The video recording will be available soon!
At this salon, Christina Olivares read from her forthcoming poetry collection Ungovernable (2021), and led participants through three writing exercises to help explore how we might articulate the smallest traces of memory in new poems, and how we might think about writing sequences of small poems to articulate larger memories. We use all of our senses, associations, dreamscapes, fantasies and validate the fragments that arise to power our poems. Memory lends itself beautifully to storytelling that breaks rules—because memory doesn’t always appear in a linear way, sometimes details are rubbed out, amplified or replaced altogether—and poetry gives us the flexibility we need to dive in, play with language and make new meaning of what matters most to us.
Choose one of the spaces from your list and draw/map the space on the page. Then, write couplets speaking back to that space.
Using the same space from before or a different space, imagine yourself free and the people around you free, now walk into the space…
Take anything that you’ve written and be intentional about the placement on the page.
Christina Olivares is the author of Ungovernable (YesYes Books, forthcoming 2021), No Map of the Earth Includes Stars, winner of the 2014 Marsh Hawk Press Book Prize, and the chaplet Interrupt (Belladonna* Collaborative, 2015). Olivares is the recipient of a BRIO Nonfiction Grant, a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Residency and two Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grants. In 2019, Olivares was an inaugural AAWW Witness Fellow. Her work has been published widely (including, most recently, in The Rumpus, Aster(ix) and by The Academy of American Poets). Olivares has taught as a visiting professor at the Rutgers-Newark MFA poetry program. She earned her undergraduate degree at Amherst College in interdisciplinary studies in education, an MFA in poetry at CUNY Brooklyn College and is pursing a PhD in English Education at Columbia University. She has worked widely throughout New York City as a youth worker, college counselor, teacher and administrator. She is a poverty and prison abolitionist and queer, mixed American-Cuban from the Bronx in NYC.