In this generative workshop, we will explore the praise poem, using weekly prompts to reimagine how to praise objects, people, emotions, art, poetry and of course ourselves. Questions explored as we work our way into these praise poems include: How is the personal political? How can we successfully weave our complicated pasts into these poems? What kind of poetic forms can we use to create praise poems? We will write a variety of praise poems, including narrative poems, memoir-themed political poems and some syllabic verse. Some authors whose work we’ll read and discuss include Elizabeth Alexander, Lucille Clifton, Martin Espada, Nate Marshall, Joy Harjo, Angel Nafis, Mahogany Browne and Jeanine Verlee.
JP Howard is the author of SAY/MIRROR (The Operating System, 2016), a 2016 Lambda Literary finalist, and the chaplet bury your love poems here (Belladonna*, 2015). She has received a Lambda Emerging Writer Award and was a finalist for the 2017 Split This Rock Freedom Plow Award for Poetry & Activism, and she is a 2018 featured author in Lambda Literary’s LGBTQ Writers in Schools program. The winner of fellowships from Cave Canem, VONA and Lambda, she curates the Women Writers in Bloom Poetry Salon and has facilitated numerous writing workshops for Apogee, the Brooklyn Community Pride Center, City College and others. Howards holds a BA in English from Barnard College, a JD from Brooklyn Law School and an MFA in creative writing from City College.