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Around the Campfire: Nurturing Your Poetic Voice starts October 6

I am looking forward to teaching my latest online class, Around the Campfire: Nurturing Your Poetic Voice starting October 6!

I was inspired to create this class after reading an interview with the talented and inspiring @kamilahaishamoon in which she said, "Through poetry, we can transform ourselves and change others as we sit around each other’s poems like campfires for warmth and sustenance."

After reading this, I thought at length about how important it is for writers, poets, and artists to take care of ourselves in community, to join together to nourish each other's voices and visions- now, maybe, more than ever, as we navigate a world that is so difficult and that would prefer that many of us be silent.

So, I created this class as a campfire, to offer space for self-care, creativity, community, and robust opportunities for generating and sharing new work in a supportive environment. We will engage and respond to each other through discussion threads throughout each week and I will also facilitate weekly meetings through video conferencing. There are ample opportunities to connect with each other, share our work, and receive encouragement and feedback.

There's just over a week left to catch the early registration rate. Partial scholarships are available too!

As always, contact me for details and with any questions you may have.

September 2019 Poetry Book of the Month

The September 2019 Poetry Book of the Month is

When My Brother Was an Aztec by Natalie Diaz.  

ABOUT When My Brother Was an Aztec

"I write hungry sentences," Natalie Diaz once explained in an interview, "because they want more and more lyricism and imagery to satisfy them." This debut collection is a fast-paced tour of Mojave life and family narrative: A sister fights for or against a brother on meth, and everyone from Antigone, Houdini, Huitzilopochtli, and Jesus is invoked and invited to hash it out. These darkly humorous poems illuminate far corners of the heart, revealing teeth, tails, and more than a few dreams.

I watched a lion eat a man like a piece of fruit, peel tendons from fascia
like pith from rind, then lick the sweet meat from its hard core of bones.
The man had earned this feast and his own deliciousness by ringing a stick
against the lion's cage, calling out Here, Kitty Kitty, Meow!

With one swipe of a paw much like a catcher's mitt with fangs, the lion
pulled the man into the cage, rattling his skeleton against the metal bars.

The lion didn't want to do it—
He didn't want to eat the man like a piece of fruit and he told the crowd
this: I only wanted some goddamn sleep . . .

Natalie Diaz was born and raised on the Fort Mojave Indian Reservation in Needles, California. After playing professional basketball for four years in Europe and Asia, Diaz returned to the states to complete her MFA at Old Dominion University. She lives in Surprise, Arizona, and is working to preserve the Mojave language.

You can read more about Natalie Diaz and her work here:

https://www.nataliegermainediaz.com/

Join us to share your thoughts and participate in our discussions on social media (no need to be a member of Facebook to participate!). 

Creating Online Transformative Language Arts Classes that Inspire, Build Community & Transform Our World

In just a few weeks I'll be delivering my presentation "Creating Online TLA Classes that Inspire, Build Community & Transform Our World" at the annual Power of Words Conference in Scottsdale, AZ September 26-29. I invite you to join me for this session and for the other wonderful workshops and performances! ⠀

The conference features workshops, performances, talking circles, celebration and more, featuring writers, storytellers, performers, musicians, community leaders, activists, educators, and health professionals. This year's keynote presentations include⠀

Gregg Levoy, author of Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life⠀

Noa Baum, international award-winning storyteller and author of A Land Twice Promised: An Israeli Woman's Quest for Peace⠀

Usha Akella, published international poet and founder of the first South Asian Diaspora Poets Festival⠀

Schedule Summary: https://buff.ly/2NH7zvX⠀
Workshop & Presenter Descriptions: https://buff.ly/2NHtq6w⠀

Getting the Most Out of a Self-Paced Class

Online self-paced courses offer convenience and ease as you move through the content without any time pressure allowing you to freely engage in ways that are authentic to you and your creative process. On the flipside, making your way through the course on your own without motivating factors such as achieving a certain grade or engaging with others in discussion threads can leave you feeling somewhat untethered. 

To get the most out of the online self-paced classes, I offer the following suggestions to help keep you inspired and motivated so that you achieve your writing goals, generate new material, and invigorate your writing practice. 

SCHEDULE TIME TO ENGAGE THE COURSE CONTENT AND WRITE

One of the primary conveniences of self-paced courses is that you do the work at times that work for you and your schedule. Set yourself up for success by dedicating specific time slots each week - at least one, preferably two or more - to complete the readings, watch the videos, listen to the podcasts, and respond to the writing and creative prompts. Having a routine can help you maintain momentum.

LIMIT DISTRACTIONS

During the time you have scheduled limit your distractions so that you are able to focus on reviewing and responding to course content. This may involve silencing your cell phone, logging out of social media, or turning off the television. 

SET OVERALL GOALS

Take some time to consider what you hope to accomplish. There were reasons you were drawn to take the class, so consider writing those reasons out and display them somewhere visible to keep you grounded in your purpose and intentions.

CREATE YOUR PERSONAL CREATIVE SPACE

Creating a dedicated space for you to write, read, and inspire your creativity can do wonders for sustaining focus. Do so can involve considering the room or space you will use, a desk and/or comfortable chair, and the overall ambiance. If you like to write with music in the background, I encourage you to put that on or grab your earbuds and iPod and find the music that works for you. For some, music has the ability to help us relax, get grounded and be just a little quieter than we are used to. If music does not work for you, consider what might help you focus your attention and frame a creative space for yourself. Maybe it's earplugs or a cubicle at a library. Consider decorating the space with inspirational quotes and images!

NOURISH YOUR BODY

Be sure to have snacks and beverages available just in case. Nothing stops the creative process quite like thirst and a grumbling stomach. Having healthy snacks on hand will boost your energy and keep you thinking clearly.

BE GENTLE WITH YOURSELF

Everyone has days or weeks when you feel somewhat off kilter or possibly less productive than usual. If you find this happening, be gentle with yourself and understand that the creative process is not necessarily about being productive in a traditional sense; it also includes the time spent doing other things which helps us integrate our learning on a deeper level. Consider time away an opportunity for your creativity to percolate in preparation for your return to the course.


Current Self-Paced Class Offerings


Do you have any other suggestions?

If you have any other suggestions, I would love to hear from you! Please feel free to contact me through the form below or email at liz@abravespace.org.

Name *
Name

August 2019 Poetry Book of the Month

The August 2019 Poetry Book of the Month is

Milk & Filth by Carmen Giménez Smith.  

ABOUT Milk & Filth

National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist

Adding to the Latina tradition, Carmen Giménez Smith, politically aware and feminist-oriented, focuses on general cultural references rather than a sentimental personal narrative. She speaks of sexual politics and family in a fierce, determined tone voracious in its opinions about freedom and responsibility.

The author engages in mythology and art history, musically wooing the reader with texture and voice. As she references such disparate cultural figures as filmmaker Lars Von Trier, Annie from the film Annie Get Your Gun, Nabokov’s Lolita, Facebook entries and Greek gods, they appear as part of the poet’s cultural critique.

Phrases such as “the caustic domain of urchins” and “the gelatin shiver of tea’s surface” take the poems from lyrical images to comic humor to angry, intense commentary. On writing about “downgrading into human,” she says, “Then what? Amorality, osteoporosis and not even a marble estuary for the ages.”

Giménez Smith’s poetic arsenal includes rapier-sharp wordplay mixed with humor, at times self-deprecating, at others an ironic comment on the postmodern world, all interwoven with imaginative language of unexpected force and surreal beauty. Revealing a long view of gender issues and civil rights, the author presents a clever, comic perspective. Her poems take the reader to unusual places as she uses rhythm, images, and emotion to reveal the narrator’s personality. Deftly blending a variety of tones and styles, Giménez Smith’s poems offer a daring and evocative look at deep cultural issues.

“Giménez Smith generously deploys physical—often violent—imagery to challenge classist, consumerist, and socially polite forms of feminism.”—Publishers Weekly

“A sharp, feminist manifesto by way of poetry collection.”—The Nation

“Allusive, metaphorical, and nimble in tone and register, Milk and Filth is aesthetically alive.”—Rain Taxi Review of Books

“Giménez Smith is full of words—luscious, scabby, furious manifestos of self and culture.”—Raven Chronicles

“Carmen Giménez Smith’s Milk and Filth executes a benthic post-survival strategy wherein clawed, unlikely armaments unfurl from the tiniest coil of the conch. Here chimney-slim lyrics emit a scowl, a shiv, and a shriek while intricate tidal armies raise hot anthemic banners. Let us be as exclamation points to this puce-vermillion self-announcement!”—Joyelle McSweeney, author of Flet

You can read more about Carmen Giménez Smith and her work here:

https://www.carmengimenezsmith.com/

Join us to share your thoughts and participate in our discussions on social media (no need to be a member of Facebook to participate!). 

New Class Starts Oct. 6 - Around the Campfire: Nurturing Your Poetic Voice

Hello, there!

I hope this newsletter finds you well and in the flow of your writing. I have been busy developing some exciting new online classes and other offerings to bring us together to inspire and support each other in our writing practice and goals.

I am currently launching Around the Campfire: Nurturing Your Poetic Voice. I was inspired to create this class after reading an interview with poet Kamilah Aisha Moon who said, “Through poetry, we can transform ourselves and change others as we sit around each other’s poems like campfires for warmth and sustenance.” This 6-week online class is intended exactly for that: to come together around the campfire in creative community, to learn, to write, to nurture our poetic voices, and support each other along the way.

Around the Campfire: Nurturing Your Poetic Voice starts October 6 and runs through November 16. Key features of the class include:

  • opportunities to connect with the group in password protected online discussion forums

  • personalized feedback and support in the small group environment limited to 8 participants

  • weekly video conference meetings to share your work, ask questions, and offer support

If you are interested in joining this class, I encourage you to register for it soon due to the limited number of participants. Early registration before September 1 is $290 and regular registration after that date is $325.

I continue to offer two self-paced classes, Cultivating Our Voices: Writing Our Lives offered on my website, as well as Narratives of Self & Society: Writing Life Stories for Change offered through the Transformative Language Arts Network. The self-guided format of these courses offers convenience and ease as you move through the units without any time pressure allowing you to freely engage the writing prompts in ways that are authentic to you and your creative process. See below for a few more details as well as upcoming events and our featured poetry book of the month!

I also invite you to connect with me and our writing community on social media and at the various events noted on the calendar. In the meantime, you can find some writing inspiration on the blog!

Wishing you all the best,

Liz Burke-Cravens, EdD


Upcoming Class Starts October 6!

Around the Campfire: Nurturing Your Poetic Voice is a 6-week class that runs October 6 through November 16, 2019 offering a place for you to learn techniques and strategies as well as the peace of mind of sharing your work in a safe and supportive group.

Each week we will focus on a different theme, respond to the various writing prompts, and enjoy the selected readings and multimedia resources.

Early registration by September 1 -$290 Regular registration - $325


New Self-Paced Class

In this self-paced class, Cultivating Our Voices: Writing Our Lives, I help you develop a greater understanding of your writer voice and insights about yourself and experience.

The more numerous self-reflective and creative prompts will inspire a robust new body of writing in any genre you choose to work with!

Registration: $129

Use discount code WRITE20 for 20% off through August 31


Ongoing Self-Paced Class

This self-paced online course, offered through the Transformative Language Arts Network, will continue to be available through January 31, 2020!

Take your time going through the 10-unit course that guides you in a step-by-step process of personal and social inquiry for the purpose of generating compelling life stories for social change.


EMPOWERING VOICES | BUILDING FREEDOM


New Online Class Now Available!

Hello, there!

I hope this message finds you well, inspired, and in the flow of your writing. I have some exciting news: my new self-paced online course - the first one I am offering directly through my website - is now available!

Cultivating Our Voices: Writing Our Lives, is a 6-unit class that you do on your own and at times that work for you and your schedule. I taught a previous version of this class last year and have greatly expanded it. Each unit contains a video introduction to guide you through the resources, a podcast lecture, curated readings, self-reflective writing prompts, and creative prompts to keep your spirit inspired. Check it out and get started!

Between now and August 1 use the discount code WRITE20 for 20% off

For those whose creativity is best supported in person, individually, or with a small group, I have spots available for personal writing sessions, manuscript development guidance, and coaching you through writing processes and projects. These individualized sessions can be done in person in the San Francisco Bay Area or via video conferencing from anywhere you have internet.

I also invite you to connect with me and our writing community on social media and at the various events noted on the calendar. In the meantime, you can find some writing inspiration on the blog!

Wishing you all the best,

Liz Burke-Cravens


New Online Class!

Cultivating Our Voices: Writing Our Lives an online self-paced class created by Liz Burke-Cravens

In this self-paced class, Cultivating Our Voices: Writing Our Lives, I help you develop a greater understanding of your writer voice and insights about yourself and experience.

The more numerous self-reflective and creative prompts will inspire a robust new body of writing in any genre you choose to work with!

Use discount code WRITE20 for 20% off!


Ongoing Class

Narratives of Self & Society: Writing Life Stories for Change is a self-paced online class created by Liz Burke-Cravens and offered through the Transformative Language Arts Network through January 31, 2020.

This self-paced online course, offered through the Transformative Language Arts Network, will continue to be available through January 31, 2020!

Take your time going through the 10-unit course that guides you in a step-by-step process of personal and social inquiry for the purpose of generating compelling life stories for social change.


Poetry Book of the Month

Our featured poetry book for July is Magical Negro by Morgan Parker.

I was fortunate to see her read from this work last March at the AWP Conference in Portland, Oregon and was blown away by her fierce feminist voice.

Throughout the month, I will share poems, videos, articles, and interviews by Morgan Parker and her work.

Connect with us in conversation on Facebook in our A Brave Space Poets group!


Upcoming Events

There are a number of exciting events coming up and I invite you to join me! I update the calendar frequently, so check back often to see what we are up to.

August 6Diane DiPrima will read her poetry and celebrate her birthday at Bird & Beckett Books in San Francisco, 7-9pm.

September 24Margaret Atwood will read from her new novel - the sequel to her acclaimed The Handmaid’s Tale - and engage in conversation with author Kelly Corrigan.

September 26-29: The Transformative Language Arts Network will be hosting their annual Power of Words Conference at the Casa Renewal Center in Scottsdale, AZ. I will be moderating a panel on Right Livelihood and will be presenting on Creating Online TLA Classes that Inspire, Build Community & Transform Our World on Saturday, September 28!

October 26: Poets Deborah Landau and Matthew Zapruder will read from their work in Berkeley.


Writing Prompt

What are the words you do not yet have? What do you need to say? by Audre Lorde

EMPOWERING VOICES | BUILDING FREEDOM

Creating Online TLA Classes that Inspire, Build Community, and Transform Our World

I'm looking forward to offering this presentation at the 2019 Power of Words Conference in Scottsdale, AZ 9/26-9/29.

Register before July 11 to get the early bird rate.

Scholarships are available too!

Creating Online TLA Classes that Inspire, Build Community, and Transform Our World

For many teaching artists, developing an online course from scratch or transferring a face-to-face workshop to an online environment can be a difficult challenge. In this presentation, Liz Burke-Cravens will share strategies, techniques, and tools for creating successful transformative language arts classes online and in hybrid formats. Topics will include organizing and planning your course, practicing self-care and ethics, creating meaningful opportunities for connection, integrating multimedia, and cultivating a rich online environment for creative expression and exploration, and other related topics. This presentation will be helpful for those already teaching TLA courses online and for those who would like to start.