The Poetry Project


Touch / Don’t Touch: Dis/Course with Gabrielle Civil

How do we navigate the imperatives of touch? The edges of bodies? The possibilities within constraints? In our virtual encounter, we will touch ourselves, texts, and perhaps even each other with consent and care. Here, touch will encompass the tactile, the energetic, and the ancestral as sites of exploration. Recognizing the weightiness of touch (+ the impact of recent touch starvation), we will prioritize pleasure and positive touch: touch as a means for creativity, self-knowledge, and re/generation. Wear clothes that you might want to stroke, bring sweets for your mouth, surround yourself with objects to handle or hold in your gaze with awe. (What if awe radiates as a kind of touch?) Inspirations for our time together include the work of mayfield brooks, Malcolm-x Betts, Jaamil Olawale Kosoko, D.D. Dourvillier, Pope.L, Nick Cave, Lorna Simpson, Sonia Renee Taylor, Petra Kuppers, Toni Morrison, and Alexis Pauline Gumbs. With their help, we will be in touch soon.


This program was funded in part by Humanities New York with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.