A Prequel to Research or Witness: Approaches to Writing Out of Crisis — Master Class with Susan Briante

How do we document suffering, whether ours or the suffering of others? How do we do justice to a wide range of injustices we might want to confront on the page? In this class, we’ll consider many approaches to writing out of crisis as we take a look at examples from poets confronting violence, climate change as well as historic and contemporary oppressions. Through a series of readings and exercises, participants will consider the ethics of writing out of and through crisis whether they approach these issues as firsthand witnesses or archival researchers. Then we’ll interrogate our own goals, positions and perspectives on the issues we want to address in our writing.

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Photo: Bear Guerra

Susan Briante

Susan Briante is the author of three books of poetry: Pioneers in the Study of Motion, Utopia Minus, and The Market Wonders all from Ahsahta Press. She is a professor of creative writing at the University of Arizona, where she also serves as co-coordinator of the Southwest Field Studies in Writing Program. The program brings MFA students to the US-Mexico border to work with community-based environmental and social justice groups. Defacing the Monument, a series of essays on immigration, archives, aesthetics and the state, will be published by Noemi Press in 2020.