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Bad Bitch Poetics with Sally Wen Mao

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Apr 2, 2015 | 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Sally Wen Mao

In this workshop, we will explore what it means to be a “bad bitch” in the context of writing poetry—whether that is writing outside the margins or cracking open a silence that needs to speak. What is the meaning of “badness” in the context of verse—to be fearless, subversive, transgressive, promiscuous, assertive, or unapologetic? Or is it a more quiet resistance to the status quo? Could it be a reflection of duende, a hand-to-hand combat with the inner artistic demon, a heightened awareness of death, earthiness, dirt, and a dash of the diabolical?

Summoning the techniques of poets, singers, rappers, artists, and other gatekeepers of pop culture, we will respond to exercises designed to excavate our own bad bitch poetics, and determine what that may mean personally and aesthetically for each of us. We will work on drafting forms, from manifesto to bop to ekphrasis, to generate poems, and build a dossier that reflects the poet’s definition of bad bitch poetics. Poets explored are Marilyn Chin, June Jordan, Sonia Sanchez, Bhanu Kapil, Chelsey Minnis, and more, while performers covered may be Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, M.I.A., Beyonce, Missy Elliott, and others.

Sally Wen Mao is the author of Mad Honey Symposium (2014). Her work has been anthologized in The Best American Poetry 2013 and is forthcoming or published in Poetry, Black Warrior Review, Guernica, the Missouri Review, and Washington Square, among others. She earned an MFA from Cornell University and has received fellowships from Kundiman, Hedgebrook, and Saltonstall Foundation. She currently teaches at Hunter College.

Thoughtcatalog asks Sally Wen Mao Can Poets Be Bad Bitches?

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Admission $325 Location Conference Room Sponsored By Poets House


Apr 2, 2015
6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
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