WORDS MAKE WORLDS This workshop is an intensive course that focuses on language as an agent for change by exploring etymology and the ways in which meaning and definition are often confused. It further seeks to provide educators with the necessary tools to be able to translate this information to even the youngest student because to understand language is a step toward understanding the world. It is more than a dictionary class and more than a vocabulary class. The real conversation is one that connects language and its usage and (misuse) to ideologies and institutions.
POETRY AS LOADED GUN: This course is focused and organized around poetry and spoken word as a conduit for social change; a way to rattle the cage, rock the boat, practice defiance, get your crazy done, and to do these things unapologetically. Particular attention is paid to those poets and spoken word artists who modeled what it means to be radical and the risks a great many of them took to speak their truths so that we might speak ours.
WAR AND WISDOM This seminar explores woman-ness from an archetypal standpoint. Informed by deliberate considerations of the space women occupy and most specifically, the space I occupy in the face of hetero-normative homogenous systems. To look at the histography of women and speak to the experiences of the womb, the overwhelming number of violations women and girls suffer, the ways in which those violations exist in the body and become what Carl Jung referred to as shadows, and the ways in which women can reclaim themselves and determine their own emotional, physical, and mental health and wellness. When available this seminar will culminate with a sacred woman circle and retreat in Estes Park. Conversations around being an "other" will be expansive here.
MEMORY BELIEVES YOU This workshop works with memory as reliable storyteller. Memory as conjure. Memory is radical author. Memory as ghost. Memory as minefield. In other words, this is a deliberately "triggering" generative workshop that asks you to go back for your body. Expect grave digging.
ON BEING AND BECOMING JEZEBEL This intensive is organized around the exploration of Jezebel, this Biblical, mythical, figure that caused such consternation and the ways in which her “story” has become a means for telling women into disempowered spaces of knowledge. The conversation is grounded in the notion that women who are not easily compartmentalized are often victimized. The dissection of Jezebel, what she was and what that means today is intended to point the feminine back toward the sacred by disarming the misrepresentations of her that have been historically and contemporarily prevalent. Participants will create a slide show from images that represent a more developed awareness and understanding of Jezebel and the free woman.
WITH THESE HANDS I CAN… What is art but a thing that heals? This course is intended to reintroduce participants to their creative energies as a means to heal and provide socio-emotional therapies to combat stressors that may be unavoidable. Art therapy is not a new concept but it is one that requires closer attention paid to its intention in that women and POC and LGBTQ communities are more vulnerable in our society as well as those who have negotiated trauma or mental illness. Helping participants understand how to curate language for their experiences is fundamentally a way to give folk permission to perform their own "exorcisms" so to speak. We write and create so that we know which bodies to bury and which to exhume.
WE REAL COOL: The Institute The late poet Gwendolyn Brooks’ celebrated poem “We Real Cool” tells an unfortunate reality for children of color. A reality that is replete with gang violence and poverty and neglect and parentless-ness and fast living and early dying. These are the children that the school systems refer to as “at risk”. These are the children who have been failed by their homes, their communities, their schools. These are our children. This course is designed to provide interventions for young people who would otherwise fall through the cracks. The practice of restoring children is one that, though daunting, should be the work to which we are most dedicated. We explore shadow work as a means of, first, owning, and then overcoming our stories so that the future can be a thing to be planned for and looked forward to.
ELEGY This workshop asks you to believe in ancestral logic. It asks you to regard those who have preceded us in a wider, more insistent way. It asks you to leave room for someone to show up and occupy space in the writing. I believe that people don't really leave. They leave things for us to find. We bump into those things without knowing what we are seeing. Yielding to ancestral logic is the only way I am able to write anything at all. All of the work generated in the workshop will be elegiac. You will be reanimating the dead. Reimagining the dead. Refleshing the bones...