Poets have a long history of using poetry to speak out against injustices. In this five-week online workshop, we’ll explore poetry as a form of resistance and political activism. Writers will interrogate the world, generating poems that speak to injustices currently witnessed and/or react to historical inequities. We’ll write poems as a form of resistance, as an activism tool to raise our voices, and as a vehicle to create change through words. Poets will be encouraged to use archival materials, including but not limited to: historical speeches, videos, newspaper/journal articles, artifacts and, of course, other poems of resistance. This workshop will give us an opportunity to read both living and ancestor poets who speak truth to power. These poets include Pat Parker, June Jordan, Audre Lorde, t’ai freedom ford, Willie Perdomo, Claudia Rankine, Jericho Brown, Chen Chen, Danez Smith, Denice Frohman, Ching-In Chen, Mahogany L. Browne, Rosamond King, Ocean Vuong, TC Tolbert, José Olivarez, Nikky Finney and Raquel Salas Rivera. Weekly readings, assignments, poems and critiques will be posted on Wet Ink, and the professor will provide video introductions to course material and assignments and, at the end of the course, a one-on-one video conference with each student.
JP Howard is the author of SAY/MIRROR (The Operating System, 2016), a 2016 Lambda Literary finalist, and bury your love poems here (Belladonna*, 2015), as well as coeditor of Sinister Wisdom Journal Black Lesbians: We Are the Revolution! (2018). 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 2020 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, Brooklyn Poets, 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.