The Poetry Project


Fall 2020 Dis/Course: UTOPIA

Surrounded by masked acolytes bearing illumined globes, Belinda Carlisle sings to her offscreen lover: “Ooh baby, do you know what that’s worth? Ooh heaven is a place on Earth,” and a million questions about utopia(s) are raised. What is utopian about valuation? About death? About space and time, desire and fear? What’s the relationship between the utopic and the apocalyptic? What ways of living are possible, are necessary, amidst the smoldering ruins of white supremacist settler colonial capitalism? As outside the world becomes the world, what songs will we sing, what words will we speak?

In our Fall 2020 Dis/Course series, we will turn our swirling attention to dreams and nightmares of U-T-O-P-I-A, examining its historical precedents, its perennial challenges, its consequences for relationality, its potential for transformation, what promises it makes, which are kept and which were never meant to be.


Each meeting is free and open and will meet virtually on Zoom. Participants are invited to RSVP in advance to receive a packet of readings and other material to begin the conversation. Reading in advance, however, is not be required, nor is any particular education background or expertise. Come, talk about poetry and possibility, teach, learn, share, and connect more deeply with The Poetry Project community.


Boo: Ghosts and the Unconscious for Utopian Dreaming with Claire Donato & Adrian Shirk
Thursday, October 1, 7 PM

Consider the Omnivore: Consumption, Anxiety, Mess as Imagination with Jayson P. Smith
Thursday, October 22, 7 PM

Projects of Moving Color with Joshua Escobar aka DJ Ashtrae
Thursday, November 19, 7 PM