This four-week generative workshop for all genres will focus on what it means to make art from our vulnerable selves, recognizing that writing is resistance, intricately bound to social justice issues. Our conversations will revolve around the power of stories, with an eye on the critical intersection of consciousness, language, and style. We will learn from the work of contemporary Indigenous writers of fiction and poetry, including Tommy Orange and Layli Long Soldier, paired with excerpts from the brilliant James Baldwin. Our goals are to write against the margins, to understand that imagination is central to empathy and compassion, and to learn how to negotiate our fears and trauma in order to reclaim power not only on the page but for ourselves and our communities.
Brendan Shay Basham is a Diné (Navajo) fiction writer, poet, educator, and former chef, born in Alaska and raised in northern Arizona. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the Institute of American Indian Arts, and teaches writing and literature in the Nashville area. His work has appeared in the Santa Fe Literary Review, Red Ink, Yellow Medicine Review, Juked, Cloudthroat, and Sheepshead Review. He has been awarded several awards and fellowships from Writing By Writers, Tin House, and the Truman Capote Trust, and was a nominee for a 2016 PEN / Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers and a 2018 Pushcart Prize. Recently, he was awarded the first Native American Literary Award from the Ucross Foundation. Brendan is in the process of publishing his first novel.
Brendan is new to The Porch. Welcome!