Poetry, Resistance and the Everyday: A Workshop on the Power of the Ordinary (online, five-session workshop)

Everyday life, according to many traditional aesthetic values, is unremarkable; typically, the predictable ebbs and flows of ordinary existence—our routines and habits, our idle moments and mundane actions—possess artistic or literary value only insofar as they produce experiences of revelation or epiphany. However, often, one’s ability to transcend ordinariness is rooted in material conditions that render participation in everyday life easier for some people at the expense of others.

In this workshop, poets will attend to the ordinary for the sake of the ordinary, exploring the contours and contents of mundanity’s competing demands to generate work that remains “conscious of the connections between lived daily experience…and the oppressive economic and political conditions of our modern capitalist society.”[1] Using inspirations, prompts, and methods developed from the post-war avant-garde through to contemporary poetic practice, students will engage with work from the likes of Claudia Rankine, Harryette Mullen, Bernadette Mayer, Yoko Ono, Lisa Jarnot, Bhanu Kapil, CD Wright, and more, as they compose original writing grounded in everyday experience and resistant to the anti-political allure of transcendence.

[1] Epstein, Andrew. Attention Equals Life: The Pursuit of the Everyday in Contemporary Poetry and Culture. Oxford University Press, 2018.

Special Notes

This is an online class hosted through Zoom. We recommend that you download the free Zoom application on your computer, phone, or tablet in advance of the first class. You will receive a confirmation email containing a link to join the course via Zoom. The same link will be used each week.

Tuition Assistance is Available

To make our classes and workshops accessible to everyone, Fleisher offers tuition assistance every term so that everyone can join our creative community. We have recently streamlined the application process, making it even quicker and easier. Tuition assistance applications can be completed once registration is open by clicking here. The deadline to apply for fall term assistance is Monday, August 29th. Tuition assistance notifications will be sent by Friday, September 2nd.

Required Supplies

  • A notebook & something to write with