The Constraints of this Room: The Poetics of Escape
(with Joshua Wilkerson)
Starts June 6, 2021
What if, instead of seeing the blank page as emptiness waiting to be roused by the perfectly expressive poem, we were to look at writing instead as a market crowd for pickpocketing, a trick straightjacket designed for a flashy getaway?
The Surrealists, Oulipo, and a whole stable of contemporary writers have done just that, using collage, aleatory procedures, games, constraints, and collaborative writing to poke fun at the horrors of the empty page, the stale language and images around them, and the Romantic myths of authorship, selfhood, and poetic form.
What better way to escape oppressive constraints than to design your own? Through a range of readings and guided writing exercises, we will explore techniques for writing under constraints, or, in the words of Raymond Queneau, we will attempt to “build the labyrinth[s] from which [we] will try to escape.” In the process, participants will add to their toolkits for approaching and revising pieces of writing, whatever the specifics of their practice, and discover fresh ways to generate work in our current quarantined moment.
- Sunday, June 6 (7pm–8:30pm EST/UTC-5)
- Sunday, June 13 (7pm–8:30pm EST/UTC-5)
- Sunday, June 20 (7pm–8:30pm EST/UTC-5)
- Sunday, June 27 (7pm–8:30pm EST/UTC-5)
Required supplies: none
Suggested skill level: from beginners to experienced writers
Seats available: 15
Workshop fee: CAN$95