Our memories give us context for ourselves in the world. They are good, they are bad, they are treacherous. We are made to possess them, demonic or good. Memories instruct as much as they destruct, which is why poets love a good memory game. In this workshop, we’ll dig into poets who use memory as a dismantling force—whether in terms of time, the body, politics, or memory itself. We will read texts by Feng Sun Chen, Lynn Xu, Chris Kraus, Bhanu Kapil, Danielle Pafunda and others. We will re-learn the use of the I pronoun as a political engine and warm to its complexities. Through writing prompts, we will find the intersection between triggering spots and poetics, and use this as a weapon to explode verse on the page and off, while gaining fresh insights about the self’s potential for change.
Natalie Eilbert is the author of Swan Feast (Coconut Books, 2015) and the chapbooks Conversation with the Stone Wife (Bloof Books, 2014) and And I Shall Again Be Virtuous. (Big Lucks, 2014). Her work has appeared in the New Yorker, Kenyon Review, Tin House, West Branch, Spinning Jenny, Handsome and many other venues. She has taught creative writing at Columbia University and Barnard College and is the founding editor of the Atlas Review. She lives in Greenpoint.