The Poetry Project


Tracing Political Commitment: A Writing Workshop — 5-session Workshop with Corina Copp

Amid a wave of artists daring to recognize Palestinians as a people, documentarian Brett Story writes affirmatively in an Instagram caption, “Our art is only as meaningful as our integrity.” In this workshop, we will attempt to create a “heretical archive” of written and moving-image work that demands that poetry externalize courage, that the boundary between the private and the political be dissolved, that art and writing have stakes to be met. In the images and ideas of Antigone, Fanny Howe, Miko Revereza, Assia Djebar, Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò, Christian Petzold, Grace Lee Boggs, María Irene Fornés, Lauren Berlant, Safi Faye, Gregg Bordowitz, Maya Deren, Simone White, Danielle Collobert, Gillian Rose, Walter Benjamin, Maryam Tafakory, Tina Darragh, Adania Shibli, Mona Hatoum, and Dalie Giroux, we will look for—beyond ideology, reason, and form—instances of “political commitment” (which we will define expansively for ourselves, but which could include, e.g., the ethics of citation; the refusal to leave a husband, as if he is a nation (!); forgiveness and recognition; “strategic essentialism”; concentration of voice). We will move through specific exercises to write through these texts, whether in poetry, prose, or otherwise (write a libretto!); to reveal their commitments, and your own. And we will share in abundance, in overwhelm, your writing and thoughts around abolishment and failure, devotional appropriation, vertical cinema, documentary poetics, impermanence and return, multidirectional memory, and whatever else ensnarls the usual paths to meaning-making. Emerging writers most encouraged.