There is a rich history in both literary and visual arts of creators bridging the realms of word and image to push the boundaries of what language is capable of expressing. To quote visual artist and writer Renee Gladman, a writer we’ll study together, one of the many inspirative roots that drawing and writing share is an impulse toward the architectural–where the drawn line and shape are “full of language, or full of the suggestion of language,” just as much as the sentence, paragraph, and poem are suggestive of structure, creating uniquely shaped spaces that unfold as we navigate them and the places, real and imagined, that their words evoke.
If you are interested in the vibrant intersection of writing and visual art, this workshop is for you; if your relationship to writing or art impels you to look to other artforms for inspiration–be that drawing, film, or dance–this workshop will give you the space to experiment, and it will help you acquire the skills to reimagine the scope of possibility that your project and creative process hold. What new capacities will you find when the writing instrument gains the freedom of the paintbrush, or your words become lenses that can focus movement, frame-by-frame?
Every week we will partake in conversations and collaborative, generative exercises that reveal new possibilities for creative expression, we will consider poetry and visual artforms side-by-side to think about the ways these fields overlap and diverge, and we will participate in an enriching, convivial workshop in which new and revised pieces of work are shared and carefully discussed. The blank page is there for us to design through our writerly experiments, whether by honing the tactile and descriptive possibilities of language or by letting words slip into drawings, become architectural blueprints, and frame the as-yet undiscovered. This is a workshop in which our lived sense of embodiment, our gestures and movements, and the feel of the places we move through will be considered to help us deepen our relationship to writing and expression.
While our emphasis will be on poetry and hybrid poetic forms, prose writers of both fiction and non-fiction will find a welcome space in which we also consider the rhythmic energies and beautiful intricacies wrought through prose writing.
Devereux Fortuna is a writer and artist, currently pursuing a PhD in Creative Writing and
Literature at the University of Houston. Devereux is a poetry editor for Gulf Coast: A Journal of
Literature and Fine Arts and teaches at UH. A Goldwater Fellow at New York University,
Devereux facilitated creative workshops in poetry at Coler-Goldwater Hospital, and, in Houston,
has facilitated life-writing and creative nonfiction workshops at Houston Methodist and most
recently for the UH College of Medicine’s seminar in Narrative Health. Visual art and writing can
be found at Waxwing Magazine, American Chordata, Triangle House Review, and elsewhere.