The Sundress Academy for the Arts hosts the Sundress Workshop Series, a series of generative writing workshops emphasizing composition, revision, and creative development. As part of Sundress Publications, the Sundress Workshop Series provide focused, personalized instruction to writers of all skill levels. Participants are treated to guidance from advanced instructors who help them to not only hone their craft but also find suitable venues for their work. These monthly workshops are free to attend.
Decolonizing the Diagram: An Experimental Poetry Workshop
February 21, 2024, 6:00-7:30PM EST
The Sundress Academy for the Arts is excited to present “Decolonizing the Diagram: An Experimental Poetry Workshop,” a workshop led by Felix Lecocq on February 21st, 2024, from 6-7:30 PM. This event will be held over Zoom. Participants can access the event at tiny.utk.edu/sundress (password: safta).
If diagrams are visual representations of knowledge, this class asks: Whose knowledge and for whom? In academia, medicine, and law, the diagram has been used to categorize, racialize, and essentialize bodies of color, as well as queer/trans/disabled bodies. In this class, we will write poems that decolonize the diagram.
Inspired by poets such as Kiki Nicole, Jenifer Sang Eun Park, and Anthony Cody, we will explore how diagrams can be used in poetry to draw out tension, relationship, symmetry, and movement between ideas and images. We will use these discoveries to guide our own poem/diagram creations that subvert traditional logics and knowledge.
Participants of all levels of experience are welcome.
While there is no fee to participate in this workshop, those who are able and appreciative may make donations directly to Felix Lecocq via Venmo @felix-lecocq.
Felix Lecocq is a writer, game designer, former SAFTA resident, and current Tin House Workshop Reading Fellow. He has taught experimental poetry workshops with the Chicago Asian Writers Workshop, and in May 2023, he independently organized a digital poetry workshop entitled “game design for poets” to raise money for the Chicago Abortion Fund. You can find his work in ANMLY, Black Warrior Review, and Joyland, and on his website at www.felixlecocq.com.
Strange Ways the World Might Be
March 13, 2024, 6:00-7:30PM EST
The Sundress Academy for the Arts is excited to present “Strange Ways the World Might Be,” a workshop led by Becca Hannigan on March 13th, 2024, from 6:00-7:30 PM. This event will be held over Zoom. Participants can access the event at tiny.utk.edu/sundress (password: safta).
You’ve likely heard of magical realism, but what about realism that’s simply strange? In this workshop, we will consider how fiction and nonfiction can—quite simply—“describe strange ways the world might be,” as one critic defines fiction by Samanta Schweblin. One way to do this—which we will practice—is to strip objects and social norms from their context, to examine and experience them phenomenally.
Together, will question assumptions and unpack cultural baggage, using “widowed images” and surprising narratives. Along with Schweblin, we will draw inspiration from such writers as Franz Kafka, Lesley Nnekah Arimah, and Martha Gelhorn, looking at the history of absurdism (with nihilistic roots) and the contemporary absurd, which (I argue) is the opposite of nihilistic. The class will be generative, with ample writing prompts, discussion, and time to share. Together, we will blur genres, producing and admiring prose that you might call surrealism, absurdism, or just plain weird.
While there is no fee to participate in this workshop, those who are able and appreciative may make donations directly to Becca Hannigan via Venmo @beccahannigan.
Becca Hannigan is a fiction writer based in Denver, Colorado. They earned a BA in environmental science at Sewanee, the University of the South. In May 2023, they graduated with an MFA from the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where they taught undergraduate students and worked as fiction editor for Ecotone. Along with teaching, she has led workshops in various settings, as an intern for the Brink Literacy Project and staff at the Sewanee Young Writers’ Conference. Her work has been published in Story Quarterly, the Rumpus, 303 Magazine, Juked, and elsewhere.