Straight Lines, Knots, Quarter Turns — Repeat: Movement as a Mode of Thought — Free 10-Session Workshop with Rebekah Smith and Asiya Wadud

This workshop seeks to explore ways in which movement creates meaning, develops feeling, forms thought; how motion, direction, and circulation all might intertwine and get tangled up in our writing, as we write and as our writing moves in the world. Starting with questions, impulses, and gestures, we will both form and unravel knots in our work and our thinking, following threads further than we think they can go. Some questions we might consider include: What does it mean to move in the world? What does it mean to be (in)visible in this movement (exposed or in the dark, hidden, obscured, or overlooked)? What happens when we repeat a thing forever—over and over— drawing the thing out, as far as it can go and then further? How do we know when wrong is right? What develops when we consider the pause? What is a pause that lingers? How does movement engage with writing, and what happens in the interstices between these forms of practice? 

Our workshop will overlap, temporally, with Danspace Project’s 2020 Platform, Utterances from the Chorus, curated by Okwui Okpokwasili and Judy Hussie-Taylor, and will engage with the performances and conversations that the platform will be presenting. Participants are encouraged to attend as many of the events as they can and want, and we will draw on these events in our meetings when possible.

We will read, watch, and discuss work by Okwui Okpokwasili, Terrance Hayes, Inger Christensen, Mirtha Dermisache, Elouise Loftin, Georges Perec, Audre Lorde, Velimir Khlebnikov, Ry Nikonova, Christina Sharpe, Dionne Brand, Susana Thénon, Nathaniel Mackey, mayfield brooks, and others.

This is a collaborative and generative workshop, in which participants are encouraged to bring their reading, viewing, and movement ideas to the group for discussion, and in which new work drawing on themes discussed will be given time and space for considered development.

We are pleased to offer this workshop at no-cost in an effort to ensure that people who might otherwise not be able to access our workshops, or who have previously not been able to, have an opportunity to participate in the tradition of writing and scholarship at The Poetry Project. If you are interested in participating, please complete this form, which includes questions about your interest in the workshop and confirmation that you can attend all ten meetings. You will be notified whether or not a spot is available for you by the end of January. We ask everyone to keep in mind our goal of including participants whose engagement in a Poetry Project workshop is contingent on there being no-fee.

Rebekah Smith

Rebekah Smith is a translator, writer, scholar, bookmaker, and editor at Ugly Duckling Presse.

Asiya Wadud

Asiya Wadud is the author of Crosslight for Youngbird (Nightboat Books, 2018) day pulls down the sky… a filament in gold leaf, written collaboratively with Okwui Okpokwasili (Belladonna/ Danspace, 2019), Syncope (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2019) and the forthcoming No Knowledge Is Complete Until It Passes Through My Body. A member of the Belladonna Collaborative, her work has been supported by the Foundation Jan Michalski, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Danspace Project, Dickinson House, Mount Tremper Arts, and the New York Public Library, among others. Asiya is a 2019–2020 Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Artist-in-Residence and also currently a writer-in-residence at Danspace Project. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.