odes + possibility
This is Hélène Cixous [translated] in “Coming to Writing”:
“For a long time now, the names that are only right for the urge to possess have not been right for naming the being who equals life. All the names of Life suit it… Neither father, nor mother, nor brother nor man nor sister, but the being that love proposes we should become at that moment because it pleases us or is important to us in this scene, in these arms, on this street, in the heart of this battle, in the hollow of this bed, in this protest, on this earth, in this space—marked with political and cultural signs, and permeated with signs of love. Often you are my mother as a young man, and I am often your daughter son, your mineral mother, and you my wild father, my animal brother. There are possibilities that have never come to light. Others, entirely unforeseen, that have come over us only once. Flowers, animals, engines, grandmothers, trees, rivers, we are traversed, changed, surprised.”
I am interested in the ways that a text might carry, trace, and be one of the conditions of such movement and surprise. And how the ode (and maybe metaphor, in particular) might be a school in which to study some of that flickering. (I think this all has something to do with love.) Together, and with experiments in reading and writing, we will think about different ways to mark, carry, and worry about such commotion. *Participants!: please bring a single copy of a poem you're interested in revising.
Aracelis Girmay is the author of the poetry collections Teeth, Kingdom Animalia, and the black maria. She is also the author/illustrator of the collage-based picture book changing, changing. Originally from Southern California, she lives with her spouse and their children in New York. Girmay is currently the visiting Margaret Bundy Scott Professor at Williams College. She is on the editorial board of the African Poetry Book Fund.
Saturday, June 8, 2019 | 2-4pm | NY Writers Coalition, 4th Floor | 80 Hanson Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11217 (Location TBConfirmed)