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Split Open: A Writing Workshop with Arisa White

(new date) April 11, 2024, 4:30pm - 6:00pm

Public reading to follow at 7:00pm

Rockland, Maine

For LGBTQ+ and allied youth ages 13 - 22

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What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open. —Muriel Rukeyser

Telling the truth about our lives reveals that this inherited world is not a perfect fit for us all. In this workshop, we will approach difficult and vulnerable subjects: race, sexuality, religion, politics; mental illness, violence, etc.—those hot topics that spur the desire to write. Yet when we get to the page, we are often confronted with our self-consciousness. What new idea or point of view can deepen the conversation? How do I artistically enter into something that feels bigger than myself? Writing exercises will offer participants a way to start; to approach topics and subjects that may intimidate them as writers, and find that through embracing one’s self—voice, history, and experiences—as a source of intelligence, we see who we are and what we put forth as distinctive, new, enlarging, and necessary.

Join Arisa White and OUT Maine at the Millay House for a writing workshop from 4:30pm-6:00pm, and an optional public reading to follow. This workshop is intended for LGBTQ+ and allied youth, from ages 13-22 years old. This event is made possible by partnership between the Millay House, OUT Maine, Maine Humanities Council, and the Maine Women Writers Collection.


Arisa White is an associate professor of English and Creative Writing at Colby College. She is the author of Who’s Your Daddy, co-editor of Home Is Where You Queer Your Heart, and co-author of Biddy Mason Speaks Up, the second book in the Fighting for Justice Series for young readers. Her poetry is widely published and her collections have been nominated for an NAACP Image Award, Lambda Literary Award, and have won the Per Diem Poetry Prize, Maine Literary Award, Nautilus Book Award, an Independent Publisher Book Award, and Golden Crown Literary Award.  As the creator of the Beautiful Things Project, Arisa curates poetic collaborations that are rooted in Black queer women’s ways of knowing. She is a Cave Canem fellow and serves on the Community Advisory Board for Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Currently, in development with composer Jessica Jones, Arisa is working on Post Pardon: The Opera.

This program is suitable for youth age 13 - 22.
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