Writing from the Disaster

It is not you who will speak; let the disaster speak in you.
—Maurice Blanchot

For some time now there have been rumblings about how we are at the threshold, that if we don’t do something, we will end up in variations of an apocalypse. We’ve been warned of an upcoming ecological, economical and political disaster when the truth is we are already on the other side of it—we are already inside of it. How, then, do we write of what is happening? How can we gain a bird’s-eye view of the destruction when we are living inside of it? In this workshop we will read and discuss work from poets whose work has set out to document, in one way or another, the disaster. And we will try, using what we have gleaned from our readings and discussions, to write, in our own way, about what we are seeing in our own contemporary world.

Workshop Details


Cynthia Cruz is the author of five collections of poems: Ruin (Alice James Books, 2006), The Glimmering Room (Four Way Books, 2012), Wunderkammer (Four Way Books, 2014), How the End Begins (Four Way Books, 2016) and, most recently, Dregs (Four Way Books, 2018). She is the editor of an anthology of contemporary Latina poetry, Other Musics: New Latina Poetry, as well as Disquieting: Essays on Silence, a collection of essays about silence as a form of resistance, both forthcoming in 2019. She has taught at many colleges and universities, including the New School, Julliard, Queens College and the Rutgers-Newark MFA Program, as well as with Teachers & Writers Collaborative. She is the recipient of fellowships from Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony and a Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University. She currently teaches at Sarah Lawrence College.