Upcoming Creative Writing Workshop. Sign Up NOW!!

Writing Out the Bones of Poetry: Experimental Writing with Aimee Herman

September 13-14, 12pm-2pm

Shetler Studios
244 W 54th St #12, New York, NY 10019



In this two day workshop, we will create experiments on the page through spills, cut-ups (inspired by William S. Burroughs) and various prompts leading us out of conventional language and into hybrid dialects. Where is the urgency of your words? How often do you color outside of the lines with your poetics. We will stretch out the margins and encourage each other to break out of our habits. This class will also offer students the opportunity to practice reading their creations out loud. What is the dialect of your performance? How do you want to be heard? This workshop will include peer discussion and feedback. There will be an optional trip after class on Sunday to Parkside Lounge for great weather for MEDIA’s open mic.

Upcoming Poetry Workshop…..Sign up Today!

“Writing Out the Bones of Poetry”

Experimental Writing Workshop w/ Aimee Herman

Don’t just read between the lines—dig in, excavate, reassemble.

Poetry Teachers NYC announces “Writing Out the Bones of Poetry,” a two-day poetry workshop taught by Aimee Herman. Students will create experiments on the page through spills, cut-ups (inspired by William S. Burroughs), and various prompts, leading out of conventional language and into hybrid dialects. You’ll practice performing, engage in peer discussion, and receive constructive feedback.

Dates: Saturday, September 13th & Sunday, September 14th
Time: 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Location: Shelter Studios – 244 West 54th St., 12th Fl,  New York, NY
Enrollment: $100

Space is limited, so register today!

what is the gender of your pen?

I recently spent a Saturday in a writing workshop trying to write like a woman. In the past, I have taken various classes that focus on gender or race or period of time or genre of writing. Anytime I approached a text or began a response to it, I never thought of myself as a woman reading this or a woman writing this.

I’ve called myself a queer writer. I’ve labeled myself as a gay writerI’ve called myself a poet. A performance artist. I’ve admitted to things that I used to be or formally was. But in all these years writing words down, I never took on that classification. I’d like to think that my genitals have nothing to do with what comes out of me. Though, I do not believe it is my/our genitals that classify our gender.

When we talked about where we write from and how our femaleness comes through, I said this: I do not write like a woman, nor a man. Actually, I don’t quite know what that means. If masculine writing is defined by grotesque language and overt sexuality, then how to explain the gloriousness of Kathy Acker, Lidia Yuknavitch, or Dodie Bellamy (just to name a few)?

I said: I think of a see-saw, with a man on one end and a woman on the other and I am balancing on both sides, sometimes in the middle. But I never get comfortable enough to sit down. I said that I write from inside my body, but it is a hybrid of genitalia and vocabularies (which I am still learning/gathering). I said that I honor the ones who came before me and the ones still around today, but it is the humans who took risks on the page that encouraged me to write. Humans: men, women, transgender, gender non-conforming.

We were encouraged to make a list. Of all the influences of women writers. As we went around the room, some of our names echoed and some learned of ones we’d never heard of. My rebellion wanted to name men as well, but I was trying to behave. But the thing is, I have been deeply influenced and inspired by so many male writers as well: Rumi, Pablo Neruda, Alan Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, Charles Bukowski (that name might have caused a riot), Kazim Ali, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, James Baldwin…

But what I read out loud included some of these names:

Anne Sexton
Audre Lorde
Dorothy Parker
Diane di Prima
Rita Mae Brown
Dorothy Allison
Akilah Oliver
Eileen Myles
Michelle Tea
AM Homes
Kate Bornstein
Susie Bright
Gertrude Stein
Sandra Cisneros
Puma Perl
Cookie Mueller
Karen Finley
Marina Abramović
Ariel Gore
Eleanor Roosevelt
Julia Serano
Susan Sontag
Ivan Coyote
Anais Nin

The list continues and never ends kind of like an ocean. To me, it just goes on and on until you reach something else.

Yesterday I said: I think about gender everytime I breathe. This is because for so many years I didn’t. I walked around in this body, ignoring what didn’t feel right. Trying to write my way out of the clog. To write is to read. And I am continually looking for writers that teach me, introduce new words and discourses into my brain, make me uncomfortable, stretch the boundaries and implications of writing. 

Beyond gender. Because it is no longer just male or female writers. We are far too interesting and complex to remain inside those boxes forever.