Queer Bodies Poetry Workshop
Queer Bodies Poetry Workshop
“If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde
This workshop will focus on (Soma)tic poetry rituals designed for the Queer body. With over 200 anti-LGBTQ laws issued by USA lawmakers in 2016, a queer poetics is more essential than ever for harnessing our perceived threat to society and wielding it back into our poems to make our lives thrive. As queer poet Erica Kaufman says, “Thriving requires more than just survival.”
Poet CAConrad has successfully used (Soma)tic poetry rituals to overcome debilitating depression after the murder of his boyfriend Earth (aka Mark Holmes). He has also created writing rituals using the night sky to design homemade star constellations, another ritual to experience what the impact of hearing the word “drone” has on the human body, and many others from talking with trees, ghosts, translating Shakespeare’s sonnets with crystals, and coping with the destroyed wilderness of our planet.
The (Soma)tic rituals we work with during the week will help us see the creative viability in everything around us by creating a space of “extreme present” where being anything but present is next to impossible. We will also build personalized rituals for each participant, showing how we can find ways to find our poems in almost any situation or circumstance. As poet Alice Notely says, "Poetry's so common hardly anyone can find it." We will also discuss how poetry and their rituals help us end our alienation from our planet and from one another. Creative people are survivors and we will examine the important role of artists for the future health and happiness of our species.
CAConrad has successfully used (Soma)tic poetry rituals to overcome depression after the murder of his boyfriend Earth (aka Mark Holmes). He has also created writing rituals using the night sky to design homemade star constellations, another ritual to experience what the impact of hearing the word “drone” has on the human body, and many others from talking with trees, ghosts, translating Shakespeare’s sonnets with crystals, and coping with the destroyed wilderness of our planet.
His childhood included selling cut flowers along the highway for his mother and helping her shoplift. The author of 9 books of poetry and essays, the latest is titled While Standing In Line For Death and is forthcoming from Wave Books (September 2017). He is a Pew Fellow and has also received fellowships from Lannan Foundation, MacDowell Colony, Headlands Center for the Arts, Banff, RADAR, Flying Ojbect and Ucross. For his books, essays, and details on the documentary The Book of Conrad (Delinquent Films 2016), please visit http://CAConrad.blogspot.com
He has taught (Soma)tic rituals to poets, other writers, dancers, and visual artists. His most recent teaching position is a 2017 spring semester Poetry Master Class at Columbia University in New York City. He has taught at the Jack Kerouac Summer Writing Program at Naropa University for the past seven years. He teaches regularly at Evergreen State College, Pratt Institute, the Sandberg Art Institute in Amsterdam and the OSU creative writing program in Oregon. He has taught or will soon be teaching at Bard, Bennington, Sarah Lawrence, CalArts, Pomona, California College of the Arts, University of Chicago, University of Wyoming, KW Museum in Berlin, CAC Museum in Vilnius, Zurich University of the Arts, Concordia University in Montreal, Warwick University in England, as well as institutions in Bergen, Toronto, and other cities.