From ancient times to modern day, creative writing has been used for a way to explore and navigate political and social issues. In this workshop we will use a variety of readings, videos, and podcasts to investigate and discuss the role creative writing has played, and continues to play, during political times. Writing from various time periods and of many different viewpoints may be presented. However, rather than focusing on the ways our political views may separate us, we will instead use these writings to explore both the history of social and political creative writing, as well as the role it can have in creating change and developing empathy. Each week we will also focus on one or two tips or techniques for effective writing in a given genre.
Genres we will explore include poetry and spoken word, epistles, manifestos, and blogs and creative essays. Authors we will look to include: Saul Williams, Andrea Gibson, Kofi Dadzie, Sonya Renee Taylor, Nelson Mandela, Lenoard Peltier, Paul the Apostle, Adrienne Rich, Mary Wollstonecraft, Tarfia Faizullah, Audre Lorde, and Terese Mailhot, as well as a number of others.
We will also engage in our own creative practices using weekly prompts. We will use writing to explore our own views and tell our truths. By the end of the class, students will have developed a body of creative writing in multiple genres that they can build upon. Students also will have learned a variety of tips and techniques for effective communication of their views and opinions through creative writing.
Each week will include several readings/videos/podcasts, as well as creative writing pieces, online discussions, and at least three creative prompts to choose from.
Week One will begin with an overview of how creative writing has been, and can be, used in political times both as a way of expressing ones’ views and as a tool for change. We will investigate the idea of ‘literary activism’ and what that may look like in our own writing practices.
Week Two will explore political poetry, both written and spoken word. We will look at the ways that poetry has been used for social change, and will write our own poetry.
Week Three looks at epistles. We will read a number of letters from prison, and explore the impact these have had. We will also discuss the power of letters to politicians and the ways social media has impacted this form of activism. We will write our own epistles.
Week Four will explore using blogs and personal essays as a platform for social change. In addition to discussing how to effectively write and promote these forms of writing, we will also read a number of blog posts and essays, and write our own about issues close to our hearts.
Week Five will focus on manifestos, to include what makes up a manifesto, effective ways for writing one, and how they have been used historically and currently. We will write our own manifestos as a way to tell our truths and call others to action.
Week Six will be an opportunity to reflect on the prior weeks, discuss the ways we hope to ‘be the change’ through our writing, and plan for how to continue this work going forward.
This is an online class. Participants should expect to spend around three to four hours per week on this class doing the readings, engaging in discussions and responding to peers’ work, and working on creative work. If you have specific accessibility needs please contact the facilitator.
This class is ideal for anyone wanting to better understand our current times through the lens of creative writing, people who are frustrated with the current political climate, anyone who would like to get more in touch with themselves or the world around them, and those wishing to expand their creative practices or learn/practice various types of creative writing. All levels of writers are encouraged to take this class, as well as those with diverse political backgrounds.
Angie Ebba is a queer, disabled poet and essayist, an educator, and a performance artist. She has taught writing workshops and performed across the United States. Angie is published in the “Queering Sexual Violence” anthology, several literary magazines, and various online health publications including Healthline and Folk. She teaches poetry in Portland, Oregon as well as online, and as in the beginning stages of writing a memoir. Angie believes strongly in the power of words to help us gain a better understanding of ourselves, to build connections and community, and to make personal and social change. You can find more about Angie at her website: rebelonpage.com
"The Transformative Language Arts Network" is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Kansas, P.O. Box 442633, Lawrence, KS 66044