“what a thing the body, what a citadel” -Jorie Graham
The body is political—open any news source and see for yourself. Bodies allowed or not allowed in bathrooms, refugee bodies, murdered black bodies, bodies we must count after mass shootings or drone strikes or a pandemic of illness. Our own bodies, which we must celebrate, in spite of everything. It is no surprise that more people turn to poetry in times of trauma, in times of war… there is good reason for it. Poets are closest to language and language holds great power. The power to respond. The power to sing. The power to rise and give voice to the oppressed, the underrepresented.
In this generative workshop, we will explore and shine a light on how contemporary poets harness this power to speak and respond to the issues facing American bodies in our current day. Through generative writing exercise we will delve into ways that we as poets can respond, further investigate, and discover how language makes this possible. We will read examples from current poets like Solmaz Shariff and Jericho Brown, among others. We will look at how have these poets responded/began a discussion of/bore witness to issues bodies face within current American politics, and more importantly, we will ask: how can we?
Note: This class is scheduled to take place in-person at Porch HQ. You must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to participate, and we will enroll a maximum of 9 participants. Masks are not required at this time, though we will revisit this policy as needed. Check our website and this listing for details before you attend class.
Meg Wade is a National Poetry Series finalist and a former Diane Middlebrook Poetry Fellow at the University of Wisconsin's Creative Writing Institute. Her chapbook, Slick Like Dark, won the 2017 Snowbound Chapbook Award and is now out from Tupelo Press. Meg has been the recipient of an Academy of American Poets Prize and is a co-curator of Be Witched, a literary and arts event series. You can find her poems online, as well as various print journals and anthologies. She lives and writes in Nashville, Tennessee.
"Meg Wade was so encouraging and enthusiastic as a teacher. She was clearly so passionate about the materials, and was able to discuss the craft deeply and sharply. She lead workshops with incisive critiques that helped me reflect on my own work in new ways that have opened up new avenues for exploration of my art. Thank you!"
"Meg presented the material and models with great enthusiasm and created a really innovative exercise. She is so knowledgeable about poetry, but she knew just how much to feed us so that we could apply it to our own writing as a start."
"Meg Wade packs a lot of learning and writing into her classes. Meg's choice of examples and our discussion deepened my understanding of prose poetry. The prompt and subsequent discussion of our writing inspired several of us to continue working on the pieces we began. This was an informative and motivating workshop, and Meg's style of facilitating is welcoming and skilled."