11.08.14: Poery and Activism Workshop

Monday 11th August (18:00-20:00) at The Albany, Blue Room

POETRY AND ACTIVISM: WHAT’S THE ISSUE WITH “ISSUE” POETRY?

With Carmina Masoliver

Poetry can be a means to tackle different issues: areas where we feel there’s injustice, raising awareness about something that deserves more attention, or finding a way to produce activist art. However, a problem may emerge from writing about topics such as sexism, racism, homophobia, and so on, in that the poems become too obviously ‘issue poems’ and may appear to an audience too clichéd or didactic. How do we avoid this in our poetry? How do we make sure that what we produce is still a poem, and not just a rant? This workshop aims to explore the ‘issue poem’ and to understand how we make the ‘issue’ go away.

Poet, writer and performer, Carmina Masoliver also mentors, tutors, facilitates workshops and organises events. She runs ‘She Grrrowls’ arts nights and edits the ‘Poetry&Paint’ anthology.

If you’re interested in attending any of these, email Jacob (mail@jacobsamlarose.com). You’ll then receive confirmation. There are other great workshops running that week by other Burn After Reading members, all taking place at The Albany.

 

  • Tuesday 12th August: 18:00-20:00— Language and Innovation with Cameron Bray
  • Wednesday 13th August: 18:00-20:00— ‘You Bring Out The Black Woman In Me’ with Rachel Long
  • Thursday 14th August: 18:00-20:00— Form and Structure with Lewis Buxton
  • Friday 15th August: 17:00-19:00— Physical Poetry: Exploring Ways of Using the Body in Poetry with Sophie Fenella Robinski

 

Sex Haikus and Other News

Writing Room banner[2]Coming up is a showcase of the work I’ve been doing with a group of writers at Rich Mix in Shoreditch. I’m determined to learn my lines for it today as we have a meeting coming up when I’m back in London. Fellow writer Ben Jacobs (also a Podium Poet) posted a series of poems by Benedict Smith on Facebook: A Haiku for Every Girl I’ve Slept With. I thought it was a great series of well-executed poems and would love to see the whole series as an illustrated chapbook. Amongst the poems was this one:

8. Tried your fantasy

And pretended to rape you.

It felt a bit forced.

Initially, I felt uncomfortable with the comic intent of the last line: an awkward double entendre. I felt that it undermined real rape by making a joke of it. My opinion on a ‘rape fantasy’ is that it is nonsensical – the very act of rape is something unwanted. Therefore ‘rape fantasy’ is an oxymoron. I thought about a better way to address this issue, assuming that these poems are based on real-life experiences. I came up with this:

A girl says ‘rape me’.

She doesn’t know the meaning.

Singing Nirvana.

However, then I thought that actually, my version is far too obvious. How can I say that this is a better version just because the point is clearer? Is it too didactic? Perhaps, Smith’s poem is actually more successful because of its subtleties. Perhaps his humour points out the ridiculousness of such a request from a girl. It got me thinking about the meaning of the poem, which is surely a sign of success. I’d be interested to know what readers think of this.

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Another couple of things in the pipeline for September include the She Grrrowls launch party at The Gallery Cafe on Wednesday 11th. There are so many talented women out there that we want to feature at future events, so we really hope it takes off! On Saturday 14th I’ll be leading an all-day workshop on the theme of ‘Loss’ at Red Door Studios. It ties into the next issue of Poetry&Paint, so come along to the workshop and get the chance to have your work in the September/October issue of Poetry&Paint.

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I’ll also be getting down to as many open mic nights as possible and hopefully get some gigs, preferably paid! I’m excited about the next year (working at a school, I still work in academic years!) I’ll be super busy as I’m also wanting to take up the ukulele! Wish me luck!533626_564521246927232_1283506101_n

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve been staying in Norwich the last week or so and don’t want to come back! I’m going home tomorrow and it’s all gone so quickly. I’ve had a great time and even managed to do an open mic over my time here (as a city so famous for literature, there’s surprisingly few events compared with London). I went to the launch for the Lighthouse anthology, which I’ve now submitted some poems to for the next issue! I got a chance to catch up with poets Chris Ogden and Russell J Turner. Chris told me about this project to do with made-up words, so I wrote a poem on the word ‘Elagon’ – have a go yourself!
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I’ve done a bit of work most days I’ve been in Norwich, but I’ve also managed to have a bit of fun and relaxation. One of my favourite days was the trip to Cromer with my boyfriend and his family at a family friend’s caravan. I had seen the forecast of showers so I didn’t expect we would be able to go. The others went by car whilst my boyfriend and I rushed to the station to make the train to Cromer. The sun was shining through the clouds and I thought I’d dip a toe in the sea. I ended up walking further in and we swam all afternoon. It felt amazing. After we dried off, we had some chips and headed to the fun fair. I’ve also done a bit of shopping, had some drinks at the Rumsey Wells, got an Indian takeaway, saw my boyfriend’s grandparents and tonight we’re having a nice romantic meal.

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Now it’s goodbye Norwich and hello London. I’ve got a performance at Red Door Studios (also where the workshop on Loss is) on 8th August, a trip to visit my friend Hannah in York, then I’m back to the home of Alan Partridge the following week. Maybe another trip to the beach, if I’m lucky.

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