We look forward to seeing you this September at &Now: Points of Convergence!
Registration is now open. Please visit Ticketspice to reserve your pass and order boxed lunches.
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General Inquiries: andnowfestival2019@gmail.com.
Registration questions: iasinfo@uw.edu.

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Friday, September 20 • 3:00pm - 4:15pm
Poetics as Play and Possibility: An Interactive Workshop

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In an era of intense social and political division and pain, play is as necessary as poetry. An interactive, interdisciplinary poetics of possibility through play can help us negotiate conflict and heal in, through, and with heartbreak—both intimate personal heartbreak and that of living in our historical moment. This manner of serious play is especially important in at-risk/marginalized communities, where failure, chance, and possibility are bound to individuals’ health and happiness, yet are often shaped by systems beyond their control.

Lauren Russell’s “Between a Dragonfly & an Osprey” arises out of a moment of rupture that is also possibility, when a sonnet crown must be redesigned as a twelve-sided die because love is a game of chance. When Lauren invites audience members to roll the die, both the creation of the narrative and the Poetry Reading itself are transformed into an interactive experience. In Keith Wilson’s “Love,” a digital interactive love poem, heartbreak, healing, and memory are imagined as a flower drying in a vase that, even under scrutiny, changes every day. Keith’s creative card game, “Once Upon a Tale,” created for Lurie Children’s Hospital’s cardiac floor, was designed to facilitate physical healing through positive collaborative storytelling, while the generative writing exercises and games Lauren Russell brings to a locked psychiatric unit can be transformative for patients who did not previously think of themselves as writers.

In this workshop, we will share some of our approaches to play, games, and possibility in poetry and then invite participants to take part in a hands-on, collaborative poem-making/playing activity we are calling Word Constellations. All that is required is paper, a writing implement, and an open mind. We’ll bring the rest.

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avatar for Lauren Russell

Lauren Russell

Research Assistant Professor/Assistant Director, Center for African American Poetry and Poetics, University of Pittsburgh
Lauren Russell is the author of What’s Hanging on the Hush (Ahsahta, 2017) an Descent (Tarpaulin Sky, 2020). A 2017 NEA Creative Writing Fellow in Poetry, she has received fellowships and residencies from Cave Canem, The Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, VIDA/The Home School... Read More →

Keith S. Wilson

Keith S. Wilson is a game designer, Affrilachian Poet, Cave Canem fellow, and graduate of the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop. He has received an NEA Grant, three scholarships from Bread Loaf, and scholarships from MacDowell, UCross, Millay Colony, and the Vermont Studio Center... Read More →

Friday September 20, 2019 3:00pm - 4:15pm PDT