Hybrid Poetry as Witness and Reclamation Workshop with Shira Dentz
Do the limits of one’s world equal the limits of one’s language (as philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein claimed)? What motivates a writer to push genre boundaries and cross-pollinate poetry with other genres and/or media?
Traumatic events often dismantle language and are identified as an absence, or that which hasn’t come to be understood. How might a traumatized individual bear witness to the experience and testify about an event that has yet to be understood? In this workshop, we’ll view language as a medium with texture, sound, and visuality in addition to denotations and connotations. We’ll also explore the practice of imagetext as “postsecret,” rendering what was secret, and the reclamation of traumatic experiences and identity. Our focus will be on hybrid poetry, including prose poems, process-writing, and poetry that crosses into the boundaries of visual art and other media.
You’ll be given prompts to launch you into experiments with writing hybrid texts, and we’ll discuss your work as well as hybrid works that are also innovative language-acts of witness by authors such as Layli Long Soldier, giovanni singleton, Douglas Kearney, Diana Khoi Nguyen, Mai Der Vong, Matthew Cooperman & Aby Kaupang, Brenda Hillman, Julia Madsen, and Evie Shockley. In addition to honing our attention to each of our inner and outer worlds through language, this workshop will often emphasize form in relation to the poetic line.
NB: This class will be taught on Zoom and capped at 15. Link will be sent to email you use to register at the time of registration and again the day before the class. Please make sure to read our course policies page regarding workshop conduct and logistics before registering for any class at HVWC.
There are a few scholarships available for this class, and scholarship applications for the class will be available on May 1 and are due May 20th. Scholarship info can be found here: https://www.
Shira Dentz is the author of five books, black seeds on a white dish (Shearsman), door of thin skins (CavanKerry), how do I net thee (Salmon Poetry), the sun a blazing zero (Lavender Ink), and SISYPHUSINA (PANK Books; winner of the Eugene Paul Nassar Prize 2021), and two chapbooks including FLOUNDERS (Essay Press). Her poems, visual and hybrid writing, and prose appear in many venues including Poetry, American Poetry Review, Cincinnati Review, Iowa Review, Gulf Coast, jubilat, Pleiades, New American Writing, Brooklyn Rail, Poets.org, Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, Poetrysociety.org, and NPR, and she’s a recipient of awards including an Academy of American Poets Prize and Poetry Society of America’s Lyric Poem and Cecil Hemley Awards. In Fall 2022, she was the Visiting Poet at the University of South Dakota. More about her writing can be found at shiradentz.com