Emmy Pérez Archives - Gemini Ink

Writing Toward More Socially Just Futures, A Poetry Workshop with Emmy Pérez

One of Lucille Clifton’s most well-known poems “won’t you celebrate with me” ends with the lines: “come celebrate / with me that everyday / something has tried to kill me / and has failed.” It’s the kind of poem that many re-read during challenging times. Toni Morrison described Clifton’s work as “seductive with the simplicity of an atom, which is to say highly complex, explosive underneath an apparent quietude.” In this poetry workshop, we will study some of Clifton’s poetry and consider how a single poem, and sometimes a single line, can embody pasts / presents / futures all at once and help us praise the beauty of life as we mourn lives lost to structural injustice throughout history and now. We’ll also discuss work by Danez Smith, Ariana Brown, Ross Gay, and Gloria Anzaldúa and generate work infused with the sensibility that writing poetry is an urgency to know, thrive, and create change.

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