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Tracing the Emotional Roots of Queer Writing

Queer — in its original pejorative sense —denoted the peculiar, the odd, or strange. This prompt-based workshop seeks to explore queerness as an orientation, as well as a sinuous avenue that meanders around seeds, roots, and stems, where strange fruits (rambutan, jackfruit, mangosteen) bloom. This workshop invites poets to ask questions about their poetic structures and word choices and whether they hold the shape of queerness. In this workshop, we will convert and transform one’s poetry from a potentially patriarchal language into one that is open and pastoral and bovine like Iowa. This workshop is not about a destination, but about pausing on the roadside to water the seeds of strangeness. We will learn to nourish our unique peculiarities so they may blossom into poetry.  During the workshop, we will draw inspiration from published queer writers and write vigorously. And we will produce new work, voraciously, and workshop in class, voraciously. 

Instructor: Vi Khi Naois the author of seven poetry collections & of the short stories collection, A Brief Alphabet of Torture (winner of the 2016 FC2's Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Prize), the novel, Swimming with Dead Stars. Her poetry collection, The Old Philosopher, won the Nightboat Books Prize for Poetry in 2014. Her book, Suicide: the Autoimmune Disorder of the Psyche  is out of 11:11 in Spring 2023. The Fall 2019 fellow at the Black Mountain Institute, her work includes poetry, fiction, film and cross-genre collaboration. She  was the 2022 recipient of the Jim Duggins, PhD Outstanding Mid-Career Novelist Prize.


Details: Tracing the Emotional Roots of Queer Writing takes place Tuesday, August 13 from 6:30-8:30pm online via Zoom.

: None

Genre: All genres

Level: All levels

Format: Craft talk 

Location: This class takes place online via Zoom.

Size: Limited to 25 participants 

Cancellations & Refunds: Cancel at least 48 hours in advance of the first class meeting to receive a full refund. Email
Financial Need: If cost is a barrier to you taking this class, please email

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