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Poetry Workshops

Use Maya's Booking/Contact Page to Request Bringing One of These Workshops to Your Space

A General Workshop that Includes a Reading of Eir Poems, a Q&A, and Group Writing is Also Available

Metaphors for Mental Illness

This poetry workshop will go into the depths of describing, both positively and negatively, the use of metaphor in our etymology. We will talk specifically about metaphors for mental illness and how it has been used as a tool to stigmatize. We will look at poetry by Reginald Dwayne Betts, Shira Erlichman, Wanda Coleman, Patricia Smith, Taylor Johnson, and Emily Dickinson. We will learn new ways to express and understand concepts of mental illness, discuss how to write poems about psychosocial wellness, and begin work on a poem. A version of this workshop looking closely at religious related trauma based on Maya's debut Judas & Suicide is also available. 

Poetry of First Date Impressions

First impressions are fun to observe for their embodiment of awkwardness, the effect of imagery of first sights, and the setting of location that could either help or hurt a first meeting. This can especially be true in first date impressions whether you have experienced them, know you’re about to experience them, or heard of a person’s Bumble/Tinder/Hinge related befuddlement. This goes for romantic and platonic dates. We will be using poems from Maya's second collection Refused a Second Date, Khadijah Queen’s I’m So Fine, and Chen Chen’s Your Emergency Contact Has Experienced an Emergency to encourage participants to write and discuss the poetic devices of displaying first date impressions. 

Where Does Your Grief Sit?

 It is difficult to talk about grief, and it can even be more difficult to write through grief. In this workshop, we'll read Simonides' poetry for epitaphs in Ancient Greece, Anis Mojgani's poems that are in response to a person who is no longer living and in response to a person who is still living, and Kaveh Akbar’s poem about the repetition and images of grief. We'll explore how grief is related to our mental health, and how poems might be written and revised during hard times. Group guidelines will be shared on how to talk about the topics of war, suicide, death, divorce, and communal grief as safely and as bravely as possible. 

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