Body :: Voice

WORKSHOP LEADERS: Brigid & Lidia Yuknavitch

  • Friday, 6/15/18: 7 - 9 PM
  • Saturday, 6/16/18: 11 - 5, including a 1 hour break for lunch
  • Sunday, 6/17/18: 11 - 5, including a 1 hour break for lunch

WHERE: The Corporeal Center: 510 SW 3rd Ave, Portland, OR 97204

Join writer & art activist Lidia Yuknavitch and psychodrama practitioner and educator Brigid Yuknavitch in approaching writing through the relationship between body and voice in this three-day intensive writing workshop.

Our first relationship is the sound of a mother’s voice in the womb. Our own first sounds as infants are the rhythm of a voice before they are sentences or even words. Our voices imagine, speak beyond the body into the the world of others. We begin to create ourselves in language with voice.This might also be a description of what happens when we write and read.

In this workshop we’ll pay attention to creating voice and how we experience or do not experience the body of that voice. When we write we create a voice on the page. The text has a voice. When we read we hear a voice. If we’re reading something that’s literary we pay attention to the voice by reading more slowly and getting familiar with it. We either trust it or don’t. We put up with it more. We look out for it. We begin to hear it in our heads: a voice as other within.

Art also asks: And what body made this voice possible? What lived experiences can be heard in this voice? How difficult or effortless was this voice that exists only on the page?

This relationship between body and its transformation into voice is at the heart of poetic uses of language and art. As we write (or create) beyond the walls or conventions of writing we have the opportunity to remember the body and create voices that can imagine unheard stories. We’ll be experimenting with aspects of language we feel in our bodies such as  sound, imagery and rhythm. We’ll experiment with structures from poetry and prose and how they create voice whether as poems, prose or hybrid pieces of writing. We imagine ourselves into the world as voices.

Writing the Imaginal w/ Lidia & Brigid Yuknavitch



  • Fri, 8/10/18: 7 - 9 pm
  • Sat, 8/11/18: 11 - 5
  • Sun, 8/12/18: 11 - 5
  • We have coffee, tea, and light snacks on hand at all times. Friday evening, beverages will be served. On both Sat and Sun, we will take a one hour lunch break, for which you are on your own. We have award winning food carts right outside our door, as well as a cool indoor food court of sorts, where 'Portland Famous' chefs have counters (including Salt and Straw!), just 2 blocks away. 

WHERE: Corporeal Center: 510 SW 3rd Ave, Portland, OR 97204

COST: $400

We navigate with words, but before we have words we have desires, images, feelings, pains, numinous experiences, dream fragments, rhythms--a chorus of the body's languages.

In this writing workshop we are going to approach writing through the imaginal, or pre-writing exercises that are, like dreams, less precise, less organized than language, and full of meaning. We will show more than tell to begin a creative process. You will then write from these pre-verbal imaginal expressions, pulling in their depths. We'll use objects, gestures, images, colors, animals and more as prompts to write from the shores of your inner worlds. By using symbols and symbolic action to express these intimations prior to writing you touch inner forms and ideas that are archetypal, subjective, complex and alive with energy. You bring more of the wild, unknown and real into awareness and into your writing. Our group energy itself will be a particular imaginal space we generate.

If you are working on a piece of writing, this movement through symbols and imagery can also open up the process in unexpected ways or allow something deeper to walk in. Whatever your writing form, these psycho-active prompts can open your creativity, your inspired thinking, and your deep knowing.  These practices can support you in your ongoing writing.

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