In the absence of speech, presence is evidently discernible. How do we decenter from the business of our talking selves and dwell inside this deep sea called listening? What is revealed in the agency of quietness? This five-week, online workshop will encourage poets to engage with everyday speechlessness: a hardened sigh, kisses on a city street, an honest smile or frown, the tensions in what we don’t say. We’re inundated with these hidden languages daily and in this workshop we’ll attempt to register them onto a page, collaborating with silence. We’ll look at poems by Louise Glück, Marwa Helal, Marie Howe, Phillip B. Williams, Wendell Berry, Charles Tomlinson and more. Class sessions will meet synchronously via Zoom, and assignments, poems and critiques will be shared via Wet Ink.
Ramya Ramana is an award-winning American author, poet, lyricist and writer. She was born, raised and currently resides in New York. Ramana won the NY Knicks Poetry Slam, which awarded her a full tuition scholarship to St. John’s University. Soon after, she became the Youth Poet Laureate of NYC. She has since performed at events such as the US Open, Tribeca Film Festival, TV One’s “Verses and Flow,” Pharrell’s Adidas Campaign, SONY TV’s Asian Women in the Arts Awards, the Immigrant Gala, Apollo Theatre Slam Finals, Celebrate Bklyn!, the Source Magazine Festival and many more. Her work can be found on the Poetry Foundation and Academy of American Poets websites and in Seventh Wave and the Southampton Review. Ramana published her first collection of poems through Penmanship Books, which was released at Lincoln Center. In addition to performing and writing, Ramana has also worked as an educator and mentor for young poets and young women. She recently received her MFA in creative writing from the New School. Ramana is currently working as a librettist for an operetta film. Her hope is to remain a student of wonder and to explain truth sincerely through her work and her life.