Creative Writing with July Westhale
Electric Divine: Harnessing the Ecstatic, A Zoom Workshop
Saturday, June 20, 9:30am-12:30pm PT via Zoom.
$38. Tip and scholarship fund options available. Portion of proceeds to support Black community care.
Scholarships available. Contact Tina@KorePress.Org to request support.
Three hours of self-care with writing. Start connecting the dots swirling all around and inside you—from your body to the radical, collective divine. Poetry can help us mourn and honor and act all at once.
“Via Negativa” is a collection of poetry that borders on the ecstatic. It comes from the cultural understanding of poet as ambassador, or like, conduit to the divine (where does that come from and why), especially in times of political turbulence. The workshop explores poetry’s relationship to divinity (God, in this case, having scant little to do with it), and what the role of the poet really *is*– & isn’t. The texts include Hafiz, Ben Lerner’s “On The Hatred of Poetry,” and Ross Gay.
In this 3-hour workshop, we will look to the works of ecstatic poets/prose writers (both contemporary and ancient) for evolving definitions of divinity and ecstasy and how it has been embraced/rejected by the writing world. There will an analysis/discussion of the texts, freewriting, and a workshop. Participants will have the opportunity to freely explore ideas, work with examples, define for themselves their own process, share, and receive constructive feedback.
July Westhale is a poet, translator, and essayist living in Oakland, CA. She is the author of Via Negativa, Trailer Trash (winner of the 2016 Kore Press Book Award), The Cavalcade (Finishing Line Press), Quantifiable Data (Alley Cat Books), and Occasionally Accurate Science (Nomadic Press). Her essays, poems, fiction, and translations are published in numerous journals, magazines, and anthologies. Read more about July here.
“July Westhale is a shapeshifting poet of desire and violence, grief and forgiveness, trauma and loss transformed by resilience. Via Negativa deftly weaves the sensual with the spiritual, reckoning with a religious inheritance and a powerful faith in pleasure, engaging in bold lyric conversation with the divine.”
— D I A N A W H I T N E Y