Virtual Workshop – The Lyrical Erotic: Poetry of Pleasure, Sex, and Desire with Chekwube Danladi

We at Poetry Northwest –  illuminating poetry and literary cultures since 1959 – are so excited to be expanding into an exciting new platform this August by offering virtual poetry classes and workshops to support, resource, develop, nourish, connect emerging and established writers and readers in the communities we serve. As a literary journal and platform, we believe we have the power to counter systemic disinvestment in literary publishing. These virtual programs prioritize accessibility — virtual, sliding scale – localisms, equitable pay, and giving opportunities to both students and instructors historically marginalized or foreclosed out of decision-making roles in our industry.

Virtual Workshop – The Lyrical Erotic: Poetry of Pleasure, Sex, and Desire with Chekwube Danladi

In this six-week generative workshop, we will gather virtually on zoom to access deeper connections to our pleasure archives through the act of poetry. As we define and contextualize our experiences of the erotic, this course invites an unlocking of the erotic through intentional activations of the senses. We will rely on somatic intelligence and body memory, our own rich intuitions, and the heightened evocative possibilities of lyric to develop a collective aesthetic of desire. We will write poems about lust, romance, longing, fucking, while exploring intimacy, vulnerability, and dis/comfort as key elements which might guide our practice.

Our sessions will prioritize discussions of sample texts, responding to writing prompts, and peer critique. We will encounter texts from writers including Essex Hemphill, R. Erica Doyle, Anna Garréta, Minnie Bruce Pratt, Richard Siken, Natalie Diaz, Audre Lorde, Tory Dent, and others. By the end of our sessions, students should expect to have produced a small suite of poems (4-6 poems). We will work together to establish and maintain a sex-positive, trauma-aware learning environment, with the opportunity to create a collective classroom agreement when we begin.

Date: Saturday, Sept 3 – Saturday, Oct 8 

Time:  1pm–3pm PT / 4pm–6pm ET

Size: 10-15 students

Cost: $300 full price / $150–$250 sliding scale

Chekwube Danladi is the author of Semiotics (Georgia, 2020), winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize. She has received support from Callaloo, Kimbilio Fiction, Hedgebrook, Jack Jones Literary Arts, the Lambda Literary Foundation, Vermont Studio Center, and the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. Her visual work has been commissioned by the Center for Afrofuturist Studies (a program of PS1), Already Felt: Poetry in Revolt and Bounty, Langer/Dickie, and the Black Poetry Review. She is the 2022–25 Writer-in-Residence at Occidental College and lives in Los Angeles. Find more of her work here 🖤