Writing Queer Poetry & Prose: Breaking Form for Revolution | 4-week Seminar

Khalisa Rae Tuesdays, October 10-31
7pm-9pm ET
4pm-7pm PT
6pm-8pm CT
4 class sessions

By signing up for a class, you agree to our refund policy and code of conduct here.

In Writing Queer Poetry & Prose: Breaking Form for Revolution, we’ll examine how queer poets of color have broken traditional poetic forms as a vehicle for revolution and change, throughout the ages. Each week we'll read work that explores reinvented styles and techniques as a path for resistance and craft our own works.

We'll explore poems and essays from contemporary queer writers that live at many intersections, including Faylita Hicks, Safia Ehillo, Jacqui Germain, Paul Tran, Jericho Brown, Tiana Clark, Franny Choi, and others. Books we will explore: All the Flowers Kneeling by Paul Tran, On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong, Don't Call Us Dead by Danez Smith, Tradition by Jericho Brown, Dub by Alexis Pauline Gumbs, and Bestiary by Donika Kelly.

Each week, students will craft a poem in response to prompts that emerge from our reading. The goal of these poems should be to excite, inspire, and push the boundaries of our traditional writing styles.

Classes will consist of half discussion / half generating new work.

Open to all experience levels, those new to writing and those with previous workshop experience. Beginner and intermediate writers will benefit the most.

All class meetings will be held via Zoom. The link to join your Zoom classroom will be provided on the morning of your class. Please check spam folders if you do not receive an email confirmation upon registration. For more information on how to download or use Zoom, please click here.

 Meet Your Instructor:
Khalisa Rae

Khalisa Rae is an award-winning author, activist, and storyteller. As a queer rights advocate and community builder, she seeks to uplift Black queer voices. She is the author of the poetry collection, Ghost in a Black Girl's Throat and the sold-out play production, Seven Deadly Sins of Being a Woman. An accomplished performer, journalist, and playwright, her writing has been featured in countless literary journals and magazines, including Pinch, PANK, Autumn House, Jezebel, Blavity, and NBC-BLK. Her impactful work has received a Appalachian Arts and Entertainment Award, a Gwendolyn Brooks Prize, and multiple Pushcart nominations, among others. She is the founder of Think in Ink Literary Collective, the WOC Speak reading series, and a co-founder of the Griot and Grey Owl Black Southern Writers Conference. Khalisa Rae's YA novel in verse, Unlearning Eden is forthcoming.

Course Takeaways

  • A new understanding and appreciation for the impact of queer poetry and a new lens from which to view its place in and outside the literary cannon
  • The ability to recognize and evaluate technical forms of poetry and break traditional forms—not only to challenge social constructs/norms, but to make a powerful social statement
  • A new critical framework from which to navigate, access, critique, and examine poetry by queer authors of color
  • The ability to engage in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing your own clearly
  • Critical feedback from honest and authentic peers

Course Expectations

  • Students will be asked to respond to the reading assignments/selected poems on a weekly basis via class discussion and the class platform
  • Students will generate writing each week that will be workshopped by their peers and the instructor, with the hopes of applying what we’ve learned from the selected weekly poems
  • We will begin each class with 1-2 students giving a 5-10 minute, low-stress presentation about queer reading that excites them. This can be anything—an image, a video, a song, a poem, or paragraph—as long as it engages with queerness
  • At the end of the class, students will be required to present a final written project and presentation to the class, demonstrating how their writing responds to the work we’ve read

We offer full refunds for cancellation with written notice up until 7 days before your class start date. From 6 days to more than 24 hours before class begins, we offer a 50% refund. If you drop a class less than 24 hours before the class begins or after it has started, you are ineligible for a refund.