Noepe Center for the Literary Arts at Featherstone recently announced its winter and spring 2021 writing workshops. The year gets started with Shira Erlichman, with her poetry workshop “Nothing for Granted.” The virtual five-day course will run from Feb. 15 to 19, 4:30 to 6 pm.
“In his brief poem ‘Watermelons,’ Charles Simic writes, ‘Green Buddhas/ On the fruit stand. / We eat the smile/ And spit out the teeth.’ And just like that, an ordinary watermelon is transformed into a Buddha; a slice into a smile; the seeds, fittingly, into teeth we’ll spit. In this workshop, we’ll follow Simic’s example by inviting the familiar to arrive with unprecedented freshness,” Erlichman writes in a press release from Noepe. “Through ostranenie, or defamiliarization, we’ll take nothing for granted. Whether a watermelon, a partner, illness, grief, or the (seemingly) mundane details of our lives, we’ll train our perspective toward openness and possibility, asking of the ordinary objects and people in our lives: Who is this alien before me?”
In May, Noepe welcomes K-Ming Chang, who will be teaching “Writing Family Stories.” This virtual five-day course will run May 17 to 21 from 6 to 7:30 pm.
“This workshop will explore the process of writing family narratives, whether fiction or nonfiction, examining the ‘family,’ which can be defined many ways, as a framework for survival, history, agency, and reclamation,” Chang says about the spring workshop. “This is a generative class for those who want to carve out time to write and experiment. Through prompts and exercises, we will explore how family stories can function as microcosms of collective histories, as the fabric of folklore, myths, and oral stories, and as spaces for personal and collective exploration.”
Both courses will be live via Zoom and limited to 12 students. Register at featherstoneart.org/noepeworkshops.html. Noepe plans to add more workshops to the lineup, so check the website often.