How do we summon creative power in the face of our personal and/or global demons? How can we speak of beauty when our world seems full of loss, grief, climate change, and political turmoil? Thich Nhat Hanh says that the work of meditation is to transform “compost into flowers”; that is also the work of poetry. This generative workshop will help you to re-see your demons as a form of poetic compost. Writing poetry is a way for us to name, explore and re-shape our demons and use them to grow something beautiful, powerful, and healing. Through in-class writing exercises, reading and discussing sample poems, as well as the plain old blood, sweat and tears of revision, this workshop is structured to inspire as well as provide you with new tools to continue the work on your own afterwards. Please bring your favorite writing materials.
*While this workshop is open to the public, Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference attendees receive $25 off advanced workshops. To receive the discount, register for the conference.
Other workshops I'll be teaching at this conference:
This session will demonstrate ways to create richly layered memoir via multiple genres and visual storytelling. Our lives and those of our ancestors leave traces in the human archive that include much more than photographs. Documents like immigration records, religious institutions, letters, newspaper clippings, government forms, song lyrics, even fingerprints, prison records, school assignments, local histories or ethnographic notes—can all be “mined” for creative inspiration, expanding and enriching the narrative of your family.
Deborah A. Miranda is an enrolled member of the Ohlone-Costanoan Esselen. Her mixed-genre book Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir, received the PEN-Oakland Josephine Miles Literary Award, a Gold Medal from the Independent Publishers Association, and was short-listed for the William Saroyan Literary Award. Her most recent poetry collection is Raised by Humans; previous collections include The Zen of La Llorona and Indian Cartography. Altar for Broken Things, a new poetry collection, will be published in 2019 from BkMk Press. Miranda is Professor of English at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia where she teaches literature and creative writing.