Dear Montréal, I’m teaching an 8-week workshop this summer from July to August!
Surplace is hosting FAIL BETTER: Reading Group & Poetry Workshop! I’m very invested in the necessity and vitality of “failure” in our creative work. Together we will work through our perception of failure with innovative readings and writing that privileges process over outcome. Bring something to workshop that you believe is “failing,” or generate something completely new with permission to fail.
ALL 'LEVELS’ WELCOME (whatever that means to you!). Supportive and encouraging atmosphere.
Please spread the word! Space is limited so register ASAP to secure a spot.
(Select sliding scale/community spots available—please reach out if cost is a barrier. A variety of payment options).
FULL COURSE DESCRIPTION:
I saw the earth was one of the great / unsuccessful poems.—Mary Ruefle
There is no innovation without failure. In this reading group and cross-genre workshop, we will work together to deepen our understanding of what it means to "fail" as artists, with the goal of reframing failure as a vital, generative force that is as inevitable as it is essential. Our readings of prose, poetry, and hybrid texts will thematically or conceptually intersect with the notion of failure and will inform the revising, reforming, rearticulating, and re-envisioning of the writing that we bring to workshop. Come in with a work that you feel, for whatever reason, is "failing" or write something new for workshop inspired by our readings and discussions.
Some questions we will consider: How is the concept of "being a failure" culturally inscribed? How is failure informed by capitalism, sexism, racism, and heteronormativity? How do we privately define and internalize failure? On the other hand, who gets to publically define success? How is failure a privilege? Who can afford to take risks and why?
Most importantly, we must not forget the first part of Beckett's famous quote that sometimes gets cut off: "Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter." Focusing on keeping our stride and privileging process over outcome will open up new and exciting possibilities to fail better.
How Should a Person Be by Sheila Heti
Theatre of the Unimpressed: In Search of Vital Drama by Jordan Tannahill
The Hatred of Poetry by Ben Lerner
Supplementary (excerpts provided)
I Love Dick by Chris Kraus (read alongside of Amazon's "failed" 2017 TV adaptation created by Jill Soloway and Sarah Gubbins).
Madness, Rack, and Honey by Mary Ruefle
Ban en Banlieue by Bhanu Kapil
Heroines and Book of Mutter by Kate Zambreno
Additionally, we will look at a variety of individual poems. Participants will be invited to bring in material to share with the group to round out our reading list.
This class will run Thursday evenings from 6-9pm for 8 weeks.
Class Dates will be: July 12, July 19, July 26, Aug 2, Aug 9, Aug 16, Aug 23, Aug 30
Achievement: Unlocked! Thanks to Guillaume Morissette for this photo, and for hosting. Feels really great to be back in Montréal for the foreseeable future.
Reading Emily Wilson’s new translation of The Odyssey inspired “Cattle of the Sun,” published in the new issue of Lemon Hound 3.0.
The cattle of the Sun depicted on a BC vase from Cerveteri (Inventory Musée du Louvre, Paris).
excerpt from “Cattle of the Sun"
I’ve been fortunate enough to have several poems from All Day I Dream About Sirens surface in some pretty incredible places lately.
Check out an excerpt from DISNEY SONG published in the January/February Issue of THIS Magazine, PARTHENOPE & VIRGIL published on the DUSIE blog, and last but not least, the sprawling and angry THE IDEATION PROJECT (with accompanying audio!) published in Issue 40: Winter 2018 Issue of The Puritan.
Thank you for reading, friends!
Here’s an adorable picture of my best friend Rachel at the Quebec Writers Federation gala, accepting the carte blanche 3Macs Prize on my behalf for my essay “Ferrante in the Cellar: A Vulgar Appreciation” (more about the 3Macs Prize here.)
I'd like to take a moment to thank carte blanche, The Quebec Writers Federation, Klara DuPlessis, and especially Laurence Miall who solicited and edited "Ferrante in the Cellar," taking a blind chance on what I initially believed was an un-publishable piece of writing. Thank you to prize judge, the incredible Liz Howard, for recognizing my work—which feels like an award in and of itself. Also, huge congratulations to finalists Kasia Juno and Lauren Turner. I'm honoured to be in your company.
It’s official. ADIDAS lives!
The incredible Coach House Books will be publishing All Day I Dream About Sirens in Spring 2019. More details to come!
John William Waterhouse, Ulysses and the Sirens, 1891
"The architecture of celebrated MFA programs like Iowa reinforces the forward-propelling notion that we are part of a lauded and historied trajectory of literary production, while also providing a feeling of quaint timelessness and suspension. Considering the dark and deranged global moment we’re currently occupying, it’s a multipronged sense of unnerve. The fierce preservation of processes, procedures, and customs all around me simply amplifies the great existential arbitrariness of it all."
Read my latest essay, Ritual Nostalgia: Revising the MFA Stasis, and think through ritual, routine, and institutions with me.
When one of my oldest and closest friends, the incredible artist and designer Ashley Olivieri, asked me to collaborate with her on her first gallery showing DREW EXPOSED, I was honoured. Having been familiar with this project since its inception, I provided this curatorial note. I couldn’t be prouder of Ashley—she’s one of the hardest working people I know. She’s almost sold out all her pieces already, obviously.
Drew Exposed is on at The Letter Bet (4919 Notre Dame St. West, Montreal) from July 7th to July `6th, 2017.
This past December while I was back in Toronto over the holidays (fun fact: Toronto winters and Iowa winters... just as bleak*), I had the exciting opportunity to: 1) participate in my first podcast, 2) talk about one of the most memorable books of poetry I’ve read in recent years, 3) do it with three other poets I love and respect.
The Rusty Toque’s ON THE LINE (click to listen) hosted by the incredible Kate Sutherland, operates like a recorded bookclub and is one of the best poetry podcasts around. Past episodes have included discussions about Safiya Sinclair’s Cannibal, Solmaz Sharif’s Look, and Ocean Vuong’s Night Sky with Exit Wounds, among others.
I got to chat and ramble about Anne Boyer’s Garments Against Women with the sharp and insightful (and just plain fun to talk to) Rudrapriya Rathore and Jacqueline Valencia. We reference a Harriet interview with Anne Boyer several times, and it’s a great read. Find it HERE.
*but not as bleak as Montreal winters
A profound congratulations to Noor for winning the 2017 RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers--it was such an honour to be recognized alongside of her. Noor is one of the kindest, most gracious people I know and hearing her reading from her selection, “The Mistress and the Ping,” seemed to stop time. I can’t wait to hold her future collection in my hands.
Thank you so much to The Writer’s Trust of Canada, RBC, and award founder Carolyn Smart for a beautiful, generous, and career-affirming experience.
PS: The entire finalists reading was recorded! The magic of technology. You can listen to Tyler, Noor, and myself read from our poetry HERE!
I, I, I,
Poet. Chapbook: Interzones (2015). Currently: All Day I Dream About Sirens (forthcoming).