July Westhale Workshop & Talk


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We’ve Made the Landscape Mean Here

Sunday, April 15, 10am-noon, in the new Kore Press space (room 201) at The Dunbar Pavilion: An African American Art & Culture Center, 325 W 2nd St, 85705. Parking is free on Second St, and in the parking lot to the south of the building.

This hybrid workshop-seminar will look at the complex nature of trauma and emotional conflict. We will be exploring the emotional complexity of personal and international trauma through the lens of poetry & the AIDS crisis, and how we can employ some of these same approaches in our own writing about trauma.

Grief as a response to trauma is often emotionally multi-faceted or layered, contradictory, ambivalent, fragmented, disjointed, carnal, or immobilizing. A note on the AIDS crisis–If you’re familiar with AIDS literature or have read/seen the Larry Kramer play The Normal Heart, you know that the illness came from seemingly nowhere and brought with it a kind of moralistic frenzy and mania, induced by the population affected, the militaristic nature of medical services in the United States, and the vast informational void that existed in place of the information we now have about the illness. So we will be thinking of the origin story or seed of the crisis as being already rooted in extreme terror & mania.

This two-hour generative seminar is geared toward poets and prose writers, and those interested in writing and learning about trauma and the various ways it is written.

July Westhale is a poet and essayist living in Oakland, CA. She is the author of Trailer Trash (winner of the 2016 Kore Press Book Award), The Cavalcade, and Occasionally Accurate Science. Her poems are published in numerous journals, magazines, and anthologies. A small town California native, her work deals primarily with broken landscapes, and the intersections between personal narrative and collective consciousness. She writes extensively about class and trauma, in both her poetry and her prose.

$20. Class size is limited. $10 for LGBTQ writers, and AIDS/HIV and Trauma workers. Contact Sarah Au at Kore Press for more information: sarahau(at)korepress(dot)org.