The Textum: A Poetry Workshop

In Walter Benjamin’s essay “Some Motifs in Baudelaire,” he describes a type of writing, an amalgamation, resulting from voluntary and involuntary memory: facts and data from remembered, or conscious, memory, and the haze of memory lost, or the unconscious. This web or textum, the result of writing that weaves these two types of memory, drags the poet’s community as well as their community’s history with them. Benjamin writes, “Experience is indeed a matter of tradition, in collective existence as well as private life. It is less a product of facts firmly anchored in memory than of a convergence in memory of accumulated and frequently unconscious data.” Taking Benjamin’s concept of the textum as our starting point, we will spend the opening of each class reading examples of poetry that engage in this poetics. Then we will spend the rest of class engaging in generative writing exercises and sharing our writing. Class sessions will meet synchronously via Zoom every Sunday, and assignments, poems and critiques will be shared via Wet Ink

Workshop Details

  • Teacher: Cynthia Cruz
  • Level: II
  • Dates: Oct 16–Nov 13, 2022
  • Time: Sundays, 10:30 am–1:30 pm (ET)
  • Location: online via Zoom
  • Cost: $395
  • Class size: 5–10 students
  • Registration deadline: SUN, OCT 9, 2022
  • Earlybird discount: $15 off through SUN, SEPT 18
Cynthia Cruz

Cynthia Cruz

Cynthia Cruz is the author of seven collections of poems. Hotel Oblivion, her seventh collection, was published in the spring of 2022 by Four Way Books; Disquieting: Essays on Silence, a collection of critical essays exploring the concept of silence as a form of resistance, was published by Book*hug in 2019; and The Melancholia of Class: A Manifesto for the Working Class, an examination of Freudian melancholia and the working class, was published by Repeater Books in 2021. Forthcoming in 2023 are a novella, Steady Diet of Nothing; a collection of poems, Back to the Woods; and a book on the working class and negative freedom. Cruz is pursuing a PhD in philosophy at the European Graduate School.