Welcome to Inscribing the Body!

Welcome to Inscribing the Body: Embodiment and the Performance of Gender in Creative Writing

A readings schedule and syllabus information will be posted here soon. Meanwhile I am excited announce that Allison Cobb, a terrific Portland-based poet, will be here February 11 to give a guest reading. There will be approximately two or three of these guest artist events during the course of the quarter (some of you may have attended the amazing reading by Maged Zaher on Monday night in the Library Underground).

Class schedule

Weds 5-7pm, Sat 4-6pm — Sem II A2107

Program description

In what ways is writing necessarily gendered? This class will take up “the body” as a site of radical cultural production as expansively as possible within the short time we have, considering some of the ways in which bodies are othered through language, including through discourses of disability, gender performance, and other zones of social dislocation. Each week we’ll read texts by contemporary writers that we will use as models for build our own writing portfolios.

Though this is primarily a creative writing class, our writing will push itself outside its usual modes of operation. Emphasis will be put on experiments in breaking genre and mixing media, collaborating on pieces as well as making individual works, and developing a poetics in relation to the social-political. We will explore texts anthologized in the recent collection Troubling the Line , discuss and critique the rich tradition of “somatic” practices in the world of performance and live art, including the work of artists such as Marina Abramovic, and we will familiarize ourselves with important recent experiments in poetry and prose by authors such as kari edwards, Hannah Weiner, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, and CA Conrad. Our end goal will be to curate a show and live reading that allows us to test out some of our textual experiments.


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Reminders for this week

Dear all,

A few reminders:

1) Some of you still need to turn in the radically revised versions of your final pieces, which were due at the end of the last class.
2) CA and I really enjoyed hearing some of your work on Saturday! I’ve also been really impressed by the public performances I’ve attended so far, and am looking forward to the ones coming up this week. Please reply all and post to the Tumblr if you’d like an audience at a performance this week.
3) We’ll wrap up with the remaining performances at a house reading this Wednesday. My address and phone number have been sent to your via e-mail.


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Hi All,

PLEASE READ THIS WHOLE POST CAREFULLY–homework link is in here, drafts due Weds; the schedule for Weds, and more, so….READ TO END, CAREFULLY!

In this post:

–link to List of Prompts For Radically Revising Final Projects (please click, read, then choose & do 3 prompts)

–CA Conrad Weds Artist Lecture Reminder, and optional session that follows that.

–Note confirming Conrad Sat. Workshop (more on this in another post)

–Email that went out before, to confirm folks got it


Please check your email for final project-related info (w/my phone number, so…). I re-post *part* of that email below (at end of this post), which should be in your inboxes. This post is primarily schedule-related and to send you to a link LINKING YOU TO A LIST OF RADICAL REVISIONS. OK, so I know I just gave you the radical revision prompts link here, i.e., the document/list is in the sentence just before this one, but for purposes of built-in redundancy, so that folks don’t miss it, again:


–READ THE WHOLE LIST before choosing 3 prompts to do/use for drafting; Skimming is OK, but…


–THEN CHOOSE 3 RADICAL REVISION PROMPTS AND GET STARTED WORKING ON THEM AFTER THAT/ASAP. Try to choose one each from three different “categories.” There’ a category for making connections; another for generating new language; another exists solely for you to clarify and develop the “off the page” elements (performance) of the final project. But choose 3 ways of doing radical revision (each prompt should take about 15-35 minutes), and do each until you’ve got 3 complete ahead of Weds night. If DOING MORE WOULD HELP YOU, THEN DO MORE. But 3 minimum by Wednesday night.

–If you haven’t sent me your ROUGH DRAFT already, do so. I am still missing a few (send before you begin your radical revisions on the writing part of things).

–Your next draft to me is the draft that you will also use to do performances, which will amount to a now fully radically revised rough draft–and this is, really, your FIRST FULL DRAFT. In addition to using this draft you’re now working on for performances, THIS DRAFT IS DUE THIS WEDNESDAY NIGHT, i.e., before midnight. It isn’t the last chance you’ll have to make changes, but it is the last draft due before performances must begin.

–If you are planning on going to our OPTIONAL language lab class session Weds afternoon, then try to make sure you’ve done at least 1 and preferably 2 of the radical revision prompts ahead of this Wednesday’s optional language lab class, which occurs soon after our Conrad Artist Lecture Reading. More on that optional session when we meet on Weds @ 11:25, outside the Lecture Hall (before we go in I’ll say a word about the session later that day).

–Last for now on final projects: here’s LINK TO A CHECKLIST for what, ideally, your writing drafts and overall projects should include or entail. PLEASE READ THRU IT! This checklist is literally a checklist and not a piece of homework and not some further list of constraints to stick to, etc–it is rather a way to get a sense of how far or how close you are to being done with your final project drafts (so, since radical revision is just starting as of last Sat night, most items listed you’ll likely not be at a point to check off yet, because most items are reminding you to be doing things with your drafts that most of you likely haven’t gotten to). Anyway, just a way for me to help you “take your project’s temperature.”


Here’s a confirmation that:

**We will be meeting outside Lecture Hall 1 at 11:25am on Wednesday to go together to hear CA Conrad’s reading. CA Conrad’s reading & talk will go from 11:30-1.

**Finally, if folks are still up for it, we’ll have some make-up class time starting at 1:30 (CA Conrad will also be coming back to our class at the end of the week for class–Saturday–to do an in-class writing workshop that involves cartography, or “mapping”. More on this in the full remaining–the post-Weds– schedule that will be posted soon).

**For now, PLEASE RE-READ THE POEMS & (SOMA)TIC RITUALS THAT WE READ FOR CLASS a few weeks ago. This rereading is to do a little bit of preparation for the Conrad live readings and the workshop Saturday. Therefore, please REREAD THESE POEMS BY WEDS MORNING:

Poems, CA Conrad, From The Book of Frank 

(Soma)tic Poetry Ritual, CA Conrad “M.I.A. Escalator” — Conrad has on the (soma)tic poetry blog, if you desire to search for it, the ritual that Evergreen students made the last time we workshopped with Conrad. Recommended!

EMAIL THAT WAS SENT LAST CLASS (partially redundant of the above):

The e-mail below sent after last class–and sent to your Evergreen addresses; please track down the message, or send me the info directly if you are having trouble replying to everyone.

Email From Saturday Night:

Dear students,

Thanks for all of your careful attention today — many of you are doing really amazing work with one another.

Looking ahead, now here’s a confirmation that we will be meeting outside Lecture Hall 1 at 11:25 on Wednesday. CA Conrad’s talk will go from 11:30-1. Finally, if folks are still up for it, we’ll have some make-up class time starting at 1:30. (CA Conrad will also be coming back to our class a week from today to do a cartography workshop).

Everything else that’s happening next week is up to you — which is why I’m cc:ing everyone here. Please “reply all” with the information about where and when your group will be performing, and what support, if any, you would like to request from other folks in the class. But please change the subject line so that we can keep track of the information as it comes in (e.g. “Thursday 5pm, Mirrah’s group @ the Artesian Well”). If you have time, please also put this info on the tumblr and I will update the blog as frequently as I can.

What we’re creating, ideally, is a Tuesday, Week 9 thru Tuesday, Week 10 schedule, which will culminate in a Wednesday, Week 10 house reading.

In subsequent reminder e-mails, I’d like to include a list of names with e-mail addresses next to them so that you can write to specific people if you choose; please backchannel me if you would prefer that I not share this info with the group.

Finally, please look out for a separate e-mail and blog post from me that will provide the full schedule of due dates and special events from here on out. That post/e-mail will also include a list of radical revision prompts, from which I’ll ask you to choose several that best fit your project.

Your first radically revised draft is due by the end of the night, this coming Wednesday, and this should also be the version you’ll be using for your performances. I’ll be asking you to provide one more version after that, based on feedback gleaned from your performances.


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Reminders and goals for class today

Dear students,

I’ve already said as much (if not more) than necessary about the importance of being in class in these next crucial weeks to support each other’s work. I do want to remind you, however, that our time together next Wednesday will start at 11:30 with CA Conrad’s appearance at the artists’ lecture series (LH 1). This is in addition to our regularly scheduled class meeting later that day.

In terms of today’s class, I wanted to let you know that our focus will be three-fold:

1) I’ll continue to meet with individual students and groups of students on your final projects.
2) I’ll assign “homework” for this week, i.e. by giving you the tools you’ll need to radically revise your drafts into final pieces.
3) We’ll discuss the schedule for final performances, including off-site performances. One of the main constraints for your final project is to somehow stage a textual intervention in public space, which does not mean that you have to put your body in any sense on display — you can allow the text to speak for you by leaving it for others to find, etc. Given this constraint, many of you will find it more rewarding to have an off-site location be the primary site of your performance, rather than resorting to the (admittedly appealing) familiarity of having a captive in-class audience. This will be the one day where I’ll be soliciting information about your preferences for the when and where of your performances; people who miss class tonight will be slotted in wherever we can fit them. I’ll post as complete a schedule as possible on the blog later this weekend so that we can all make every effort to support each other at off-site performances, even if they are outside of class times.

Finally, thanks to all of you who have already sent in drafts of your final project — if you are not quite done, however, please don’t use this an excuse to stay home and work. Bring what you have to class, and use this time to get feedback from your peers.

see you soon,

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Class today!

Dear all,
 We’ve had some attendance issues of late, so despite the fact that I should not have to be doing this, I want to remind you that if you’ve missed more than 3 classes for something other than illness or a serious family/caregiving situation, you are in danger of losing credit. So, just a reminder that class is starting shortly and despite the beautiful weather I am expecting all of you to be in class at 5 to support your developing work and the work of your classmates.
 It’s certainly unavoidable that some of us will have to miss class for one reason or another — I’m talking about folks who have been consistently absent, and who haven’t checked in with me about those absences.
 Finally, just a reminder about where we are in the quarter — we have less than a handful of class sessions left and they’re all full of amazing collaborative work, student readings and guest speakers. So please show up — not so much for me, or for the sake of your credits, but for one another.
 see you soon,
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