Poet Against Empire

An Erasure Workshop

What makes a good erasure poem? How can erasing found text move beyond the merely playful or arbitrary to become a powerful poetic means for confronting and entering into dialogue with that text? Whether someone is new to poetry or an experienced writer, erasing found text can help to generate visually engaging work that responds to power with precision and complexity. In this online erasure workshop, participants will analyze different strategies used in erasure poems, try out these strategies by drafting erasure five poems of their own, and give and receive feedback electronically each week. Readings will include poems by Chase Berggrun, Jordan Abel, jayy dodd, Solmaz Sharif, M. NourbeSe Philip and Srikanth Reddy. At the start of the workshop, the professor will provide a video overview of erasure poetry, and each week she’ll provide video and written instructions to a new assignment. Students will write a new erasure poem and write/receive critiques by the end of each week. Weekly work for the course will be done asynchronously on Wet Ink, and at the end of the course, the professor will conference one-on-one with each student electronically.

Workshop Details


Candace Williams is a black queer nerd living a double life. By day, she’s a sixth-grade humanities educator and robotics coach. By night and subway ride, she’s a poet. Her Spells for Black Wizards was a 2017 TAR Chapbook Series winner and published by the Atlas Review, and futureblack, her first full-length poetry manuscript, was a 2018 National Poetry Series finalist. Her work has appeared in the PEN Poetry Series, Tin House, Hyperallergic and Nepantla: An Anthology for Queer Poets of Color, among other places. She earned her master’s in education from Stanford University and has been awarded fellowships from Cave Canem, Brooklyn Poets and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.