Writing the Forbidden
In this four-week class you will work to produce pieces of forbidden writing. What’s forbidden to one writer may not be forbidden to another. Some feel forbidden to write about emotions (i.e. anger, happiness etc.) or circumstances (i.e. trauma, ecstasy, poverty, wealth, sexuality, aging, mental illness, family secrets etc.); some feel forbidden to write about people different than themselves; for others, certain forms are forbidden. Whatever your forbidden territory is, I encourage you to visit it with curiosity and attention. We will proceed as a group of risk-takers together, none of us traveling to precisely the same place, but all of us keeping one another company on the journey. I will emphasize intuitive methods and ask you to cleave to what makes your secret heart beat faster. Readings, prompts, and exercises will be provided. At the end of the course, you will receive a detailed, written response to your work. Everyone welcome.
Jennifer Tseng’s novel Mayumi and the Sea of Happiness was shortlisted for the PEN American Robert W. Bingham Award for Debut Fiction and for the New England Book Award. Her first poetry collection, The Man with My Face won the Asian American Writers’ Workshop’s National Manuscript Competition and a PEN American Open Book Award; her second collection Red Flower, White Flower, featuring Chinese translations by Mengying Han and Aaron Crippen won the Marick Press Poetry Prize. Her most recent collections, Not so dear Jenny and The Passion of Woo and Isolde, won the Bateau Press Book Poetry Chapbook Contest and the Rose Metal Press Short Short Chapbook Contest respectively. This spring, she'll be the 2018 Distinguished Visiting Writer at Oregon State University - Cascades.