Into the Chaos: A Generative Poetry Workshop — with r. erica doyle

“Poetry is an absolute necessity…we know so much more than we understand. We must first examine our feelings for questions, because all the rest has been programmed…If we are looking for something which is new and something which is vital, we must look first into the chaos within ourselves.”— Audre Lorde, APR, 1980

This is an invitation to look “into the chaos” through a practice of generative play and mindful contemplation. We will focus on giving attention to our writing habits, predilections, idiosyncrasies, hangups, blocks, assumptions in order to de-program our process and dance and tangle in the space between knowing and understanding. We will read the work of poets who oppose the status quo as a move towards a political or ethical purpose, and share our own habits as readers. Finally, we will generate work through exercises that encourage us to stretch ourselves toward the “new and vital.” Multimedia, interactivity and participants’ voices and ideas will all be central to the space we create together.

r. erica doyle

r. erica doyle has taught community and university-based workshops to writers of all ages for over 20 years. Her debut collection, proxy (Belladonna* Books, 2013), won the 2014 Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America and was a Finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in Lesbian Poetry. Her work has appeared in Best American Poetry, Our Caribbean: A Gathering of Gay and Lesbian Writers from the Antilles, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. A Cave Canem fellow, she has received grants and awards from the Hurston/ Wright Foundation, the Astraea Lesbian Writers Fund and the New York Foundation for the Arts.