The Poetry Project


Dread Poetics — 5-Session Workshop with Benjamin Krusling

What kind of feeling is dread? It suffuses, coats, drowns the future in pessimistic anticipation, warps the past and present, the time and texture of experience, around foreknowledge of future suffering. And yet, for “dread poets,” like reggae and dub poet-artist Linton Kwesi Johnson, dread can be the locus of radical emotional and political insight, a feeling through which the present’s chaos of appearances can come into critical vision, through which the future can come back to life. David Austin reminds us that “a dread beat in music can mean an exceptionally good beat” – and of Baraka: “This is why the whole dub poetry movement is so important…The artist can make truth irresistible!”

In the spirit of working through our dreads, their many senses and locations – and of making the truth of the new, the revolution – irresistible, we will spend our sessions thinking about dread and pleasure; resistance and irresistibility; bass and rhythm; and generating new work together and at home. Readings/listenings may include Linton Kwesi Johnson, Mikey Smith, Simone White, Wanda Coleman, Aimé Césaire, Leslie Scalapino, Julian Henriques, Don Mee Choi, Stéphane Mallarmé, Gabrielle Octavia Rucker, The Clash, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Burial, King Tubby, Jana Rush, Dean Blunt, and more + whatever you’d like to bring to the table.