Diving Into The Wreck
Time & Location
About the event
Diving Into The Wreck
Five Week Writing Course With Daily Reading & Writing Assignments
Facilitated By Elisabet Velasquez
This Writing Workshop is named after one of Adrienne Rich’s most renowned poems: Diving Into The Wreck
Towards the end of the poem Adrienne Rich explains:
the thing I came for:
the wreck and not the story of the wreck
the thing itself and not the myth.
Together we will debunk the popular New Year, New Me myth. Instead, we will begin to confront and celebrate our lived experiences and examine what wrecks us. Using the writings of, Adrienne Rich, Rainer Marie Rilke, Hanif Abdurraquib, Ocean Vuong, Lucille Clifton, Tina Chang, Natalie Diaz and more we will explore how writers have used elements of craft to dive into the depths of their lived experiences. Through poetry, we will engage with and marvel at our wreckage and our treasures.
About The Instructor:
Elisabet Velasquez is a Boricua Writer from Bushwick, Brooklyn. Her work has been featured in Muzzle Magazine, Winter Tangerine, Centro Voces, Latina Magazine, We Are Mitú, Tidal and more. She is a 2017 Poets House Fellow and the 2017 winner of Button Poetry Video Poetry Contest
What should I expect from you as an instructor?
I did not study poetry at an MFA program, or even in college, or even in high school. As a matter of fact, I dropped out of high school in the tenth grade to start working after giving birth to my daughter at the age of 16. Therefore my approach to teaching poetry is not born from an academic lens. Though I have been fortunate enough to be in spaces where I have been able to learn about craft from some of today’s best contemporary poets and professors, I am not a professor nor do I pretend to be.
Most of my knowledge of poetry has been shaped through lived experience, reading books and essays on and about poetry, attending writing workshops, seeking mentorship, discussing poems in community settings or just with the homies, making a lot of mistakes, fighting through imposter syndrome, and ultimately through the act of writing itself. My favorite way to teach is by learning alongside course participants. In this way we are all students, learning from and with each other. All of our experience and knowledge is valid and valued.
I have been performing poetry since 2009 and have been a teaching artist since 2018.
I quote poet and teacher Richard Hugo here:
“ You'll never be a poet until you realize that everything I say today and this quarter is wrong.
It may be right for me, but it is wrong for you.
Every moment, I am, without wanting or trying to, telling you to write like me.
But I hope you learn to write like you.
In a sense, I hope I don't teach you how to write but
how to teach yourself how to write. “
Expect me to hold you accountable for your own learning. That’s it.
Q. How long is the workshop?
Diving Into The Wreck is a writing course that will meet live using the Zoom Platform over the course of 5 Saturdays. Jan 4, Jan 11, Jan 18, Jan 25, Feb 1. Live Sessions will begin the week’s lesson and will be recorded for those who cannot attend. Daily reading and writing assignments happen on your own time which allows you the flexibility to figure out a writing/ study schedule that works for you.
- Although we will meet once a week for five weeks, there will be daily reading and writing assignments some of which will require peer feedback and annotations. Instructor critique of all submitted written work will be provided.
The class structure looks like this:
Jan 4th - Live Session: Intro To The Course/Identifying The Wreck
Jan 5th -10th - On Your Own Time: Writing/ Reading Assignments
Jan 11th - Live Session: Loading Equipment
Jan 12-17 - On Your Own Time: Writing/ Reading Assignments
Jan 18 - Live Session: Breathing Differently
Jan 19-24 - On Your Own Time: Writing/ Reading Assignments
Jan 25 - Live Session: The Words Are Maps
Jan 26-30 -On Your Own Time: Writing/ Reading Assignments
Feb 1 - Live Session: What We Carry, What We Leave Behind/ Back On Land - What’s Next?
Q. Am I Really Required To Read, Write, Annotate & Give FeedBack EVERYDAY?
You know I have responsibilities, right?
- Because I believe in personal autonomy, completing assignments, writing and giving feedback every day is not mandatory but highly encouraged. Please note that this is a writing course. Part of signing up for this course is to challenge yourself to begin to create a sustainable writing practice for yourself. In this way, we can begin our new year forming habits that will work for us for the rest of our lives.
Please note that giving feedback to your peers is a part of this course, however, if you would like to opt-out of giving/receiving feedback to your peers, please let me know. I will also be giving direct feedback on your writing. This is why the class is capped at 10 so that I am able to give adequate time to folk.
Q. I Have Never Written Poetry Before, I Am Not Too Sure I Write Good Enough For This Course, Blah - Self Doubt - Blah - Imposter Syndrome -Blah - Is This Class For Me?
- SELF DOUBT OR SELF-DEPRICATION DOES NOT BELONG HERE BUT YOU DO!
- All experience levels are welcome. Look, the way you breathe is a poem. You probably tell stories everyday laced in metaphor and irony and don’t even notice. On your walk to the bodega, you more than likely encountered four possible poems waiting to be written. In week two’s Lesson “Equipment” we will learn about poetic techniques and how to write about those experiences.
Q. What are the workshop craft goals?
- Acquire new writing/organizational skills that we can use towards our writing practice.
- Work towards beginning to compile poems for a chapbook. If you write the assigned poem a day, we will have at least 24 new poems.
- Be in an environment that will inspire motivation and accountability.
- Read & Analyze poems for their central drama, theme, structure, magic, mood & more.
- Important Note: Although poetry can provide therapeutic effects this course is not intended to provide therapy. In this course, we will discuss tools that we can use to help us write about these experiences employing honesty and vulnerability, however, some of our life experiences are really difficult to write about and can cause us to experience feelings of retraumatization. I am not a write-through-your pain instructor. I encourage participants to be emotionally responsible and introspective about where they are so that they are able to prioritize self-care-walk and to walk away from the writing if need be.
What is the class learning structure?
This class is using the online platform WetInk.
- A dedicated space for community discussions
- Video Lessons
- Daily reading & writing assignments
- Instructor Critique
- Peer Feedback
- 4 Saturday Zoom hour & half live class discussion session (recorded if you cannot make it) 1pm-2:30pm
- List Of Calls For Submissions
- Reading materials with in-class annotation ability
- In-class quizzes to affirm our grasping of knowledge
- PDFs of Lessons
- Emailed copy of the course when class is archived.
What will I be writing about?
- Everything. My approach to writing is based on my belief that we must be responsible to archive our lives. Whether we aim to be published prolific poets like Maya Angelou or silent scribes like Emily Dickinson. Every aspect of our life has value. The wreckage and the treasures.
Q. $300.00! Elisabet, this class is too expensive for me!
- I realize that not everyone can pay this amount. This is why I am pleased to offer one scholarship to a self-identified BIPOC*
- Black, Indigenous, Person Of Color
To apply for the scholarship: Please email ElisabetVelasquezPoetry@gmail.com
Subject Line: [Last Name]Scholarship Application
Body: Please include two poems and how you feel that this scholarship would benefit you.
2. Payment plans are available!
Payment plans are currently available. Please email me about making a payment plan.
3. If you would like to purchase & donate this course to a BIPOC please email me @Elisabetvelasquezpoetry@gmail.com
Other Available Options For Learning About Writing:
- I offer patreon writing sessions, and writing prompts for 5.00 a month. Please email me about joining.
- There are mini-workshops on my Instagram highlights and I offer reading materials/ submissions/ talk about writing on my IG stories almost every day for FREE.
- Here are some places you can keep on your radar for free/low-cost writing resources/inspiration I’ll keep adding to this list and perhaps create a google doc. Feel free to email me your faves to add to this growing collective.
IG: @latinxwriterscollective, @dominicanwriters @projectx718 @infantejp @taiiasmartyoung @wintertangerine @isjonespoetry @voicemailpoems @vanessa_loba @twhpoetry, @auntiekym,@tin_house, @wellreadblackgirl
Websites: @taiiasmartyoung.com, CamariCarter.com, Brokelyn.com, Acentosreview.com, Vonavoices.org, lithub.com, awpwriter.org, diymfa.com,electricliterature.com
* this is a non-refundable course
- Diving Into The Wreck$300$3000$0