10/22 Ellis, Moody, Collins, Baldinger, & Silsbe Conversate & Connect @ Chatham + Poetic License Revoked @ White Whale Bookstore

THIS SATURDAY…

is Barrelhouse magazine’s Conversations and Connections conference at scenic Chatham University, featuring all sorts of panels & whatnot with actual, real, honest-to-Allah writers, including everyone’s favorite Six Gallery scribblers.

At 10:45 AM is one called Beyond Free Writing: 8 Concrete Suggestions for Jump-starting Your Work:

We’ve all heard it a hundred (thousand) times: when you’re stuck, just put the pen to paper and write. Write about nothing, write about something, write about anything. But what about those times when you’ve (free) written and written, and nothing on the page speaks to you? Or you can’t type “I don’t know what I’m typing I don’t know what I’m typing” one more time? This panel will provide (at least) 8 concrete suggestions to help prose writers and poets springboard into their work. Attendees will walk away with tangible ideas about how to generate new material—and also some nifty handouts to help them along. Writers of any stage will benefit from this panel, but especially those who may still be feeling out their writing practice and deciding what works best for them; also, anyone recently fighting writer’s block will come away armed with some tried to true tactics to get back in the game, maybe from a new angle.

Fiction writer Ashley Kunsa will discuss 3 methods for writers in any genre. These include going back to your old favorites—returning to previous sources of inspiration, be it a beloved writer or individual work, that have energized your writing in the past and using various techniques to encourage them to do so again; going back to your own favorites—finding past work of your own that reminds you of your own great capacity for creativity; and getting curious—using the simple tools around you (e.g., newspaper, smart phone, internet) to seek out new and interesting information to kick your creative brain into gear.

Poet and editor Ava Cipri will share 3 methods of interest to poets, but potentially useful for writers in other genres. “Get moving”: physical movement facilitates creativity; we naturally read work differently standing or walking, and walking affords a space to compose phrases and even the beginnings of a poem through dictation (audio recording) or pen. “Get Inside”: work intimately inside forms in unexpected ways; this can range from the villanelle, recipes, directions, to unfamiliar lexicons, etc. Almost anything can become a container. “Steal that”: practice found poetry by creating new derivative works. Do this through numerous found poetry forms: erasures, mixes, the cento, etc.. All activities aid in generating material with hooks, thus unfreezing the brain.

Angele Ellis, poet, prose writer, and editor, will discuss how to generate drafts of publishable poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, using the methods of Writers’ Playtime, the monthly writing group she has led since 2011. The most important of these methods are the group’s focus on only positive feedback, which provides participants with specific encouragement and direction (including the highlighting of key words and phrases in their drafts), and the development of small group solidarity, which releases creative energy, circumvents writers’ block, and promotes confidence in sharing and refining new work.

Also at 10:45 AM is Poetic License Revoked: Poetry as Non-Fiction:

Plato famously thought poets were immoral, going so far as to banish them from his Republic, because, he claimed, poetry was based in falsehood and therefore immoral. But what the hell did Plato know?

Panelists will discuss various approaches to poetry as a vehicle for non-fiction writing incorporating various genres such as memoir, journalism, travel writing, anthropology, cultural criticism, etc.

We will consider the versatility of the poetic form, as well as the challenges that arise when incorporating what are perceived as non-traditional genres and methods into the practice of poetry composition.

Revoking your poetic license will be Sheila Carter-Jones, Kristofer Collins, Lori Jakiela, Kamala Gopalakrishnan, Jason Baldinger, Scott Silsbe, &, all the way from Texas, our old pal Jonathan Moody.

& if you still have it in you after all that, or didn’t shell out $70 for the conference, there’s a FREE reading of the same name, by the same folks.

The Bloomfield storefront formerly known as East End Book Exchange was recently relaunched as White Whale Bookstore, but new owners Jill and Adlai Yeomans seem intent on continuing the space as a literary hub. For instance, today Chatham University hosts the Conversations and Connections Writers Conference, whose panel talks include Poetic License Revoked: Poetry as Non-Fiction. Tonight, that panel’s seven participants — Jason Baldinger, Sheila L. Carter-Jones, Kristofer Collins, Kamala Gopalakrishnan, Lori Jakiela, Jonathan Moody and Scott Silsbe — reconvene at White Whale to read their poetry. BO 7 p.m. 4754 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. Free. 412-224-2847 or www.whitewhalebookstore.com

CP Short List

Please conversate & connect responsibly.

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