In his 1992 song “Anthem,” Leonard Cohen offers listeners the following illuminating verse: “Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack, a crack, in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” This generative workshop for poets and writers alike will hold space for the practice of letting the light of literature enter not only our lives, but our writing.
Together, we will explore literature that responds to grief—for what once was, for what might have been, for what never could be. Grackle and Grackle instructor Lauren Berry will lead participants through a thematically diverse selection of writing by Anne Sexton, Jack Gilbert, Natalie Diaz, Tony Hoagland, Helena Maria Viramontes, Langston Hughes, W.H. Auden, and others. The class will explore the structures and themes of published writing and then craft their own drafts (poetry, non-fiction, or fiction) through imitative responses.
No experience is required. Bring your favorite writing instrument, a journal, and a heart ready for exploration. Everyone will leave with several drafts and ideas for future writing sessions. We hope that you can join us this December at Grackle and Grackle!
Lauren Berry received a BA in Creative Writing from Florida State University and an MFA from the University of Houston where she won the Inprint Verlaine Prize and served as poetry editor for Gulf Coast. From 2009 to 2010, she held the Diane Middlebrook Poetry Fellowship at the Wisconsin Institute. Terrance Hayes selected Lauren’s first collection, The Lifting Dress (Penguin), to win the National Poetry Series prize in 2011. She lives in Houston, Texas where she teaches AP English Literature at YES Prep Public Schools, a charter school for Houston’s most underserved communities. Lauren is currently finalizing her second manuscript of poetry, The Rented Altar.