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Sundress to Host Free Virtual Workshop on Persona Poems

Sundress to Host Free Virtual Workshop on Persona Poems

The Sundress Academy for the Arts is excited to present “Cognitive Dissonance Unlocked: Persona Poems that Give More than Poetry,” a workshop led by Denise R. Ervin on April 12, 2023, from 6-7:30 PM. This event will be held over Zoom. Participants can access the event at (password: safta). 

A common trend when reading poetry is to conflate the poet with the speaker. The easiest way to unlock the cognitive dissonance of hearing a voice that does not match the person it comes from is to view performances of persona poems from established artists who are masters at the task. Some of these literary greats include Airea Dee Matthews and Patricia Smith. In this 90-minute workshop, we will watch performances and discuss not only the feelings evoked by the poems but how the words and images presented conjure ideals for us that do not match the performer of the words.

Picture of Denise Ervin

Denise R. Ervin is a creative writer hewn from the streets, classrooms, and boardrooms of Detroit, all of which taught her to contribute to the narrative of those who live, love, and look like her. She has spent two decades as a teaching artist, performing poetry around the country, and leading workshops for the likes of Midnight & Indigo and Room Project. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in AADUNA, Harbinger Asylum, Third Wednesday Magazine, and others.  Most recently, she was selected as a Writing Fellow by The Watering Hole and a semifinalist for America’s Next Great Author.

While there is no fee to participate in this workshop, those who are able and appreciative may make donations directly to Denise Ervin via Paypal:; Cash App $deniserervin

This workshop is brought to you in part by a grant provided by the Tennessee Arts Commission. Find out about the important work they do here.

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