Books have always been intrinsically linked to the body, whether through function, structure, or materiality. The earliest of what we consider books were wax tablets kept on the body and used by merchants to tally sales and debts.

The language of the book speaks to the bodies that made them and to which they relate. With their spines, heads, and tails or feet, books become surrogates for the people whose stories they tell. 

In this collaboration, we will learn several simple book structures that can be used to tell stories in a different way. We will explore how materiality and structure inform narrativity, and vice versa. This collaboration will consider the possibilities of pop-ups and other moveable and interactive forms, exploring shaped pages, layering materials, and using unlikely supplies and Corporeal Writing methods to tell impossible stories. You will come away from this collaboration with your own book with a narrative that you built. 


IN COLLABORATION WITH: Ruth Bryant & Domi J Shoemaker


  • 6/30/18: 11 - 5, with a one hour break for lunch on your own
  • 7/1/18: 11 - 5, with a one hour break for lunch on your own

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

COST: $300

Ruth Bryant is a graduate of the University of Iowa Center for the Book, having previously earned a BFA in Craft with a concentration in Book Arts from Oregon College of Art and Craft. Her current work explores issues of trauma, memory, and narrativity, and utilizes pop-up structures, 3-d paper construction, and paper weaving techniques. Bryant's work has been exhibited throughout the United States and internationally and is held in various public and private collections.

Domi J Shoemaker is a storyteller, a writer, and a community builder living in Portland, OR. Whether as a workshop facilitator, a liaison, or Writing advisor at the Corporeal Center in Downtown Portland, Domi spends the majority of their waking hours thinking up new ways to open access to the stories that reside within us and just outside us. Domi received a Master of Fine Arts in Writing from Pacific University, where they continue to participate in the university’s biannual residencies in order to stay informed of literary news and to hone their skills. Domi’s work can be found in [PANK] Magazine, Gobshite Quarterly, Nailed Magazine, The Night and The Rain and the River Anthology, and most recently in Lidia Yuknavitch’s Ted Book, the Misfit’s Manifesto. Domi can also be heard on KBOO radio archives, On The Block Radio, and on the new Podcast, Storytellers Telling Stories.For a special treat, check out Season 3 of Portlandia, where Domi is holding a copy of Dora: A Headcase.

Sign Up

Queer Bodies/Queer Forms: Leaving Behind the Retrograde

a 6-week online workshop


Cooper Lee Bombardier

Cooper writes creative nonfiction, hybrid forms, and fiction that explores queer subjectivity and queer/trans embodiment. He honors and studies the past and historical precedent in literature, but works from an ethos of encouraging all kinds of writers to find their voice, honor the radical exercise of telling our stories, and I believe in the dissemination of knowledge in a non-hierarchical, anti-snobbery manner. He believes in the writing workshop as a cauldron and conversation and teaches in a decentralized manner where the knowledge and wisdom of the group is respected and accessed by all in the learning process. Cooper has a MFA in Creative Writing and a MA in Writing and Publishing, and too many publication credits to list.

STARTS: July 15th, 2018

COST: $350

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.

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.

CLICK HERE for an explanation of each week, as well as Cooper's full bio.

Sign Up

PUBLISHING: A Seminar, a 1-on-1 Consult, or Both!

We have the great privilege of hosting Rayhané Sanders, literary agent at large, for a publishing seminar with the option of a one-on-one consult. (Yes, Rayhané represents our own Lidia Yuknavitch) Rayhané is offering: 


1) A Publishing Seminar on Saturday 7/28/18 from 2:00 - 4:00, which includes:

  • A Publishing Overview: what an agent does, the Big 5 Publishers vs. Indies, what the publication process looks like, the $$ of publishing, etc.
  • The dos and don'ts of The Query Letter
  • Non-fiction Book Proposals, including example proposals
  • Q&A

2) A one-on-one consult of the first 30 pages of your manuscript. You send us your 30 pages by July 8th, and sit down with her on Sunday, July 29th for a half hour consult. She will be reading your pages as an agent; one who doesn't mess around and gets right to the point, which we will all be grateful for, one day...just be sure you're ready for this now, emotionally. This opportunity is limited to a very small amount of you. Expect to be given a slot sometime between 10:00 - 5:00. We will let you know your time slot when we receive your pages. 

If you are an early bird and are able to snag both sessions you get $25 off!

If you have any questions, please contact, and not Rayhané directly. If we need to relay a question to her, as her hosts, we are happy to do that. Now let's get those books published! 

Signing Up For:
Sign Up

Coming Soon: