Lidia has taught in many workshops over the years with Pam Houston, but having her join us for a Corporeal Writing workshop is extra special becuase, well, duh, we rock so hard. They are teaming up together for a Corporeal Writing workshop titled Land :: Body: A Writing Workshop On Environmental Subjectivity, which will be held retreat style at The Oregon Garden Resort January 20, 21, 22, 2017. HERE for more details. Becuase Lidia is so excited about this, I made her answer some questions so the rest of us could understand what has her all smiles and sneaky grins. The answers were, of course, quite satisfying.
ZINN: When did you meet, or first start working with Pam?
LIDIA: I first met Pam Houston on the page. Like a lot of people, I read Cowboy's Are My Weakness and found myself holding my breath half of the time, or laughing my ass off, or crying my face off. But more importantly, I got that swell belly to heart feeling like “this is one of my sisters.” So the thing is, when I met her face to face, I already knew her, because her body came alive in her words—I remember my hands shaking when I read Contents May Have Shifted—and my body responded like we were two mammals who had known each other over a very long time.
ZINN: What draws you to team up with her?
LIDIA: Pam is fundamentally a body truth teller and a fellow mammal who understands that humans are not what matters most about the world. Her relationship to animals and land and love and storytelling as an energy makes me want to work with her the rest of our lives. There is such a thing as narrative medicine. There is such a thing as saving your own life and showing others how to save theirs, and the page is one place where those actions can kiss.
ZINN: How does her thing, or what about her writing or teaching approach, do you feel compliments your Corporeal thing? What makes you pair well together for workshop?
LIDIA: Well like I said, Pam is a body truth teller. But why that matters so much is this: women in particular (men too though) are handed a series of fucked up scripts the moment they are born—scripts about identity, their own bodies, gender roles, how to “be” woman in the world — that essential involve soul murders. Pam's writing and teaching and activism reminds us that we must destory and restory those idiotic scripts every chance we get, if we are going to have a chance at anything.
ZINN: What about his particular workshop, Land :: Body :: A Writing Workshop On Environmental Subjectivity, makes you MOST excited?
LIDIA: What makes me most excited is Pam. GIRL CRUSH. CREATIVE MAMMAL CRUSH. But also, that when we are writing the body and when we are writing the land we are actually activating a relationship that might change everything. What if we loved the earth as much as we love individuals? I just wrote a novel based on that idea. That we need to redefine all of our relationships, all of our definitions of love and loving and living. It is possible that we may yet write new identities into being, if we dare to tell stories differently.
ZINN: If someone hasn't yet read something by Pam, what do you think they MUST pick up? What is her TOP must read?
LIDIA: All of it. Everything you can get your hands on. Although Contents May Have Shifted is the one that makes me vibrate like a tuning fork PERSONALLY...but holy holy holy mother of fuck her FORTHCOMING nonfiction book is going to change everything. A triumph. A quickening. A gift.
Email me with any questions.