We begin from the premise that there is an outside: to capitalism, to patriarchy, to heteronormativity, to (settler) colonialism, to white supremacy. Ruthie Gilmore tells us that “Abolition geography starts from the homely premise that freedom is a place” (227). In this series of Dis/courses, the question we begin with is how poetry might help us get there. We will begin on Valentine’s Day with a consideration of Romantic Poetry — its failed revolutionary potential; the figure of the tragic, erotic, solitary genius; the invisible labor of women and people of color — and we ask how it could have and might yet be otherwise. On March 7, we will explore poetry and the nation, and the ways in which the language of nationhood has been differently contextualized by kinship, sovereignty, and the state. We wonder how poetry might show us alternative ways of being together, considering the liberatory and decolonial power of other forms of relationality. Finally, on March 28 we step into poetry and the spirit world, beyond the limits of what is immediately perceptible, exploring the space between material and immaterial, presence and absence, the self and another. Participants are welcome to join for one, two, or all three of the sessions.
Each meeting is free and open. 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.
Thursday, February 14, 7 pm – 9 pm
Bring Down The State But Have Fun Doing It: Poetry and Nations
Thursday, March 7, 7 pm – 9 pm
Now I Am Dead I Sing
Thursday, March 28, 7 pm – 9 pm