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g/leaning: assemblage, quotation, intertextuality with Emily Skillings

Apr 11, 2018 | 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Emily Skillings

In her 2012 essay “A Sort of Leaning Against,” Maggie Nelson writes: “For a long time, I worried there was something wrong with me as a writer, because I leaned so heavily on the thinking and writing of others. And further, that instead of wanting to hide that leaning, my impulse has often been to showcase it, to make this thinking-with-others, this weaving of mine and others’ words, part of the texture of my writing.”

Over the course of this six-week workshop, we will investigate this ethics of interdependence or “mutual aid” in writing. What happens when we make visible our attachments, associations, and connections—both critical, aesthetic, and sensory? This course will invite poets to engage the visual art practices of collage and assemblage, as well as list-making, quotation, and archival/ experiential research. Together we will collect the language and images that we encounter in our daily lives to make dynamic new writings that disturb the notion that when we write we are writing alone.

Students will keep visual notebooks/scrapbooks and respond to weekly prompts. We will consult the projects and process(es) of artists, filmmakers, and writers, including Susan Howe, Douglas Kearney, Sei Shōnagon, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, John Ashbery, Muriel Rukeyser, Claudia Rankine, John Beer, Bernadette Mayer, Charles Baudelaire, Maggie Nelson, and Agnes Varda.

Emily Skillings is the author of the poetry collection Fort Not (The Song Cave, 2017), which Publishers Weekly called a “fabulously eccentric, hypnotic, and hypervigilant debut,” as well as two chapbooks, Backchannel (Poor Claudia) and Linnaeus: The 26 Sexual Practices of Plants (No, Dear/ Small Anchor Press). Recent poems can be found/are forthcoming in Poetry, Harper’s, Boston Review, Brooklyn Rail, BOMB, Hyperallergic, LitHub, and jubilat. Skillings is a member of the Belladonna* Collaborative, a feminist poetry collective, small press, and event series. She received her MFA from Columbia University, where she was a Creative Writing Teaching Fellow in 2017. Skillings has taught poetry and creative writing at Yale University and Parsons School of Design. She splits her time between Brooklyn and Hudson, NY.

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Admission $325 Location Stanley Kunitz Conference Room Sponsored By Poets House


Apr 11, 2018
6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
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