Living Women

Using a Feminist Canon

Who’s in and out of the literary “canon” is a huge subject for debate, but let’s get real: most of us create our own list of important poets as we consider their poetics and how they challenge and inspire us. This workshop focuses on using techniques and themes found in the work of living women poets as a way to generate new poems by participants. We will consider how they use conventional and new forms, typographical experimentation, dialect, mixed tones, and feminist topics. Harryette Mullen, Brenda Hillman, Maureen Owen, Cheryl Boyce-Taylor, Fanny Howe, Trish Salah, Sally Wen Mao, Lydia Cortés and Analicia Sotelo will serve as our poet guides each week.

Workshop Details


Patricia Spears Jones is the author of four full-length poetry collections, most recently A Lucent Fire: New and Selected Poems (White Pine Press, 2015) and four chapbooks, including Living in the Love Economy (Overpass Books, 2014), as well as two plays commissioned and produced by Mabou Mines, the acclaimed experimental theater company. She is the winner of the 2017 Jackson Poetry Prize from Poets & Writers, awards from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, the NY Community Trust and the Goethe Institute, and grants from the NEA and NYFA. Her poems are anthologized in Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry; broken land: Poems of Brooklyn; Best American Poetry 2000 and elsewhere. She edited Think: Poems for Aretha Franklin’s Inauguration Day Hat and Ordinary Women: An Anthology of Poetry by New York City Women, and she serves as a contributing editor for BOMB Magazine as well as a senior fellow at the Black Earth Institute, a progressive think tank. She participated as a mentor in the first year of Emerge-Surface-Be, a new fellowship program at St. Mark’s Poetry Project, where she was the program coordinator from 1984 to 1986. She has taught poetry workshops for Cave Canem, the Poetry Project and Poets House and is currently a lecturer at LaGuardia Community College.