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shira dentz

Chance Operations: An Online Writing Workshop w/ Shira Dentz

The Word Barn
66 Newfields Road
Exeter, NH 03833
United States

****NOTE: This is an ONLINE workshop. Once you register, you will sent a zoom link via email.

This August is Chance Operations month at the Word Barn on Thursday evenings, 6:30PM–8PM. In this poetry and flash prose workshop, we’ll experiment with different types of chance operations, approaching our imaginations through the back door, so to speak, as opposed to the front door. There’s an expansive tradition of literary works composed using chance operations including the cento which is thought to have originated in the 3rd or 4th century. We’ll read and discuss exemplary short literary works and art composed via chance operations as models for our own play. We’ll scavenge our dreams and environments (indoors/outdoors) for found language and forms such as lists and dictionary entries with which to compose poems or flash prose. We’ll keep a dream notebook, and experiment with erasures, Ouilipo constraints and our own constraints, sound and visual media, and published texts as scaffolding for our own texts. While chance operations is, well, chancy, many sublime creative works have resulted through its “accidents.” This is a great workshop for those who feel blocked or in a writing rut, or who would like to open/add another approach to their writing toolbox, or who would like to gain more flexibility, stamina, and self-trust with bridging their unconscious flow with their conscious process.

SHIRA DENTZ is the author of five books, black seeds on a white dish (Shearsman), door of thin skins (CavanKerry Press), a cross-genre memoir, how do i net thee (Salmon Poetry), a National Poetry Series finalist, the sun a blazing zero (Lavender Ink/Diálogos), and SISYPHUSINA (Pank Books, 2020). She’s also the author of two chapbooks, Leaf Weather (Shearsman) and FLOUNDERS (Essay Press). Her poetry, visual writing, and prose appear in many venues including Poetry, The American Poetry Review, The Iowa Review, New American Writing, Cincinnati Review, The Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day Series (Poets.org), and National Public Radio, and interviews with her appear in journals such as Ploughshares, Rain Taxi, and The Rumpus. Shira is a recipient of awards including an Academy of American Poets’ Prize. Poetry Society of America’s Lyric Poem and Cecil Hemley Memorial Awards, Painted Bride Quarterly’s Poetry Prize, and Electronic Poetry Review’s Discovery Award. Before returning to school to pursue graduate studies, she worked as a graphic artist in the music industry in NYC. A graduate of Iowa Writers‘ Workshop, she holds a Ph.D. in Creative Writing and Literature from the University of Utah, and is currently Tarpaulin Sky’s Special Features Editor and lives and teaches in upstate New York. More about her writing can be found at shiradentz.com.

Workshop dates:
August 6
August 13
August 20
August 27

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