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19 January 2021

Winter Writing Workshops

Wasafiri is excited to announce a series of online writing workshops tutored by our Writer-in-Residence Jennifer Wong, and our Associate Editor Thomas Glave Jennifer Wong's series of writing workshops will focus on poetry, human geography and writing across and between languages, while Thomas Glave's short course will help writers put their experience of the pandemic into words. Find out more details and sign up to secure your space:  

Workshops with Jennifer Wong:  

20th February 2021, 11am GMT  Poetry Workshop: Writing across Languages for Chinese Poets (2 hours)   For writers who speak both English and Chinese, their grasp of two very different languages –  in terms of grammar, history, vocabulary and musicality – can be a fascinating source of inspiration for their creative work.  In the workshop, writers will engage with various examples that will enable them to explore the relationship between place and language, from tapping into the multiple meanings of a word, place-making through the use of local terms, to the complexity of syntax in our everyday conversations.  Considering works by poets such as Zeina Hashem Beck, Marilyn Chin, Mary Jean Chan, Nicholas Wong and poems in Chinese by P K Leung, Xichuan and Zhou Zhan, participants will develop new work that helps them articulate their engagement with language and cultural inheritance, as well as capture a sense of place through language.   [Writers should have some familiarity with the Chinese language.]  Price: £20 full; £15 concessions; £10 subsidised. 24th February 2021, 7pm GMT  Prose-writing Workshop: Human Geography (2 hours)  What does a map mean to you? How do we map memorable places, our connections with others, our cultural experiences, and our ways of understanding the world? How do we weave our story imaginatively, inspired by the social, historical and political changes happening around us? And how have globalisation, migration, and technology affected our way experiencing place?   In this workshop, writers will look at a wide range of examples by contemporary writers on how a place –  with its people, history and culture –  is evoked or represented. Through varied writing prompts, group discussions and detailed feedback, participants will find out more about their own unique storytelling voices, as they develop a new story(ies), life writing or poem(s) that navigate the history and experience of a place. Alongside, they will read and discuss texts including Romesh Gunesekera’s Suncatcher, Colm Toibin’s Brooklyn, Bernardine Evaristo’s Girl, Woman, Other, Rachel Cusk’s Transit, and Zadie Smith’s Grand Union Canal Price: £20 full; £15 concessions; £10 subsidised.  1st March 2021, 7pm GMT  Poetry Workshop: Writing across Languages (2 hours)  This workshop will focus on poets relationships’ with language. Whether it is a fleeting image from a song you’ve heard, an unfamiliar term in the dictionary, a foreign phrase caught in a different country, your second language or your grandmother’s dialect, language is a window to the world.   In the workshop, a wide range of poetry examples will be used to illustrate ideas of how to embrace the creativity arising from personal encounters with language(s). Through work by poets such as T S Eliot, Seamus Heaney, Lorna Goodison, Zeina Hashem Beck, Romalyn Ante and Nina Mingya Powles and varied writing prompts, group discussions, and detailed feedback, participants will develop new work that pushes boundaries, and explore what it means to speak, to listen, and to be heard.  Writers using English as a second language and from under-represented backgrounds are particularly welcome.   Price: £20 full; £15 concessions; £10 subsidised. Meet the Tutor: Jennifer Wong was born and grew up in Hong Kong. Jennifer is the author of several collections including Goldfish (Chameleon Press) and a pamphlet, Diary of a Miu Miu Salesgirl (Bitter Melon Poetry 2019). Her latest collection, 回家 Letters Home (Nine Arches Press 2020)—which explores the complexities of history, migration and translation—has been named the PBS Wild Card Choice by Poetry Book Society.  She studied in Oxford and has earned a creative writing PhD from Oxford Brookes University where she teaches as associate lecturer. Her poems have appeared in World Literature Today, Oxford Poetry, The Rialto, Magma Poetry and others. She also teaches at Poetry School. Her reviews and translations have appeared in a number of magazines including Poetry Review, Poetry London, PN Review and Asian Review of Books.     Subsidised places:   We offer a limited number of subsidised workshop/course places – first-come, first-served – at the rates quoted above. To apply for a subsidised place please email a 200-word explanation of your need for a subsidised workshop/course place to wasafiri@qmul.ac.uk

Short Course with Thomas Glave: 

Writing through Covid-19: What is Your Story? How Will You Tell It?  The Covid-19 pandemic has had an effect on us all, and we all have stories to share of our experiences within it. These are stories that only we can tell, in our own words. Stories more important than ever in these difficult times. Stories that can inspire and help others as well as ourselves.  This series of writing workshops over three weeks will provide everyone participating with the opportunity to share their stories in the workshops’ intimate, safe, respectful community. The workshop leader and other participants will respond to each writer’s work with helpful suggestions. The workshop leader will also provide each participant with personalised prompts to help you start writing.  This Wasafiri workshop offers a space for you to share your stories and put the experience of the pandemic into words.   Writing through Covid-19 is a short, three-week, writing course which will take place over three consecutive weeks in March and April.  24 March, 7 pm GMT  31 March, 7 pm GMT  7 April, 7 pm GMT  Prices: £50 full; £30 concessions; £20 subsidised.  Meet the Tutor:  Thomas Glave is the author of four books, including Whose Song? and Other Stories and The Torturer’s Wife.  His work has received two Lambda Literary Awards and a Dayton Literary Peace Prize nomination. His most recent book is Among the Bloodpeople: Politics and Flesh. He is editor of the anthology Our Caribbean: A Gathering of Lesbian and Gay Writing from the Antilles, and an Associate Editor of Wasafiri.       Subsidised places:   We offer a limited number of subsidised workshop/course places – first-come, first-served – at the rates quoted above. To apply for a subsidised place please email a 200-word explanation of your need for a subsidised workshop/course place to wasafiri@qmul.ac.uk
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