Creative Process and Play

Age Group(s): Adult
Date: 4/9/2016
Start Time: 3:00 PM
End Time: 4:30 PM
 The poet Harryette Mullen says, “From childhood on, I’ve associated poetry with games and puzzles, with singing and dancing, with codes and ciphers, with riddles and rhymes. I’ve never lost that sense of play and pleasure in making poetry.” How can writers’ work change if they shift from a product-oriented lens to a process-oriented one? What happens if you abandon your original intention for a poem or move beyond that vision? In the spirit of “play and pleasure,” we will focus more attention on how we write than on what write—and begin to think about the relationship between content and form. Through individual and collaborative writing activities, play with found texts, and ekphrastic exercises using the library gallery, participants will have the opportunity to try a variety of approaches to poem making. As readers, we will engage with a few published poems each week, considering how a poem does what it does, not just what it means or says, and what we can “steal” from the authors to inform our own creative practices. Intended for both experienced poets and people who do not think of themselves as writers at all, the only requirements are a willingness to have fun, take risks, and sometimes “fail” as you explore new modes of making.

Lauren Russell has taught writing courses at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and at the University of Pittsburgh, where she received a Distinguished Teaching Award in the English Department. Russell’s first full-length book, What’s Hanging on the Hush, will be out from Ahsahta Press in 2017. She is the author of the chapbook Dream-Clung, Gone (Brooklyn Arts Press), and her poems have appeared in Better, boundary 2, jubilat, Ping•Pong, and Tarpaulin Sky, among others. Her reviews may be found in Aster(ix), The Volta, Jacket2, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from the University of Pittsburgh and has received fellowships from the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, Cave Canem, and VIDA: Women in Literary Arts.
Library: Central Library
Location: Bubbler
Contact: Aaron Fai
Presenter: Lauren Russell
Status: Closed