Writing the Politicized Body


The most beautiful part of your body is where it’s headed. --Ocean Vuong

This workshop will explore writing about marginalized bodies that are objects of current political discourse. Indeed, we find ourselves in a time when for many the personal is intensely and inextricably political. In a time when politicians are debating the necessity of protecting health care, when racial profiling and police brutality is often unchecked, when women find themselves yet again on the streets to protect their right to choose, perhaps it is radical to write with intimacy and wonder about our bodies. Perhaps it is radical to witness ourselves with precision and an insistence upon our worthiness, on our rights to take up space and be joyful in this country.

This course will explore readings from contemporary poets who write intimately about the personal, political body (i.e. Jericho Brown, Sharon Olds, Kim Addonizio, Tracy K. Smith, Ocean Vuong, Carl Phillips, Rachel McKibbens, Fatimah Asghar, Terrance Hayes,  and Jan Beatty) and will also look back to recent literary ancestors, such as Audre Lorde and Adrienne Rich. Much of the craft focus of this course will be upon achieving embodiment through sensory details. Each week will include discussions of assigned readings, poetry prompts, and a peer-review workshop of student poems.



Teaching Artist: Stevie Edwards
Four Weeks Online / $200