A ten-week temporary workspace for the exploration of generative practices in contemporary experimental writing. The goal of the space is two-fold: 1. To read, discuss and debate contemporary approaches to experimental writing. 2. To produce new work in innovative ways that engage with contemporary strategies of appropriation, erasure, recycling, remixing, framing, stealing, copying, pasting, recovery, documentation, translation, transversions, constraint-based writing, collaboration, ekphrastics, book objects, investigation and more.
The workspace is meant to allow us space to play. The techniques and strategies presented provide ways to break out of old ideas, habits, boredom or what has been called “the burden of self-expression.” The focus is on contemporary production, primarily work from the last two years, in order to allow us to engage with a community of our peers, people like you and me doing this work now.
The sessions will be divided into two parts: 1) Presentation: Focus on the particular strategy and authors for that week with a mixture of lecture, discussion, oral readings, videos and recordings of contemporary work. Each week, I’ll produce a PDF of readings for participants; I’ll ask you to read as much as you can prior to coming to the workshop, but then we will spend some time reading and listening in class as well. 2) Exercise: the second part will be a hands-on experiment with the particular strategy we’re looking at on that day. We’ll have time to share what we write and discuss our experience of the particular strategy. Many of these writing exercises will be explicitly collaborative.
Possibilities for the closing of the workshop include a public reading and group DIY publication of a chapbook of our work. As a group, we’ll make decisions about what we want to do.
A small group (max of ten people). The workspace is open to anyone working with text or the language arts, regardless of predefined boundaries of genre (i.e. poetry, fiction or non-fiction) or discipline (i.e. visual arts, performance, design, dance, etc.). Important: participants need to commit to attending all sessions.
The workshop will be conducted in English, but participants are welcome to write in English, Spanish or any language (or mix of languages) desired. The workshop facilitator is bilingual and it is expected there will be participants writing and reading in English and Spanish.
Tuesday evenings from 6pm-9pm beginning September 20 and continuing through November 22.
Project Row Houses @ 2521 Holman (between St. Charles and Live Oak Streets) in Houston, Texas.
The workshop is independently-produced and unfunded by any institutions. There will be $10 fee per session with a 20% discount for advance payment of the entire sum (i.e. $80 for all ten weeks). Payment plans are possible. Just ask. The payment is meant to foster a sense of commitment and group membership.
The workspace will be organized and facilitated by John Pluecker. Here is a bio: John Pluecker is a writer, interpreter and translator. He recently completed an M.F.A. at U.C. San Diego in experimental writing with a focus on radical aesthetics and cross-border literary production. His work has appeared in journals and magazines in the U.S. and Mexico, including the Rio Grande Review, Picnic, Third Text, Animal Shelter, HMTLGiant and Literal. He has published more than five books in translation from the Spanish, including essays by a leading Mexican feminist, short stories from Ciudad Juárez and a police detective novel. There are two chapbooks of his work, Routes into Texas (DIY, 2010) and Undone (Dusie Kollektiv, 2011). More info on his work is at http://johnpluecker.blogspot.
For more info, email plujo7 [at] gmail [dot] com.
What is the EWL? Historically, “exercise” is derived from the Latin word exercitium, from exercere which is comprised of two parts: ex- “off” + arcere “keep away, prevent, enclose, shut up, restrain.” The word was primarily used to refer to driving forth animals out of an enclosure or pen. The mission of the Writing Lab is to drive our writing and our words out of prescribed, delimited practices based on language control and subordination.