2017 – 2018 RQ Writing Academy Schedule
The Reading Queer Writing Academy aims to inspire and prepare members of the queer community to tap into the powerful potential inherent to the act and the art of writing. Consisting of a series of distinct workshops spread out throughout the calendar year, the Academy will serve as a platform for writers of all walks of life to explore, pursue and perfect the craft in its myriad forms. As an expression of our conviction that writing is a right, not a privilege, all workshops are open to the general public regardless of an individual’s ability to pay.
All Reading Queer workshops are free and open to the public. However, we depend on your donations to support our programming.
05.13.2017 | “WRITING FOR LIBERATION” with Lutze Segu
DESCRIPTION: Who would you be if you could radically decenter the white heteropatriarchal gaze? The most insidious act of violence white supremacy inflicts is it robs us of our imagination. White supremacy is a fight that first begins in the mind. A world where Black lives truly matters, a world where the gender binary is dismantled, and a world where all bodies are worthy of love and having their basic needs met can exist, if we can cultivate these worlds in our creative minds. This workshop is for writers and aspiring writers who want to decolonize their thinking and pluralize the concept of freedom. In using an intersectional framework and series of writing prompts writers will wrestle with the question: what does it mean to be a QTPOC and thrive against the backdrop of white supremacy?
LUTZE B. SEGU is a native of Miami and a first-generation Haitian-American. She is an alum of Florida Memorial University the only historical Black college in Miami. She majored in English Literature and credits FMU for politicizing and fostering her #BlackGirlMagic. Lutze holds a Masters in Social Work from Barry University, but she is #notyouraveragesocialworker. For the past five years she has been practicing social work that is rooted in Black Feminism, Queer Theory, and Critical Race Theory. She is also an activist, writer, curator of sociopolitical spaces, organizer, and social justice practioner. In the fall Lutze is moving to Vancouver, Canada to attend the University of British Columbia to pursue a doctoral degree in Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice.
06.10.2017 | “I TALK TO MY BODY: A QUEER AND TRANS POETRY WORKSHOP FOR TRANS ART” with E. Parker Phillips
DATE: JUNE 10TH, 2017
COST: FREE. Donations appreciated. Donate here.
DESCRIPTION: The body is a site of identity, but often does not represent an internal, felt sense of self, especially for transgender and gender non-conforming people. On the other hand, processes of self-acceptance and/or transition can transform the body as a place of dysphoria into one of self-expression. In this workshop, we will explore, from a queer and transgender perspective, the tradition of a “soul” or speaker addressing the body in a poem. In the first part of the class, we will read and discuss the poems “I Talk to My Body,” by Anna Swir, “homage to my hips” by Lucille Clifton and “Letter to My Body” by Joy Ladin. Following our discussion, participants will be given writing prompts, guiding them to address their body while centering (Celebrating! Bemoaning! Both! ) queerness and/or transness.
E. PARKER PHILLIPS is a writer and non-binary femme based in Miami, Florida. Parker has taught two previous poetry workshops for Reading Queer, one also in conjunction with Trans Art. Parker co-founded and co-hosts Queer and Trans Yoga at Agni Miami. Parker’s poems have appeared in Voluble (A LARB channel), The Sensations Feelings Journal, Jai-Alai Magazine, Hinchas de Poesia, Tigertail’s collection of work by the Miami Poetry Collective, and assorted cent journals. Parker has also performed at The Miami Book Fair as well as BFI’s Weird Miami Bus Tour.
“SCREENWRITING” with Natalia Lassalle
DATE: July 2017
DESCRIPTION: This workshop will focus on integrating my theatrical and performance practices with the developing of short, personal, video narrative works. In this part- performance, part-writing and part Do-it-Yourself film-making workshop, participants will take their personal narratives from body, to paper, to visual imagery, utilizing any recording devices that are in hands reach. This is not limited to our often favorite and most convenient weapon of choice: the Smart Phone Camera. The goal of the workshop would be for the participants to hone in on story. We will start out by doing some basic physical theatre exercises and integrating these with sporadic writing prompts. From here, I will guide each student individually in structuring their writing into a story/main concept of their video. This story could be as simple as a moment, and could manifest itself as abstract or structured as the participant needs it to be.Then we will try to find visual imagery to translate this story into a cinematographic form.
NATALIA LASSALLE (b. 1991, San Juan, Puerto Rico) is a theatre maker and filmmaker whose work integrates the disciplines of film, choreography and performance. She received her BFA from the Experimental Theatre Wing at New York University. She has been an Artist-in Residence at Inkub8 Open Space in Miami, FL, as well as the Fonderie Darling in Montréal and Lake Studios in Berlin, Germany. Her work has been shown in galleries and venues in Miami, Berlin, New York and Puerto Rico.
“BOOT CAMP” with Jan Becker
DATE: September, 2017
DESCRIPTION: Lace up your combat boots; we’re recruiting for a love army. “BOOT CAMP FOR QUEER WRITERS” with Jan Becker is an intensive, prompt-driven poetry and flash nonfiction workshop. The term ‘boot camp’ may sound intimidating, but the only real order is, “permission to write freely.” This workshop is designed to liberate writers from their individual closets and get their words down on the page. The fast-paced writing drills disengage writers from that nagging, negative voice that plagues and prevents us from accessing what poet Maria Mazziotti-Gillan calls “the wise person who lives within our bellies.” Join us for the third iteration of what has proven to be a productive, empowering experience for writers from beginning level to published.
JAN BECKER is from a small coal mining town in Pennsylvania. She didn’t stay there very long. She grew up in a Marine Corps family, on military bases all over the United States. She is currently an MFA candidate at Florida International University, and has taught courses there in composition, technical writing, creative writing and poetry. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Jai-Alai Magazine, Colorado Review, Emerge, Brevity Poetry Review, Sliver of Stone, and the Florida Book Review. She is the 2015-2016 Writer in Residence at the Girls’ Club Collection in Fort Lauderdale, and winner of the 2015 AWP Intro Journals Award in Nonfiction.
“VOGUE WORKSHOP” with Jason Rodriguez
DATE: OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2017
“VISUAL STORYTELLING” with Shoog McDaniel
DATE: January 2018
DESCRIPTION: My workshop would deal with the challenging task of telling a complete story through one image. Participants would come to the group with a story to tell, on that involves emotion that is their own, happy or sad, simple or complicated. They will then interview each other after an introduction from me about my photography process, and then attempt to create a photo that illustrates the story’s emotion.
SHOOG McDANIEL is a southern, queer, non-binary, fat photographer and artist living in Gainesville, florida. I have been taking photos since high school, when a friend of mine dumpster dove 200 disposable cameras from behind a Walgreens. I became obsessed, and began documenting everything. I now shoot with a canon rebel t3i, and have yet to take a break from capturing intimate moments and beautiful people in my everyday life. My work is about highlighting bodies and lives that are often overlooked by popular society. I enjoy photographing fat bodies, trans bodies, and queer bodies. People`with gap-toothed smiles and missing buttons. I capture images of my friends. With little exceptions, I have a connection with the humans in my photos and I intend to show that through the intimacy of my portraits. I strive to connect the viewer of each photo to beauty within themselves, through understanding the brilliancy of diversity, by showing them that there are many ways to be beautiful.
“COME IN CHARACTER: A DEVELOPMENT WRITING WORKSHOP” with April Dobbins
DATE: February 2018.
DESCRIPTION: When writing diverse characters, how do you stay true to their authentic voices? Oftentimes, stereotypes and one-dimensional representations can taint your own creative well. This workshop is for writers and aspiring writers who are grappling with a character and could benefit from existing and performing in that character’s skin. Come in character! Bring a 1-4 page draft of a monologue written in your character’s voice. You will read as your character for the group, and we will do a number of creative exercises to help you build a fully realized, fictitious being. This exercise will help creatives jump into the minds of their creations, which will aid in developing dynamic and more complex voices. We will examine character development in film and literature and experiment with ways to build developed personas with a focus on characters who are queer and/or of color.
APRIL DOBBINS is a photographer, writer, and filmmaker. She was one of four filmmakers selected to screen her work at Sundance’s 2016 Documentary Film Rough Cuts Lab in Miami, and she is also a 2017 Sundance Institute Knight Fellow. Her films have screened at festivals across the U.S. An alumna of the prestigious Rittenhouse Writers Group, she did a TED talk on her work as a photographer and filmmaker for TEDxGrinnell in 2015, and she has been tapped to do a second TED talk for TEDxUMiami in 2017. Her documentary film project, Alabamaland, is an ongoing exploration of African-American culture in the rural South. She is a recipient of the S. J. Weiler Fund Award, which is made in recognition of exemplary artistic achievement and creativity in the visual arts as well as significant contributions to the arts community, and Cannonball Miami’s 2016 WaveMaker Grant.