First of all, let me start off by saying that I apologize if this is a rant about the workshop with Lynn Nottage that came before--but how amazing is it that she did this with us? There is just something entirely different about having the writer right there with you and being able to work on your writing together. I have mostly taken poetry writing workshops, so this was such a different experience. It was really stimulating to be involved in this very unusual workshop environment.
I could really feel Lynn’s theater background in the way she taught and also in the expansiveness of her creative gestures. She really helped me to reflect on my own writing, especially since I’ve been wanting to introduce a bit more narrative and dialogue type elements into my poetry (even though I know that doesn’t always seem like the most natural place for it), and I felt like the exercises that she had us do really helped me begin to conceptualize how that might work out.
Then there was her reading. She is such a confident, passionate, inspiring presenter of her own art. Not every writer is able to bring that special something to the story of their own writing. In fact, many writers would really do better to have a stand-in who would read for them in public situations (and I count myself in here), but Lynn really brought such a personal tone to her performance. I felt that I was sharing a very special, personal, maybe even private somehow, moment with her when she read, and I think that is a really rare experience.
Most of all, I’m also so happy to see Fordham supporting “writers of color" through the Reid series. This really ties in with the discussions we’ve been having about the importance of really integrating our social justice focus into what we do, really putting art into action. This reading and the Reid Family Writers of Color reading last year with Terrance Hayes were some of my favorite here at Fordham, and I’m so glad to see people with different backgrounds being included in the mix. This series brings such a richness to the cultural and creative climate of Fordham.