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
I, I, I,
Poet. Chapbook: Interzones (2015). Currently: All Day I Dream About Sirens (2019).