Our most beloved, accomplished poets, like Dickinson, understand that play is paramount in writing. In this workshop, we'll invigorate our writing through disciplined play. Constraints and chance operations such as Tzara's Hat and Burroughs's cut-ups will multiply our means of invention. Lynda Barry's What it Is will anchor our process in meditative play, engaging memory and imagery especially, and help us bound over our usual antagonists—difficult passages, blank pages and the inner critical voice.
Summoning the techniques of poets, singers, rappers, artists, and other gatekeepers of pop culture, we will respond to exercises designed to excavate our own bad bitch poetics, and determine what that may mean personally and aesthetically for each of us. We will work on drafting forms, from manifesto to bop to ekphrasis, to generate poems, and build a dossier that reflects the poet's definition of bad bitch poetics.
In this poetry workshop, we will explore both the agonizing invasions of conquering influences and the ecstasies of our intellectual, emotional, spiritual and physical influences, and how both they inform our work and those of other artists. We will practice working with and against our predilections and habits, design exercises outside of our comfort zones, and give ourselves permission to obsess and worry poems down the rabbit holes of compulsion and assumption.
Winner of the 2011 National Book Critics Circle Award for Space, in Chains and a finalist for the 2015 Kingsley Tufts Award for The Infintesimals, Laura Kasischke is the author of seven books of poetry and nine popular novels.