Do you feel most alive when you’re out dancing, singing in the shower, secretly poeming your truths? Feel the winds and tides calling you to tap into your creative aliveness every day? Started allowing this, and are unsure of how to fully welcome the creative being you are?Given precedence to generating policy or legal briefs, research reviews or dissertation chapters, movement think pieces? Has this trained your writing process to default to left brain thinking, leaving you at a loss sometimes? Yearn for connection with your creative aliveness and ability to think outside the box — and the possibility for transformative encounter — including within your important work through these mediums?Do you long for a community of practice to explore all this with, alongside fellow liberation workers and dreamers? Want to explore your creative path, honoring from where you’ve come, with whom you’ve journeyed, and what your heart most wants you to offer?
Join us for “Our Poembody Selves: Everyday Liberation Creativity Sessions!”This workshop series takes its name after a call and response poetry reading in NYC I invited my long-distance mentor and creative collaborator, Cheryl to join me in for our first time ever meeting in person. This call invites you to gather with the creative being within us all, and build up our collective muscle to experience more and more tastes of how it would feel to be free.With poetry as my home base, this course welcomes kindred spirits at all stages of your creative journey, and who practice across mediums and no home medium. Each class, I’ll offer prompts and activities to support you in connecting with your creative aliveness, generate new work, and invite expansiveness as you continue exploring the voices inside you. We’ll explore the transformative potential that taking new creative risks brings to our daily lives and the vital work of making worlds where each and all of us are free. Together, we will inhabit a temporal community of mutual care and loving engagement, and give ourselves and each other permission to surrender to what we’re called to channel while softening the grips of what may be holding us back.The course is a journey through the “5 A’s” (appreciation, allowing, affection, attention, acceptance) of loving and living the creative being you are:Befriend the core integrity of your creative alivenessFeed your courage heart to create to the edges of what you’re here to createCelebrate influence and lineage with your council of eldersMap your ecology of accountability and supportCultivate a dedicated practice, and honor performance as part of your practiceThe series will close with an informal “poemsong swap” and potluck gathering, where you can invite your friends and family to experience a call and response taste of your journey in class.When and where do we commune?In Atlanta, I’m hosting a 12-week series at Charis (with in-person sessions on 10/8, 10/22, 11/5, 11/19, 12/3, and 12/17).If you’re not in Atlanta, the curriculum also is available as a customizable week-long residency intensive to bring to you and yours as a guest artist.Wherever you are, I’m available for limited one-on-one coaching partnerships (online or off) for freedom dreamers and liberation workers whose journeys are a great fit with my curriculum and focus.About my journey:Through poetry, art, and cultural organizing, I weave poemsongs with moments of creative aliveness and transformative encounter, color, and texture in call and response with kindred spirits who dream and make worlds where each and all of us are free. A finalist for Poets & Writers’ 2010 California Writers Exchange Award, my poetry and practice inherit teachings from the prison abolition, migrant justice, gender liberation, transformative justice, disability justice, and reproductive justice movements. Over the last seven years, I’ve channeled a call and response collection of community supported poetry that has engaged hundreds of activists and organizers across the US in the work and practice of revolutionary poetics.My work and writings have conversed through performance and ritual, moving pictures and digital media, letterwriting, handcrafted letterpress prints, and a range of activist media and national print and online publications, including Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities (South End Press, 2011), Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex (AK Press, 2011), and Feminist Studies. My poetry and cultural organizing have stood-sat with courage hearts including California’s prison hunger strikers, Miss Major, Marilyn Buck, Melissa Roxas, Troy Davis, Cece McDonald, and a range of life-affirming collaborations including the Free Shifa campaign in Atlanta, organizing against transphobic violence and discrimination in NYC, Oakland’s first general strike since 1946, and campaigns in Providence to restore food stamps and voting rights for loved ones returning home from prison.I invite you to encounter my poetry and read more about my creative practice at vanessahuang.com, and to explore some of what currently is washing along my digital shores and speaking to my creative aliveness at dearsensatewitness,.About my teaching:Since 2000, I have nurtured ecologies of creative aliveness and transformative connection with life-affirming collaborations working to center marginalized communities and capable of transforming both our individual and collective lives. My creative, teaching, and political practices are all deeply interconnected, and in call and response “dialogue” with peers, elders, young Bodhisattvas, and the social justice movements that have raised me. I believe in nurturing every body, every mind, and every spirit to our fullest creative aliveness – and trust that we need to honor where each learner is within our unique experiences of physical and emotional wellness, ability, and limitations in order to invite vulnerability and feel supported in taking the risks we need to grow and develop as creative beings.My experience in artist and writer development within collaborative and community-accountable processes ranges from the world of classical music to movement-accountable and campaign-specific cultural organizing. Over the years, I’ve coached cello sectionals for a community college orchestra as well as chamber ensembles in a suburban middle-class public middle school; supported poor and working-class youth of color in exploring arts activism and street performance; partnered with imprisoned and paroling writers and a community-based organization to produce and develop their work alongside the work of local emerging adult actors of color; and taught poetry with multigenerational disabled activists as well as youth in the foster care and juvenile justice systems. Most recently, I had the honor of helping judge the SF Bay Area’s first Youth Poet Laureate competition.What about the money?
I’m excited to offer this series* as I cultivate living deeply within the spirit and practice of abundant generosity and mutual reciprocity! Like many of the community-based teachers with whom I’ve had the privilege to practice and learn with, I am offering these workshops on a sliding scale. If you have access to steady income and/or wealth, your commitment at higher ranges of the scale will affirm and uplift the core interdependency undergirding our growing practices of generosity-based economics. Tuition for the 12-week series is $600-240 sliding scale, with scholarships available for mamas who know poetry is not a luxury, courage hearts living with disabilities and low income, and freedom-loving feminists of color. Payable by cash, check, credit card, or Paypal, in up to six installments upon request. In addition to Eventbrite, you also may register directly with me by emailing vanessa [at] vanessahuang [dot] com.
Through registration and at the close of the series, I’ll offer opportunities to participate in growing a culture of generosity-based economics by making a voluntary gift towards my Courage Heart fund to grow scholarship and sliding scale slots for future series. As you are able and moved to, your donation will support my livelihood and that of kindred healing arts and liberation workers, and our practice nurturing an ecology of creative aliveness through encounters and ritual like this that are collectively accessible to more and more of us.*Please note: Signing up is a commitment to the full series!Creating Accessibility:
In order to be accessible for those of us whose bodies no longer can tolerate the toxins in fragrance — including myself, so I can be present with you and nurture this space — I ask you to join us in creating a fragrance free environment each week by arriving to class without fragrance on your clothes, hair, or skin from colognes and perfumes, laundry detergent or dryer sheets, shampoo or lotions, and “natural” products, including essential oils.You can prepare in advance by not using scented products, or by using fragrance free products. Thank you for your consideration!
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