Learning From Trans Poets — Workshop with Trace Peterson

Unless you have been living under a rock, you may have noticed that a veritable explosion of literature by trans (genderqueer, nonbinary, transsexual, et al) poets is currently underway. From the recent anthologies Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics and Writing the Walls Down to new literary journals such as THEM and Vetch, to the creation of a new Transgender Poetry Award by the Lambda Literary Foundation, trans poetry is here to stay, impossible to avoid, and achieving so many amazing and innovative things that deserve our attention. Our premise in this workshop will be that cis and trans people alike can learn from the work of trans poets, so all identities are encouraged to attend, though I will respectfully hold space for every student’s possible trans-ness. In this workshop, we will read the work of contemporary poets of various ages and identifications under the trans umbrella. We will work together responding to their writing, and we will produce our own poems and trans-genre texts in conversation with theirs, using different prompts, formal constraints, exercises, freewriting, and reader response procedures that we develop individually and together as a class.

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Trace Peterson

Trace Peterson is a trans woman poet critic. She is the author of two books of poetry, including Since I Moved In (new & revised) (Chax Press, 2019). She is also Founding Editor / Publisher of EOAGH which has won 2 Lambda Literary Awards, including the first Lammy in Transgender Poetry. She co-edited the anthology Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics (Nightboat Books), and also co-edited Arrive on Wave: Collected Poems of Gil Ott (Chax Press). Her work has recently appeared in Readings in Contemporary Poetry: An Anthology (Dia Art Foundation/Yale University Press), From Our Hearts to Yours: New Narrative as Contemporary Practice (ON Contemporary Practice), Best American Experimental Writing 2016 (Wesleyan University Press), TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly, and at the Academy of American Poets (poets.org). She recently taught Transgender Cultural Production at Yale University and was Guest Faculty at the Naropa Summer Writing Program. She currently teaches at Hunter College, where she has taught an innovative course in Trans and Nonbinary Poetry since 2015.