STARTS: April 5th, 2019
Week 1: Intro, mini-lecture/discussion on hybrid forms, “slide show” of fragmentary forms, Writing Experiment 1 (WE1). Sharing readings. Participants share WE1 for discuss/feedback.
Week 2: What makes this text queer?: mini-lecture/discussion on form & content. Can LESS say more – What constraints can do for our writing. Sharing readings focused on constraints. Writing Experiment 2 (WE2). Participants share WE2 for discuss/feedback.
Week 3: Repetition and Erasure: mini-lecture/discussion: what poetry can teach us about creative nonfiction writing. Sharing readings on topic. Writing Experiment 3 (WE3). Participants share WE3 for discuss/feedback.
Week 4: Writing as body— the life of forms in our work: mini-lecture/discussion, queer corporality in nonfiction. Sharing readings on topic. Writing Experiment 4 (WE4). Participants share WE4 for discuss/feedback.
Week 5: Revisioning The Form: the magic of the revision process: mini-lecture/discussion; revision as sculpture. Sharing readings on topic. Writing Experiment 5 (WE5). Participants share WE5 for discuss/feedback.
Week 6: Taking it Further: beyond editing and the magic of deep rewriting. Students rework or extend a project to create Writing Experiment 6 (WE6). Students share WE6 online and we discuss/feedback.
Week 7: Publication for All—entering the conversation: mini-lecture/discussion. Crash-course on publishing. Finding a place for your work & creating your own canon. Sharing readings on topic. Writing Experiment 7 (WE7): Writing the pitch/query letter. Students share WE7 online and we discuss/feedback.
Week 8: Where Do We Go From Here?: creating your literary community. Students will plot next steps with writing practice, developing writing community, making a plan for projects, publications, and deeper practice. Class wrap-up & closing.
Cooper Lee Bombardier says: “To me, queer is expansive, queer is hybrid, queer is taking what works and leaves behind the retrograde.” Yes, for many queer is also an identity but you don’t have to identify as queer to benefit from a look at queer forms, or attempting to queer your own work. We’ll look at work that might be considered queer in content as well as form, and will embark on multiple generative writing “experiments” where we try on the forms and constraints studied, enter into conversation with them, become inspired by them, apply them to our own creative voices, and invent our own forms.
Many powerful new texts that defy categorization and genre are now being published. Hybrid forms, constraint- based writings, fragmentary texts, “self-theory,” prose poetry, repetition, “cut-ups,” lyric essays, and many other slippery forms are gaining critical attention in contemporary literature. In this workshop we will explore a selective swath of some of these exciting texts and examine their ability to capture and convey experience through these forms—examples of fragmentary literary work from Sappho to Joe Brainard; recent texts that exemplify the zeitgeist, including Roxane Gay, Amber Dawn, Matias Viegener, Lidia Yuknavitch, Maggie Nelson, Claudia Rankine, Brian Blanchfield.
EXPECTATIONS:Cooper will encourage people to avail themselves of the small temporary writing community at hand and to discuss with each other, as we’ll as give comments to others. Each week a new written mini lesson is posted that includes a discussion and a writing prompt, or “experiment.” We will expand one “experiment” into a polished piece. Engagement w/ this intimate temporary writing community—participating in discussions and giving one another support and feedback—is essential.
Cooper Lee Bombardier is a writer and visual artist originally from the South Shore of Boston and currently based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He has been a construction worker, a cook, a carpenter, a union stagehand, a bouncer, a welder, a shop steward, a dishwasher, a truck driver, and a housepainter, among other things, for a paycheck. His writing appears in many publications and anthologies, such as The Kenyon Review, CutBank, Nailed Magazine, and The Rumpus; and recently in the Lambda Literary Award-winning anthology The Remedy–Essays on Queer Health Issues, (ed. Zena Sharman) and Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Speculative Fiction From Transgender Writers, winner of the 2018 American Library Association Stonewall Book Awards Barbara Gittings Literature Award (eds. Cat Fitzpatrick and Casey Plett). The Huffington Post listed Cooper as one of “10 Transgender Artists Who Are Changing The Landscape Of Contemporary Art.” His visual art was recently curated in an exhibition called “Intersectionality” at the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami, andhung recently in shows at Meow Wolf in Santa Fe, NM, the National Queer Arts Festival in San Francisco, and at Helltown Workshop in Provincetown, MA. His visual work has been published in the journals Faggot Dinosaur and CutBank. A veteran of the original Sister Spit tours, he's performed, lectured, and exhibited art across North America. Cooper is the fiction editor at Gertrude Press, an ELL volunteer tutor for immigrant community members at his local public library, and serves on the board of directors of Stepping Stone, the only organization in the Maritimes with support and programming for sex workers. He has received fellowships from the Regional Arts and Culture Council, Lambda Literary Foundation, and RADAR Labs. Cooper Lee has taught writing at the University of Portland, Clark College, Portland State University, and at various Portland-area high schools as a writer-in-residence through Literary Art's program Writers in The Schools. He is a 2018 Visiting Writer at the Pacific Northwest College of Art’s Critical Studies graduate program. Visit him at www.cooperleebombardier.com FB: cooperfrickinleee Twitter: @CooperLeeB IG: cooperleebomb