

CAMP LAWLESS w/Amy Lawless
At Camp Lawless, your primary goal is to develop new poems: a quantity of your own original writing. And like any Summer Camp, you will emerge as a somewhat unrecognizable but more experienced form of yourself. Our generative format will allow you to develop your voices, write voluminously, journal (yes, you may write home!), and scare yourself. This class will be playful, harness the fun of summer sun and Sundays, but it will also be hard work! We will study non-traditional forms, collaboration, ekphrastic writing, elegy, using the self, hybrid, anti-poems, found, nature, formal, conceptual, dreams, the internet, and more. Class time will be spent on active writing, workshops, experiencing, listening to and responding to visitors, a little editing, and you will also practice performing your new work! We will be visited by two amazing working poets (TBA), read poetry, words, and letters from the past and present. And since it’s SUMMER, we will take a writing excursion to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as to the sidewalks, parks, and even the New York City Poetry Festival for inspiration and writing. We will feel the summer heat, eat pizza, eat ice cream and write hungrily, constantly, responsibly, and recklessly. The summer will end with a capstone project: a chapbook manuscript! If you’re doing it right, you’ll cry tears of joy and tears of wild emotion: either way changed and renewed!

IS POETRY THEATER? with reg e gaines
It's no accident the workshops are rooted in the familiarity of other writers' work. Sessions arent about memorization techniques but love and respect for printed text. Focus is placed on emotion as key in lifting words from the page. Well-written text shows, through imagery, what one feels. Once this decision is reached, there become options in dramatic interpretations. This is the basis of a series of sessions which will aid artists in analyzing text, creating new work, revisiting unpolished pieces, and sharpening performance skills. Over a five-week period, participants learn the similarities between poetry, hip-hop inflected spoken word pieces, soliloquies, monologues and poetry/theater. Suggested texts used in preparation for the workshops include poetry/theater by Miguel Pinero, Patricia Smith, Paul Beatty, Suheir Hammad, Lemon Anderson, Dierdre Moses, Danny Hoch, and selections from the anthology Aloud: Voices From The Nuyorican Poets Cafe. This book is a part of almost every public library's poetry collection in the United States and should be easily attainable at no cost.

2018

EMOTIONAL HISTORIANS   w/ Jon Sands

In the world of people, celebration is often laced with melancholy, joy is a border that surrounds sorrow, and fear is usually one doorbell away from bravery. So, how the fork can we construct poems that acknowledge a complicated and dynamic world? How do we avoid writing that transforms us into caricatures? How do we convey what it feels like to be us, alive in 2018? If the job of an artist is that of an emotional historian, then we must create poems that are as multi-dimensional and layered as the people who write them. In this five-week generative workshop, we’ll explore and produce poems that strike many notes at once. Bring a notebook, pen, and a sense of adventure, as we take our writing to the edge of the world, and bring back proof that we’ve been there.


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THIS PROGRAM IS SUPPORTED, IN PART, BY PUBLIC FUNDS FROM THE NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE CITY COUNCIL.