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Breaking Open Jargon through Poetry with Sahar Romani

In 1978 the academic and critic, Raymond Williams published Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society. Not quite a dictionary, nor a glossary, this book explored the history and multiple uses of socially significant and contested words – Democracy, Liberal, Culture, Revolution. Inspired by Williams, in this workshop we will identify words that we consider socially and politically urgent and necessary, but also slippery and elusive in their meaning and use. We will turn to contemporary poetry to explore the tools and strategies poets use to pry open and unpack words strained with social significance. We will consider the ways we can better break open words and use them to express our idiosyncratic and universal experience.

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