Autobio(myth)ography and Collaboration: An Interactive Poetry WorkshopTuesday, January 24, 2017 @ 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Join us for an interactive poetry workshop facilitated by Lauren Russell, in partnership with the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics at the University of Pittsburgh.
The poet Audre Lorde is herself the protagonist of her book Zami: A New Spelling of My Name, described by its publishers as a “biomythography, combining elements of history, biography and myth.” The fiction writer John Cheever is widely quoted as saying, “I lie, in order to tell a more significant truth.” How do we write out of our own lives and experiences, embracing personal mythmaking, associative leaps, and shifting memories to arrive at a “more significant truth” than strict adherence to the facts would allow? And how can collaborative activities that invite others into our stories help us make the transition from life into art? In this two-hour interactive workshop, we will look at a few published poems that push the autobiographical into unforeseen territory, and then we’ll use individual and collaborative writing activities to embark on our own autobiomythographical writing.
This workshop is open to everyone—whether you have been writing poetry for decades or do not consider yourself a writer at all.
Lauren Russell’s first full-length book, What’s Hanging on the Hush, is forthcoming from Ahsahta Press. A Cave Canem fellow, she was the 2014-2015 Jay C. and Ruth Halls Poetry Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing and was the 2016 VIDA Fellow to the Home School. Russell’s chapbook Dream-Clung, Gone came out from Brooklyn Arts Press in 2012, and her work has appeared in Better, boundary 2, The Brooklyn Rail, jubilat, EK • PHRA • SIS, and Tarpaulin Sky, among others, and is forthcoming in Bettering American Poetry 2015. Her reviews may be found in publications including Aster(ix), The Volta, and Jacket2. She is Assistant Director of the new Center for African American Poetry and Poetics at the University of Pittsburgh.