Due to precautions around the COVID-19 outbreak, this workshop has been postponed.
Note: this workshop is for adults 18 and older.
As Audre Lore writes in her landmark essay, “Uses of the Erotic”: “The erotic is a measure between the beginnings of our sense of self and the chaos of our strongest feelings.” While Lorde’s words are empowering, it’s not always easy to channel Eros (the Greek god of desire) in writing, to discuss what a body does behind closed doors. There is no magic equation for writing about sex and intimacy, but there are ways to work through our hang-ups, concerns, and inhibitions when it comes to the subject. As co-editor of bedfellows, a Philadelphia-based literary magazine that catalogues contemporary discussions of intimacy and desire–and as a poet who often delves into these themes in my own work–I’m here to talk you through and past any anxieties and “blocks” you might have about sounding flowery, stilted, awkward, clinical, or any other dreaded clichés associated with writing about sex. This workshop aims to open up a lively, inclusive, and informative dialogue about ways to get comfortable with this type of writing, and to open our minds to the many ways in which writing about sex can manifest. We’ll discuss how poems about sex (or its absence/lack!) can be used as an entryway or framing device for discussing subjects such as identity, the body, aging, politics, relationships, and trauma. In-workshop writing exercises will be framed by myriad illustrative examples of what a poem about sex can look like, from the sensual to the silly, the profound to the profane. Our time together will consist of participatory prompts, adaptable tips and takeaways, and group discussions about poems from a wide array of contemporary writers, including Eileen Myles, Nicole Sealey, Jack Gilbert, Natalie Diaz, and more.
About the instructor:
Alina Pleskova is a poet, editor, and Russian immigrant turned proud Philadelphian. Her work has been featured in American Poetry Review
, Cosmonauts Avenue
, Peach Mag
, and elsewhere. Her chapbook, What Urge Will Save Us
, was published by Spooky Girlfriend Press in 2017. She is the co-editor of bedfellows
, a biannual literary magazine focused on sex, desire, and intimacy and a founding member of the Cheburashka Collective, a group of women and nonbinary writers who are emigres/refugees from the Soviet diaspora. She has hosted workshops, author events, and readings for organizations including Apiary, The Head & The Hand Press, and the Institute of Contemporary Art.
Date & Time
April 11, 2020
2:00 pm-5:00 pm
305 Cooper St.
$60 General, $10 Camden residents