Feb
1
to Jan 31

Narratives of Self & Society: Writing Life Stories for Change - ONLINE

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NOTE: This class does not have a set time frame -- you may register and move through the material at any time of the year.

This self-paced class guides you in a step-by-step process of personal and social inquiry for the purpose of generating compelling life stories for change. We will work with autoethnography — a self-reflective/reflexive approach to studying personal life experiences as a means to illuminate social realities, reveal structural inequalities, and bring cultural nuances to the forefront of our work. Notable for the healing and transformative qualities of the process, autoethnography offers a way to explore and express the complex constellation of privileges and disadvantages unique to each of us.

Each unit includes guided instruction through a podcast lecture, selected readings about autoethnography as well as examples of these types of texts, and provocative videos related to that unit's theme. You will have the opportunity to focus in on a particular writing project which you will develop throughout the 10 units, beginning with brainstorming ideas for your project and culminating in a fully-developed autoethnography. Through intriguing self-reflective activities and inspiring creative prompts, you will generate a robust new body of writing and ideas for future life-story projects.

Week by Week

Unit 1: Stories of Self & Society
We come to understand autoenthnography as both a self-reflective/reflexive process and a creative work motivated by social change.

Unit 2: The Complexity of Identity
We explore the concept of intersectionality, it's relationship to autoethnography, and how to employ it as a framework for self-reflection and creating compelling life stories.

Unit 3: Our Voices in Context
We inquire into the relationship between voice, power, privilege, and change.

Unit 4: Memory & Experience
We analyze our personal experiences and memories to create compelling and effective life stories for change.

Unit 5: Truth-Telling, Authenticity, & Ethics
We explore notions of truth-telling and authenticity in our life stories as well as ethical consideration related to privacy and representing othering in our life stories.

Unit 6: Stories of Home & Family
Our inquiry focus on family — our relationships, customs, rituals, and the meaning of home.

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Unit 7: Observations: Writing Places & Locations
We practice our observation skills while writing about meaningful places and locations.

Unit 8: Learning from the Experience of Others
We work with interviewing strategies, information gathering techniques, and learning from perspectives that differ from our own.

Unit 9: Audiences, Genre, & the Meanings of Change
We consider that writing for change means specifically for you and your stories, explore audiences, and play with genre.

Unit 10: Bringing it All Together into a Cohesive Whole
We learn ways to bring all of your information together, looking for themes between your personal experience, interviews and/or research, and observations to create story for change.

Who Should Take This Class

This class is appropriate for those with any amount of experience writing life stories, from those who are interested in learning more and might be a bit nervous about it, to writers with years of experience who want to generate new work and explore how writing can be a positive force for change. It is beneficial for transformative language artists of all kinds, social justice activists, critical educators, organizational leaders, and those interested in the relationship between the writing of life experiences and the social forces that shape them.

Format

This is a self-paced online class. By self-paced, we mean that you do this class on your own without interacting with the teacher or a cohort group, and according to your own schedule, allowing you to engage with the material on your own timeline. Each unit is full of resources, reflections, discussion questions, and writing prompts. Students should expect to spend 4-7 hours per unit perusing resources and readings and engaging in several writing prompts (although with so much material and so many writing prompts, students can certainly spend more time revisiting each unit to find more inspiration and ideas).

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Mar
1
to Mar 31

Poetry Book of the Month March 2019

Greetings poets and poetry lovers! 

The March 2019 Poetry Book of the Month is Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine.  

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About Citizen: An American Lyric.

Finalist for the 2014 National Book Award in Poetry
Winner of the 2014 National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry
Finalist for the 2014 National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism
Winner of the 2015 PEN Open Book Award
Winner of the 2015 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Poetry

Claudia Rankine’s bold new book recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media. Some of these encounters are slights, seemingly slips of the tongue, and some are intentional offensives in the classroom, at the supermarket, at home, on the tennis court with Serena Williams and the soccer field with Zinedine Zidane, online, on TV—everywhere, all the time. The accumulative stresses come to bear on a person’s ability to speak, perform, and stay alive. Our addressability is tied to the state of our belonging, Rankine argues, as are our assumptions and expectations of citizenship. In essay, image, and poetry, Citizen is a powerful testament to the individual and collective effects of racism in our contemporary, often named “post-race” society.

Claudia Rankine is the author of Citizen: An American Lyric and four previous books, including Don’t Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric. Her work has appeared recently in the Guardian, the New York Times Book Review, the New York Times Magazine, and the Washington Post. She is a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, the winner of the 2014 Jackson Poetry Prize, and a contributing editor of Poets & Writers. She received a MacArthur Fellowship in 2016. Rankine is the Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry at Yale University.

You can read more about Claudia Rankine and her work here: 

http://claudiarankine.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!). 

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Mar
27
to Mar 30

Liz @ the AWP Conference & Bookfair Portland, Orgeon

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Join me in exploring the AWP Conference & Book fair in beautiful Portland, Oregon!

Liz will be attending a steady array of readings, book signings, open mics, and more March 27-30. If you’ll be there too and would like to connect for coffee, some time wandering the aisles of the book fair, a morning meditation, or open mic at one of the many venues, email Liz at liz@abravespace.org

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Apr
8
5:00 PM17:00

Community Reading to Celebrate National Poetry Month

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Join us for a 1-hour open mic to celebrate National Poetry Month 2019!

Monday, April 8, 2019 8pm Eastern / 7pm Central / 6pm Mountain / 5pm Pacific

You will have the opportunity to read an original poem or two of your own or read poems written by others that inspire you! We will meet through Google Hangouts Meet. Space is limited. Sign up below.

Name *
Name


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Apr
12
7:30 PM19:30

JUST BEYOND YOURSELF: The Courage in Poetry - An Evening with David Whyte

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Join Liz for this wonderful evening with David Whyte. After the event we will get together for an hour or so and share our responses to what he had to say.

About this event

JUST BEYOND YOURSELF: The Courage in Poetry

Throughout the ages, the language of poetry has held a special power to lend us courage, to give us the vision of those who endured and to hazard ourselves boldly in the world we must inhabit. The insights and imagery of poetry can take us beyond any small perimeter we have made for ourselves and call us to look life straight in the eyes. Once we establish ourselves at this conversational frontier, we find ourselves living amidst revelation, the recipients of visible and invisible help we could not previously recognize. Poetry tells us we can not only be found by a greater world, but also enlarge ourselves to become a participating element in that new future.

Join David Whyte for an evening looking at the joy, griefs, surprises, humor and conversations of human life, and the way poetry can give us courage to walk into the middle of it all and make a home.

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3915907

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Feb
28
7:30 PM19:30

Join Liz for Katie Peterson in Conversation with Louise Gluck in Berkeley

Katie Peterson in Conversation with Louise Gluck discussing her new book of poems A Piece of Good News.

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Dense, rich, and challenging, Katie Peterson's A Piece of Good News explores interior and exterior landscapes, exposure, and shelter. Imbued with a hallucinatory poetic logic where desire, anger, and sorrow supplant intelligence and reason, these poems are powerful meditations of mourning, love, doubt, political citizenship, and happiness. Learned, wise, and witty, Peterson explodes the possibilities of the poetic voice in this remarkable and deeply felt collection.

Katie Peterson is the award-winning author of the poetry collections This One Tree, Permission, and The Accounts. She lives in Berkeley and teaches at UC Davis.

Louise Gluck is the author of a dozen books of poems and American Originality: Essays on Poetry. Her many awards include the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Bollingen Prize for Poetry, and the Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets. She teaches at Yale University and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Event address: 

2904 College Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94705

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Feb
9
1:00 PM13:00

Wellspring Writers

Wellspring Writers

In this group, we will write together, engaging a variety of prompts to get our words flowing and those ideas, images, and voices that are present inside of us out onto the page. This group offers the space to play, inquire, get in touch with your writer-self, and write through any blocks or feelings of creative “stuck-ness.” By the end of the 3-hour workshop, you will have new material to develop into poems, essays, blogs, or stories as well as ideas for future writing.

This writing group meets the 2nd Saturday of every month (unless otherwise noted) in Oakland, California, 1-4pm. Sliding scale $25-$50 with $25 deposit required to secure your spot. Space is limited to 6.

Deposits can be made through PayPal or mailing a check via USPS. Email Liz with any questions at liz@abravespace.org

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Feb
1
to Feb 28

Poetry Book of the Month February 2019

Greetings poets and poetry lovers! 

The February 2019 Poetry Book of the Month is Calling a Wolf a Wolf by Kaveh Akbar.  

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About Calling a Wolf a Wolf.

"The struggle from late youth on, with and without God, agony, narcotics and love is a torment rarely recorded with such sustained eloquence and passion as you will find in this collection." --Fanny Howe


This highly-anticipated debut boldly confronts addiction and courses the strenuous path of recovery, beginning in the wilds of the mind. Poems confront craving, control, the constant battle of alcoholism and sobriety, and the questioning of the self and its instincts within the context of this never-ending fight.


From "Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before":

Sometimes you just have to leave
whatever's real to you, you have to clomp
through fields and kick the caps off

all the toadstools. Sometimes
you have to march all the way to Galilee

or the literal foot of God himself before you realize

you've already passed the place where
you were supposed to die. I can no longer remember
the being afraid, only that it came to an end.


Kaveh Akbar is the founding editor of Divedapper. His poems appear recently or soon in The New Yorker, Poetry, APR, Tin House, Ploughshares, PBS NewsHour, and elsewhere. The recipient of a 2016 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation and the Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, Akbar was born in Tehran, Iran, and currently lives and teaches in Florida.

You can read more about Kaveh Akbar and his work here: 

www.kavehakbar.com

Are you familiar with Kaveh Akbar’s work? Curious? I invite you to share your thoughts and participate in our discussions on social media (no need to be a member of Facebook to participate!). 

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Jan
30
7:00 PM19:00

Tracy K. Smith, Poet Laureate of the U.S. at the JCC San Francisco

TRACY K. SMITH, POET LAUREATE OF THE UNITED STATES

With Marvin K. White

Join us for a conversation with Tracy K. Smith, the current Poet Laureate of the United States. In that role, she has traveled the country on a quest to bring poetry to people living in rural America. Smith authored the critically-acclaimed memoir Ordinary Light and three books of poetry including her most recent, Wade in the Water. Her collection Life on Mars won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize and was selected as the New York Times Notable Book. Duende received the 2006 James Laughlin Award and The Body’s Question won the 2002 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. Smith has also been a recipient of a Rona Jaffe Writers Award and a Whiting Award, and received a fellowship from the Academy of American Poets, awarded to one poet annually for distinguished poetic achievement. She is the Roger S. Berlind ’52 Professor in the Humanities and Director of the Creative Writing Program at Princeton University. She appears in conversation with Marvin K. White, Minister of Celebration at GLIDE.

Even the men in black armor, the ones
Jangling handcuffs and keys, what else

Are they so buffered against, if not love’s blade
Sizing up the heart’s familiar meat?

We watch and grieve. We sleep, stir, eat.
Love: the heart sliced open, gutted, clean.

Love: naked almost in the everlasting street,
Skirt lifted by a different kind of breeze.

– from “Unrest in Baton Rouge,” Wade in the Water

For more information and for tickets visit: https://www.jccsf.org/arts-ideas/tracy-k-smith/?fbclid=IwAR39KqnvPyv2IwoyuSrUNmks-g_wZiKGplGRp4kozloU5uhPlV2c2EBGka0

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Jan
12
1:00 PM13:00

Wellspring Writers

Wellspring Writers

In this group, we will write together, engaging a variety of prompts to get our words flowing and those ideas, images, and voices that are present inside of us out onto the page. This group offers the space to play, inquire, get in touch with your writer-self, and write through any blocks or feelings of creative “stuck-ness.” By the end of the 3-hour workshop, you will have new material to develop into poems, essays, blogs, or stories as well as ideas for future writing.

This writing group meets the 2nd Saturday of every month (unless otherwise noted) in Oakland, California, 1-4pm. Sliding scale $25-$50 with $25 deposit required to secure your spot. Space is limited to 6.

Deposits can be made through PayPal or mailing a check via USPS. Email Liz with any questions at liz@abravespace.org

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Jan
1
to Jan 31

Poetry Book of the Month January 2019

Greetings poets and poetry lovers! 

The January 2019 Poetry Book of the Month is The Carrying: Poems by Ada Limón.  

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About The Carrying: Poems.

From National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award finalist Ada Limón comes The Carrying—her most powerful collection yet.

Vulnerable, tender, acute, these are serious poems, brave poems, exploring with honesty the ambiguous moment between the rapture of youth and the grace of acceptance. A daughter tends to aging parents. A woman struggles with infertility—“What if, instead of carrying / a child, I am supposed to carry grief?”—and a body seized by pain and vertigo as well as ecstasy. A nation convulses: “Every song of this country / has an unsung third stanza, something brutal.” And still Limón shows us, as ever, the persistence of hunger, love, and joy, the dizzying fullness of our too-short lives. “Fine then, / I’ll take it,” she writes. “I’ll take it all.”

In Bright Dead Things, Limón showed us a heart “giant with power, heavy with blood”—“the huge beating genius machine / that thinks, no, it knows, / it’s going to come in first.” In her follow-up collection, that heart is on full display—even as The Carrying continues further and deeper into the bloodstream, following the hard-won truth of what it means to live in an imperfect world.

You can read more about Ada Limón and her work here: 

http://adalimon.com/

Are you familiar with Ada Limón’s work? Curious? I invite you to share your thoughts and participate in our discussions on social media (no need to be a member of Facebook to participate!). 

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Dec
8
1:00 PM13:00

Wellspring Writers

Wellspring Writers

In this group, we will write together, engaging a variety of prompts to get our words flowing and those ideas, images, and voices that are present inside of us out onto the page. This group offers the space to play, inquire, get in touch with your writer-self, and write through any blocks or feelings of creative “stuck-ness.” By the end of the 3-hour workshop, you will have new material to develop into poems, essays, blogs, or stories as well as ideas for future writing.

This writing group meets the 2nd Saturday of every month (unless otherwise noted) in Oakland, California, 1-4pm. Sliding scale $25-$50 with $25 deposit required to secure your spot. Space is limited to 6.

Deposits can be made through PayPal or mailing a check via USPS. Email Liz with any questions at liz@abravespace.org

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Dec
1
to Dec 31

Poetry Book of the Month December 2018

Greetings poets and poetry lovers! 

The December 2018 Poetry Book of the Month is Priest Turned Therapist Treats Fear of God by Tony Hoagland.  

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Praise for Priest Turned Therapist Treats Fear of God

“The writing is classic Hoagland: accessible and conversational, sometimes humorous, as he scrutinizes everything from a book he’s reading to mortality and the emotions that arise when he thinks of the music of Leonard Cohen while sitting in a hospital waiting room. . . . The work raises important questions ‘about the hazards of playing at innocence,’ why our culture can’t seem to make progress and why no one seems to recognize the impending environmental crisis.”The Washington Post

“Dreamy, irreverent, and timely.”O, The Oprah Magazine

“Readers will enjoy [Tony Hoagland’s] original, ironic, satirical, and often humorous poems.”New York Journal of Books

“Tony Hoagland . . . takes us on a journey with his skill and capacities. He’s a major talent.”Washington Independent Review of Books

“Never sentimental, often fond, and always accurate, [Hoagland’s] lines cut through to the essence of experience. Yet they are leavened by tenderness and longing, a wry acceptance of the human condition.”Zyzzyva

“Hoagland’s poems are ripe with emotion. Some are sharpened to such a fine point that the reader won’t feel the dagger of humor with which they’ve been stabbed. . . . This is the poetry of resistance, resistance as unstoppable force.”Signature Reads

Priest Turned Therapist is an honest, accurate, and beautiful appraisal of this thing we call life.”The Coil

“Throughout, Hoagland’s work is refreshingly accessible without compromising sophistication or a complexity of thought.”Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Hoagland brings both humor and grief to a stirring poetic discourse. The poems reveal a remarkable mix of simple diction and documentary detail linked together with dark humor and satire. . . . Hoagland imbues smooth narrative with irony and surreal humor to deliver an especially rewarding book.”Library Journal, starred review

“Whether expansive or brief as aphorism. . . . the affect Hoagland conveys is often breathtaking.”Booklist

You can read more about Tony Hoagland and his work here: 

http://www.tonyhoagland.com

Are you familiar with Tony Hoagland's work? Curious? I invite you to share your thoughts and participate in our discussions on social media (no need to be a member of Facebook to participate!). 

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Nov
10
1:00 PM13:00

Wellspring Writers

Wellspring Writers

In this group, we will write together, engaging a variety of prompts to get our words flowing and those ideas, images, and voices that are present inside of us out onto the page. This group offers the space to play, inquire, get in touch with your writer-self, and write through any blocks or feelings of creative “stuck-ness.” By the end of the 3-hour workshop, you will have new material to develop into poems, essays, blogs, or stories as well as ideas for future writing.

This writing group meets the 2nd Saturday of every month (unless otherwise noted) in Oakland, California, 1-4pm. Sliding scale $25-$50 with $25 deposit required to secure your spot. Space is limited to 6.

Deposits can be made through PayPal or mailing a check via USPS. Email Liz with any questions at liz@abravespace.org

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Nov
8
7:30 PM19:30

EILEEN MYLES In Conversation with Stephen Best

EILEEN MYLES

In Conversation with Stephen Best

Thursday, November 8, 2018, 7:30 pm

Venue: Nourse Theater, San Francisco

Series: "On Arts" Benefiting 826 Valencia Scholarship Program

 Buy Tickets | Buy Series Tickets | 415.392.4400

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Eileen Myles is the author of more than twenty books of essays, fiction, and poetry, including Chelsea Girls, Cool For You, and I Must Be Living Twice. A counter-culture icon and activist, Myles ran for president in 1992 as a “openly female & queer” candidate, promising to refuse to live in the White House while there were still homeless people living in America, to decrease defense spending by 75%, and to offer free healthcare. Myles has described the campaign as part protest, part performance art. This fall, Myles returns to poetry with Evolution. “Poetry always, always, always is a key piece of democracy,” they told The New York Times Magazinein 2016. “It’s like the un-Trump: The poet is the charismatic loser. You’re the fool in Shakespeare; you’re the loose cannon. As things get worse, poetry gets better, because it becomes more necessary.”

Stephen Michael Best is an associate professor of English at University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of The Fugitive’s Properties: Law and the Poetics of Possession, and his work has been supported by the Mellon Foundation, the Hellman Foundation, the University of California Humanities Research Institute, and the Ford Foundation.



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Nov
1
to Nov 30

Poetry Book of the Month November 2018

Greetings poets and poetry lovers! 

The November 2018 Poetry Book of the Month is Don’t Call Us Dead by Danez Smith.  

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About Don’t Call Us Dead

Award-winning poet Danez Smith is a groundbreaking force, celebrated for deft lyrics, urgent subjects, and performative power. Don’t Call Us Dead opens with a heartrending sequence that imagines an afterlife for black men shot by police, a place where suspicion, violence, and grief are forgotten and replaced with the safety, love, and longevity they deserved here on earth. Smith turns then to desire, mortality—the dangers experienced in skin, body, and blood—and a diagnosis of HIV positive. “some of us are killed / in pieces,” Smith writes, “some of us all at once.” Don’t Call Us Dead is an astonishing collection, one that confronts America where every day is too often a funeral and not often enough a miracle.     

“These poems can’t make history vanish, but they can contend against it with the force of a restorative imagination. Smith’s work is about that imagination―its role in repairing and sustaining communities, and in making the world more bearable. . . . Their poems are enriched to the point of volatility, but they pay out, often, in sudden joy. . . . But they also know the magic trick of making writing on the page operate like the most ecstatic speech.”The New Yorker

“Danez Smith is angry, erotic, politicized, innovative, classical, a formalist, an activist, and blends all of this without seeming to strain. . . . This will be one of the year’s essential books.”―Craig Morgan Teicher, NPR

“[A] stunning collection. . . . These pieces pulse with the rhythms and assertiveness one expects from poetry slams.”The Washington Post

“Searing. . . . Smith’s capacity for compassionate invention is epic. . . . Smith races across lexicons and spectra, pushing even the boundaries of typography in wrestling with the dreadful fact that the black male body is imperiled from both within and without.”―Tracy K. Smith, O, The Oprah Magazine

“Arguably the year’s most powerful and affecting collection.”Publishers Weekly, Best Books 2017

You can read more about Danez Smith and his work here: 

http://www.danezsmithpoet.com/

Are you familiar with Danez Smith’s work? Curious? I invite you to share your thoughts and participate in our discussions on social media (no need to be a member of Facebook to participate!). 

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Oct
13
1:15 PM13:15

Discovering and Sharing Your Sacred Story for Social Change

Discovering and Sharing Your Sacred Story for Social Change

a presentation by

Dr. Liz Burke-Cravens

15 Annual Power of Words Conference 2018

Transformative Language Arts Network

Goddard College | Plainfield, VT | October 11-14

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Much has been written about how writers heal themselves through writing, however, how writers can help others and facilitate healing in community is often overlooked. In this workshop, we will discover stories unique to our experiences, understand them as our personal—and sacred—gifts to the world, and as vehicles for personal and social transformation. We will consider these questions: In what ways do you think the stories of your personal experiences may be beneficial to others? How might sharing stories of your personal experience be a part of your spiritual practice of doing good work in the world? What aspects of your life experience may comprise an essential story you gift to the world? How might your story be a vehicle for social change?

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Wellspring Writers
Oct
6
1:00 PM13:00

Wellspring Writers

Wellspring Writers

In this group, we will write together, engaging a variety of prompts to get our words flowing and those ideas, images, and voices that are present inside of us out onto the page. This group offers the space to play, inquire, get in touch with your writer-self, and write through any blocks or feelings of creative “stuck-ness.” By the end of the 3-hour workshop, you will have new material to develop into poems, essays, blogs, or stories as well as ideas for future writing.

This writing group meets the 2nd Saturday of every month (unless otherwise noted) in Oakland, California, 1-4pm. Sliding scale $25-$50 with $25 deposit required to secure your spot. Space is limited to 6.

Deposits can be made through PayPal or mailing a check via USPS. Email Liz with any questions at liz@abravespace.org

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Oct
1
to Oct 31

Poetry Book of the Month October 2018

Greetings poets and poetry lovers! 

The October 2018 Poetry Book of the Month is Evolution by Eileen Myles.  

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Praise for Evolution

Named a Most Anticipated Book of Fall 2018 by New York

Evolution, Eileen Myles’s first all-new collection of poetry since 2011, circles back to classic themes such as their love of dogs, loneliness, and parental loss. These poems, however, are also immediate and pressingly contemporary. Myles is conducting an intimate exchange with the government, peering into their computer and saying hello to whoever might be surveilling them.”—Lambda Literary

“Myles relentlessly questions, analyzes, and even loathes the self, combining fanciful reveries with non sequitur in the New York School style . . . Effectively brings vague feelings into sharp relief with surprising imagery and lighter moments of mockery reveal the contradictions in human behavior . . . Myles has long excelled at capturing outsiderness, and feelings of being lost and misunderstood are plenty evident here.”—Publishers Weekly

“Rich in vernacular and innovative line breaks, these poems ask to be read out loud . . . Myles crafts poems of a personal nature in Evolution. In very short lines, they are also reflective, contemporary, political, erotic and even aphoristic . . . In a bold collection of poems, Eileen Myles reinforces their justifiable fame as the unabashed voice of what’s left of New York’s downtown edginess.”—Shelf Awareness

“Chicken soup for the queer soul. Eileen Myles is THE queer poet. Ruminative essays sprinkled amongst heart wrenching poetry that makes you think and think and revisit and masticate and still there’s more. The magic of Myles is that they’re real. Every poem, every sentence is real pain, real passion, real love, through some of the most impressive command of language—sometimes it feels like Eileen Myles is the only one who speaks English and that it must be my second language because I could spend my whole life crafting semantics to capture emotion and it wouldn’t come close to theirs. All this and a political lens that is mourning, defiant, strong, and as close to 20/20 as it gets. Thank you Eileen Myles for being such a huge part of making it possible for me to use they/them pronouns, to exist as a queer person in this world. I want a goddamn dyke for president.” —Ashley Tomaszewski, Literati Bookstore

You can read more about Eileen Myles and their work here: 

http://www.eileenmyles.com

Are you familiar with Eileen Myles's work? Curious? I invite you to share your thoughts and participate in our discussions on social media (no need to be a member of Facebook to participate!). 

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CATALYST: Writing in Community 9/23 - 11/4
Sep
23
12:01 AM00:01

CATALYST: Writing in Community 9/23 - 11/4

CATALYST:

Writing in Community

CATALYST: /ˈkætəlɪst/ noun. A person or thing that causes a change.

ONLINE GROUP September 23 - November 4, 2018

The premise of this group is that writing is a catalyst, a process and expression that effects change, both personal and social. Writing affirms life and our struggles. We use it to explore society, the world, our histories, and experiences. By writing in community, we develop trusting relationships and create a safe—and brave—space, which allows us to be vulnerable, and in turn, empowered. When we are empowered and equipped with our stories, told in our own words, from our own perspective, we transform ourselves and our communities.

During this 6-week writing group, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Share your writing and offer supportive feedback and encouragement to others.

  • Respond to multiple writing prompts each week to generate a robust new collection of writing.

  • Contribute to a forum where you can discuss your writing process, ask questions, share inspirations and challenges, and post relevant articles.

  • Participate in a safe, supportive creative community of writers.

  • Join in on weekly video conferencing sessions for check-ins, live discussion, and sharing your work.

Who is this group for?

This group is suitable for those looking for a generous and supportive environment to express themselves through writing and celebrate everyone’s creative efforts. This group is beneficial for poets, storytellers, journalers, singers and songwriters, and other performers who want to generate new material to use in their work.

Location

Online with a video conferencing session every Monday evenings at 6:30 pm PST. During this session, we will check-in with each other, discuss our challenges and inspirations, and share our writing if moved to do so.

Dates

Online information and forums available August 5 - September 16. Video conferencing meetings to be 9/24, 10/1, 10/8, 10/15, 10/22, and 10/29.

Fee

Fee is $225, $75 deposit to secure your spot. Balance of $150 due by 8/5. Limited to 10 writers. Payments can be made using PayPal or sending a check via USPS. Please contact Liz appropriate email or for the mailing address at liz@abravespace.org.

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Sep
16
to Oct 27

Brave Poets September 16 - October 27, 2018

Brave Poets

September 16 - October 27, 2018   

ONLINE with WEEKLY VIDEO CONFERENCING

In this 6-week poetry workshop, you will find an encouraging environment in which you can experiment with new forms, play with language and imagery, generate new material, and invigorate your writing practice. You will be inspired by readings--both prose and poetry--and discussions of craft, the poems of other workshop participants, and a variety of generative writing prompts to get you started. As a creative and supportive community, we will respond to each other’s work, offering feedback focusing on what works in our new poems and areas that could be strengthened with the goal of expanding your writing practice and creative community. 

You will also have access to, the Poet’s Parlor, an online discussion forum where you can share day-to-day experiences, reflections on your writing, what you are reading, and your inspirations and/or challenges.

During this 6-week writing workshop, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Share your writing and offer supportive feedback and encouragement to others.

  • Respond to multiple writing prompts each week to generate a robust new collection of writing.

  • Contribute to a forum where you can discuss your writing process, ask questions, share inspirations and challenges, and post relevant articles.

  • Participate in a safe, supportive creative community of writers.

  • Join in on weekly video conferencing sessions for check-ins, live discussion, and sharing your work.

WHO IS THIS GROUP FOR?

This group is suitable for those looking for a generous and supportive environment to learn about and express themselves through writing poetry.  We will celebrate everyone’s creative efforts, explore new poets and ways of expression, share our work (always optional), and generally encourage play and experimentation with language. This group is beneficial for poets of all levels of experience, storytellers, journalers, singers and songwriters, and other lyricist/performers who want to generate new material to use in their work.

GROUP FORMAT

This is an online workshop. Each week we will

  • discuss poem(s) written by a contemporary poet
  • generate new work inspired by a writing prompt/exercise, and
  • workshop our poems, offering feedback to others and sharing your own work.

You will also have the opportunity to interact in the Poet’s Parlor, a discussion forum where you can share day-to-day experiences, reflections on your writing, your practice and process, what you are reading, and your inspirations and/or challenges. Participants should expect to spend 2+ hour per week perusing readings, participating in discussions, engaging writing prompts, and responding to peers’ work.

From our interactions, we sustain a welcoming and inspiring community together. Through lively online discussions and responding to one another's queries and creativity we come to know one another and support one another as we find our voice, identity, and expression.

LOCATION

ONLINE with a VIDEO CONFERENCING session every Wednesday evenings at 5:30 pm PST.

During this session, we will check-in with each other, discuss our challenges and inspirations, and share our writing if moved to do so.

SCHEDULE & PARTICIPANTS

  • Online information and forums available September 9 - October 21.
  • Video conferencing meetings to be Wednesdays 9/19, 9/26, 10/3, 10/10, 10/17, and 10/24.
  • Space is limited to 10 participants.
Brave Poets

FEE

Fee is $225, $75 deposit to secure your spot. The balance of $150 due by 9/7.  Payments can be made using PayPal or sending a check via USPS. Please contact Liz appropriate email or for the mailing address at liz@abravespace.org.

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Wellspring Writers
Sep
15
1:00 PM13:00

Wellspring Writers

Wellspring Writers

In this group, we will write together, engaging a variety of prompts to get our words flowing and those ideas, images, and voices that are present inside of us out onto the page. This group offers the space to play, inquire, get in touch with your writer-self, and write through any blocks or feelings of creative “stuck-ness.” By the end of the 3-hour workshop, you will have new material to develop into poems, essays, blogs, or stories as well as ideas for future writing.

This writing group meets the 2nd Saturday of every month (unless otherwise noted) in Oakland, California, 1-4pm. Sliding scale $25-$50 with $25 deposit required to secure your spot. Space is limited to 6.

Deposits can be made through PayPal or mailing a check via USPS. Email Liz with any questions at liz@abravespace.org

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Cultivating Our Voices: Writing Life Stories for Change
Sep
5
12:01 AM00:01

Cultivating Our Voices: Writing Life Stories for Change

Cultivating Our Voices:

Writing Life Stories for Social Change

SEPTEMBER 5 - OCTOBER 16, 2018

When we discover, explore, and (re) connect with our voices—that perspective, knowledge, and expression that is uniquely ours—our life stories become intimate and emotionally powerful. We begin to offer a glimpse of what it’s like to live the complex constellation of privileges and disadvantages, joys and heartbreaks that are exclusive to each of us. Embarking on this type of self-reflective inquiry not only has the potential for healing and developing a greater understanding of one’s self and experience, it also holds the potential to open the hearts and consciousness of others, becoming narrative catalysts for change. Throughout this 6-week course, we will explore our various life experiences as a springboard for generating life stories that reflect our distinctive voices. By the end of the course, you will have a body of new writing, a clearer understanding of your writer voice, and an enhanced ability to connect with your audience. This course is also beneficial for non-writers, such as storytellers and other performers, who want to generate new material to use in their work. 

Week by Week

Week 1: (Re) Connecting with Our Voices

This week we will explore the concept of voice and begin (re) connecting with and understanding our own.

Week 2: Naming Our Uniqueness

This week we will reflect on our various identities, as well as notions of belonging and difference.

Week 3: Memory, Imagination & Truth-Telling

This week we will consider the co-mingling of memories and imagination in our writing and what it means to tell the Truth in story.

Week 4: Stories of Home & Family

This week we will write stories of home and family, diving into our formative narratives.

Week 5: Stories of Places and Locations

This week we will contemplate how our voices are shaped by the places we come from and how the intersection of place and identity informs our language and stories.

Week 6: Stories of the Past Illuminating the Present

This week we will explore how stories of our past can illuminate the present as a basis for connecting with the reader/audience, building empathy and understanding.

Who Should Take This Class?

This class is ideal for a wide variety of people, including poets and writers of all genres, storytellers, healing arts professionals, teachers, songwriters, and anyone interested in reflecting on, writing about, and sharing their personal experiences as a way to make connection, build community, and foster understanding of self and others.

Format

This is an online class. Each week, you will receive a new collection of resources, reflections, discussion questions, and writing prompts. Students should expect to spend 3-5 hours per week perusing resources and readings, participating in discussions, and engaging the writing prompts. From our interactions, we sustain a welcoming and inspiring community together.

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Sep
1
to Sep 30

Poetry Book of the Month September 2018

Greetings poets and poetry lovers! 

The September 2018 Poetry Book of the Month is The Bell and the Blackbird by David Whyte.  

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Here's what the publisher had to say about this work:

The Bell and the Blackbird, looking at the traumas, joy, griefs, surprises, humour and essential conversations all human beings come to experience in even the most average life.

This morning should help participants set a course for their own future life by following David's  own parallel journey from the ancient and mythic of his mother's Ireland to the contemporary pilgrim places of Connemara and the Islands of the far Celtic West, from the mist-shrouded moors of his native Yorkshire to the bedsides of those about to take the greatest journey any of us can take into the unknown. Above all, the morning should convey a sense of the extraordinary, the numinous and the suddenly understood in what we inaccurately call the everyday.

ON POETRY:

"The poet lives and writes at the frontier between deep internal experience and the revelations of the outer world. There is no going back once this frontier has been reached; a new territory is visible and what has been said cannot be unsaid. 

Poetry is a break for freedom. In a sense all poems are good; all poems are an emblem of courage and the attempt to say the unsayable; but only a few are able to speak to something universal yet personal and distinct at the same time; to create a door through which others can walk into what previously seemed unobtainable realms, in the passage of a few short lines." -David Whyte

You can read more about David Whyte and his work here: 

http://www.davidwhyte.com

Are you familiar with David Whyte's work? Curious? I invite you to share your thoughts and participate in our discussions on social media (no need to be a member of Facebook to participate!). 

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Wellspring Writers
Aug
11
1:00 PM13:00

Wellspring Writers

Wellspring Writers

In this group, we will write together, engaging a variety of prompts to get our words flowing and those ideas, images, and voices that are present inside of us out onto the page. This group offers the space to play, inquire, get in touch with your writer-self, and write through any blocks or feelings of creative “stuck-ness.” By the end of the 3-hour workshop, you will have new material to develop into poems, essays, blogs, or stories as well as ideas for future writing.

This writing group meets the 2nd Saturday of every month (unless otherwise noted) in Oakland, California, 1-4pm. Sliding scale $25-$50 with $25 deposit required to secure your spot. Space is limited to 6.

Deposits can be made through PayPal or mailing a check via USPS. Email Liz with any questions at liz@abravespace.org

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Aug
5
to Sep 16

CATALYST: Writing in Community 8/5 - 9/16

CATALYST:

Writing in Community

CATALYST: /ˈkætəlɪst/ noun. A person or thing that causes a change.

ONLINE GROUP August 5 - September 16, 2018

*REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED.*

The premise of this group is that writing is a catalyst, a process and expression that effects change, both personal and social. Writing affirms life and our struggles. We use it to explore society, the world, our histories, and experiences. By writing in community, we develop trusting relationships and create a safe—and brave—space, which allows us to be vulnerable, and in turn, empowered. When we are empowered and equipped with our stories, told in our own words, from our own perspective, we transform ourselves and our communities.

My Post-41.jpg

During this 6-week writing group, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Share your writing and offer supportive feedback and encouragement to others.

  • Respond to multiple writing prompts each week to generate a robust new collection of writing.

  • Contribute to a forum where you can discuss your writing process, ask questions, share inspirations and challenges, and post relevant articles.

  • Participate in a safe, supportive creative community of writers.

  • Join in on weekly video conferencing sessions for check-ins, live discussion, and sharing your work.

Who is this group for?

This group is suitable for those looking for a generous and supportive environment to express themselves through writing and celebrate everyone’s creative efforts. This group is beneficial for poets, storytellers, journalers, singers and songwriters, and other performers who want to generate new material to use in their work.

Location

Online with a video conferencing session every Monday evenings at 6:30 pm PST. During this session, we will check-in with each other, discuss our challenges and inspirations, and share our writing if moved to do so.

Dates

Online information and forums available August 5 - September 16. Video conferencing meetings to be 8/6, 8/13, 8/20, 8/27, 9/4 (Tuesday due to holiday), and 9/10.

Fee

Fee is $225. Register by 7/29 with a $75 deposit to secure your spot. The balance of $150 due by 8/12. Limited to 10 writers. Payments can be made using PayPal or sending a check via USPS. Please contact Liz appropriate email or for the mailing address at liz@abravespace.org.

 

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Aug
1
to Aug 31

Poetry Book of the Month August 2018

Greetings poets and poetry lovers! 

The July 2018 Poetry Book of the Month is Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver.  

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Here's what Penguin Press says of this work:

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mary Oliver presents a personal selection of her best work in this definitive collection spanning more than five decades of her esteemed literary career.

Throughout her celebrated career, Mary Oliver has touched countless readers with her brilliantly crafted verse, expounding on her love for the physical world and the powerful bonds between all living things. Identified as “far and away, this country’s best selling poet” by Dwight Garner, she now returns with a stunning and definitive collection of her writing from the last fifty years.

Carefully curated, these 200 plus poems feature Oliver’s work from her very first book of poetry, No Voyage and Other Poems, published in 1963 at the age of 28, through her most recent collection, Felicity, published in 2015. This timeless volume, arranged by Oliver herself, showcases the beloved poet at her edifying best. Within these pages, she provides us with an extraordinary and invaluable collection of her passionate, perceptive, and much-treasured observations of the natural world.

PRAISE

“In “Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver” (Penguin), one of our most beloved writers offers both the best of her work and a spiritual road map of sorts. Spanning more than 50 years and featuring more than 200 poems, the collection shows Oliver, in the early years, turning away from grief and finding in nature a “vast, incredible gift.” Over time, as she carefully observes and records, Oliver extols the beauty and complexity around her and reminds us of the interconnectedness of living. She also asks important questions, such as “have you ever dared to be happy/ … have you ever dared to pray,” and “Tell me, what it is you plan to do/ with your one wild and precious life?” Those lines resonate as much today as when she first penned them decades ago. No matter where one starts reading, “Devotions” offers much to love, from Oliver’s exuberant dog poems to selections from the Pulitzer Prize-winning “American Primitive,” and “Dream Work,” one of her exceptional collections. Perhaps more important, the luminous writing provides respite from our crazy world and demonstrates how mindfulness can define and transform a life, moment by moment, poem by poem.” —The Washington Post

“It’s as if the poet herself has sidled beside the reader and pointed us to the poems she considers most worthy of deep consideration.” — Chicago Tribune

You can read more about Mary Oliver and her work here: 

http://maryoliver.beacon.org/ 

Are you familiar with Mary Oliver's work? Curious? I invite you to share your thoughts and participate in our discussions on social media (no need to be a member of Facebook to participate!). 

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Wellspring Writers
Jul
14
1:00 PM13:00

Wellspring Writers

Wellspring Writers

In this group, we will write together, engaging a variety of prompts to get our words flowing and those ideas, images, and voices that are present inside of us out onto the page. This group offers the space to play, inquire, get in touch with your writer-self, and write through any blocks or feelings of creative “stuck-ness.” By the end of the 3-hour workshop, you will have new material to develop into poems, essays, blogs, or stories as well as ideas for future writing.

This writing group meets the 2nd Saturday of every month (unless otherwise noted) in Oakland, California, 1-4pm. Sliding scale $25-$50 with $25 deposit required to secure your spot. Space is limited to 6.

Deposits can be made through PayPal or mailing a check via USPS. Email Liz with any questions at liz@abravespace.org

Wellspring Writers Dates
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Jul
1
to Jul 31

Poetry Book of the Month July 2018

Greetings poets and poetry lovers! 

The July 2018 Poetry Book of the Month is Ordinary Beast by Nicole Sealey. 

Here's what Harper Collins says of this work:

"The existential magnitude, deep intellect, and playful subversion of St. Thomas-born, Florida-raised poet Nicole Sealey’s work is restless in its empathic, succinct examination and lucid awareness of what it means to be human.

The ranging scope of inquiry undertaken in Ordinary Beast—at times philosophical, emotional, and experiential—is evident in each thrilling twist of image by the poet. In brilliant, often ironic lines that move from meditation to matter of fact in a single beat, Sealey’s voice is always awake to the natural world, to the pain and punishment of existence, to the origins and demises of humanity. Exploring notions of race, sexuality, gender, myth, history, and embodiment with profound understanding, Sealey’s is a poetry that refuses to turn a blind eye or deny. It is a poetry of daunting knowledge."

sealey.jpg

From "in igboland":

Every thing aspires to one
degradation or another. I want
to learn how make something
holy, then walk away.

You can read more about Nicole Sealey and her work here: http://nicolesealey.com/ 

Are you familiar with this Sealey's work? Curious? I invite you to share your thoughts and participate in our discussions on social media (no need to be a member of Facebook to participate!). 

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Kim Addonizio, Donna Masini & Brittany Perham reading in Oakland
Jun
24
3:00 PM15:00

Kim Addonizio, Donna Masini & Brittany Perham reading in Oakland

Kim Addonizio, Donna Masini & Brittany Perham reading in Oakland at East Bay Booksellers

*JOIN LIZ FOR A DISCUSSION AFTER THE READING!*

EAST BAY BOOKSELLERS is excited to welcome back our friends from Poetry Flash on Sunday, June 24th at 3pm. The month's feature poets are Kim Addonizio, Donna Masini, and Brittany Perham.

Kim Addonizio’s latest book of poems is Mortal Trash. Terrance Hayes calls it  “Peerless poetry…reliably remarkable clarity, edge, and emotion.” This is her seventh collection. She’s been a finalist for the National Book Award, received a Guggenheim Fellowship, two NEA Fellowships, and a Pushcart Prize. Among her other publications are four books of fiction and her Bukowski in a Sundress: Confessions from a Writing Life. An occasional presenter for BBC radio, she teaches workshops privately and online.

Donna Masini’s new book of poems is 4:30 Movie. Tracy K. Smith says, “Truly inspired…4:30 Movie is a stunning, playful, searing, healing collection that will enlarge the reader and revive something crucial in American poetry.” Her two previous collections are Turning to Fiction and That Kind of Danger.  She has also published a novel, About Yvonne. The recipient of an NEA Fellowship and another from the New York Foundation for the Arts, she has won a Pushcart Prize and appeared in Best American Poetry 2015.

Brittany Perham’s second book of poems, Double Portrait, won the Barnard Women Poets Prize, selected by Claudia Rankine. Eavan Boland says, “This unswerving, ambitious work brings the reader on a wild and thrilling journey. The poems lead into a world where desire, the body, memory and invention are looked at in the bright light of language; nothing forgiven, everything laid bare.…” She is also the author of the full-length collection The Curiosities and, with Kim Addonizio, the chapbook The Night Could Go in Either Direction. A former Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, she is now a Jones Lecturer in their Creative Writing Program.

Event date: 

Sunday, June 24, 2018 - 3:00pm

Event address: 

East Bay Booksellers

5433 College Avenue

Oakland, CA 94618

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Poetry Book of the Month
Jun
1
1:30 PM13:30

Poetry Book of the Month

Poetry Book of the Month

Blackacre by Monica Youn

Hello poets! The Poetry Book of the Month for June is Blackacre by Monica Youn. Throughout the month I will share poems from this collection and other related articles in our Facebook group. Please feel free to share as well!

JOIN THE DISCUSSION HERE: https://www.facebook.com/groups/abravespacepoets/

More info about the book can be found here: https://www.graywolfpress.org/books/blackacre

*Winner of the William Carlos Williams Award*
*National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist*
*Included in The New York Times Best Poetry of 2016*
*Named one of The Washington Post's Best Poetry Collections of 2016*

"First coined in 1628, the term “blackacre” is a legal fiction, a hypothetical estate. It is also a password among lawyers marking one’s initiation into a centuries-old tradition of legal indoctrination. Monica Youn’s fascinating, multifaceted new collection, Blackacre, uses the term to suggest landscape, legacy, what is allotted to each of us—a tract of land, a work of art, a heritage, a body, a destiny. What are the limits of the imagination’s ability to transform what is given? On any particular acre, can we plant a garden? Found a city? Unearth a treasure? Build a home? Youn brings her lawyerly intelligence and lyric gifts to bear on questions of fertility and barrenness as she attempts to understand her own desire—her own struggle—to conceive a child. Where the shape-making mind encounters unalterable fact, Blackacre explores new territories of art, meaning, and feeling."

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© Copyright Liz Burke-Cravens. All rights reserved.