March 23 - March 24 • 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM (EST)
3 hours per session
About the workshop
Using Lucille Clifton’s “won’t you celebrate with me ” as a guide, this workshop will examine writing joy and celebration.
We’ll first look deeply at and discuss this poem, then read and discuss other celebratory poems/songs by BIPOC writers. We’ll dig into how each celebratory work was created despite the dangers or harm each speaker faced, and how many factors of the world determine how we approach joy.
Between readings, we’ll respond to generative prompts that allow us to celebrate moments, life, a favorite thing, survival. This is for writers looking to find joy, center joy in their work, or just celebrate a small thing.
What you will learn
By the end of the class, students will have generative prompts to catapult them into their next poem, a list of other celebratory poems/songs to consider, and a new poem about celebration (or a revision of an existing poem). They will also have a better understanding of writing celebration and how celebration, in the poems we'll read, operates "in spite of."
Students will leave this workshop with an understanding of the many ways we can celebrate with poetry. They will understand odes, ghazals, and other forms as a means of celebration while confronting larger societal issues. Students will also leave with the start of their own celebratory poem, or revision of one.
What you will be reading
won’t you celebrate with me by Lucille Clifton, Owed to the Durag by Joshua Bennett, Beyoncé’s Church Girl, Shaina Phenix’s Ghazal for Black Girls in Miami
About the instructor
Arriel Vinson is a Reese's Book Club LitUp Fellow and Midwesterner who writes about being young, Black, and in search of freedom. She earned her MFA in Fiction from Sarah Lawrence College. Her poetry, fiction, and essays have appeared in Kweli Journal, Catapult, The Rumpus, Waxwing, and others. A Tin House YA Scholar, 2020 Walter Grant recipient, and 2019 Kimbilio Fellow, her work has been nominated for Best New Poets 2020, Best of the Net 2019, and a Pushcart Prize. You can connect with her on Twitter @arriwrites or at arriwrites.com.
Learn how to write about joy and celebration