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Self-Portrait Poems: Writing the Self as Art

March 18, 2023 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am

Self-Portrait Poems: Writing the Self as Art

A FREE Poetry Workshop Series with Annie Wenstrup

Saturdays, March 18, 25 & April 1, 2023 IN-PERSON
10 AM – 11 AM AKDT
Morris Thompson Cultural Center, Fairbanks

Self-portrait poems lend themselves to subversive acts. They play with the distance between the form’s overt promise of revelation and its calculus of concealment. The cultural critic James Hall observed that “it’s widely assumed—and hoped—that self-portraits give privileged access to the [creator’s] soul.” That’s not to say, though, that they’re based on a fidelity to reality; rather, self-portrait poems are compositions in which writers display themselves as they wish to appear. The tension between the audience’s expectation of essential revelation and the writer’s artifice allows poets to use strategies of disidentification to trouble pervasive beliefs about identities. In this generative workshop we’ll discuss poems by Denise Duhamel, Donika Kelly, and Natalie Diaz. Then students will have the opportunity to compose their own self-portrait poem.

Please bring a small talisman to class to use during the generative exercise. Suggested items include an apple, a tube of toothpaste, the strange items that accumulate in the bottom of your backpack or purse.

Annie Wenstrup lives in Fairbanks, AK. A 2022 Stonecoast graduate, she is also a Smithsonian Arctic Studies Fellow, an Inaugural Indigenous Nations Poetry Fellow, and a Storyknife Fireweed Fellow. Her work can be found or is forthcoming in Poetry Northwest, The Ilanot Review, After, Palette, and Ran Off with the Star Bassoon.

This class is co-sponsored by the Morris Thompson Cultural Center.

The class is free but space is limited. To register, please send your name, email, and phone number to administrator@49writers.org to reserve your spot.


March 18, 2023
10:00 am - 11:00 am
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49 Writers
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