The Poetry Project


Exploring the Sexual (Self) in Writing — Workshop with Carley Moore

If you are like me as a reader and writer, you like everything to be in the text—art, books, movies, cartoons, video games, grocery shopping, shit, pee, garbage, kids, pets, lovers, friends, family, poverty, wealth, porn, pills, walking, not walking, work, sleep, and sex, especially sex. But how do we write our sexual selves no matter what genre or across genres? What happens to essayists who write about fucking as opposed to novelists? What about poets? What if genre is irrelevant? What if the sex is queer, kinky, disabled, brown, black and/or read as marginalized in some way? Who gets to decide such things? What if it’s straight? Tender? Rough? Loving? Painful? Solo? Joyous? How do we work within and outside of our histories to write what a piece asks of us? I imagine some of these (and more!) questions might come up as we read and write together to create sexual selves, scenes, language, lines, paragraphs, and characters on the page.

We’ll probably read (and this might change depending on class desires and time): Anna Castillo, Melissa Febos, Audre Lorde, Sandra Gail Lambert, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Henry Miller, Eileen Myles, Tommy Pico, Khadijah Queen, Arielle Bywater Simone, Gertrude Stein, Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, Simone White, Jillian Weise, David Wojnarowicz, and Jenny Zhang. We might also watch some movie clips (The Favourite, The Duke of Burgundy, and Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot) and videos by Janelle Monae, Peaches, Junglepussy, and Prince.