The Freedom in the Constraint: A Workshop with TC Colbert

Saturday & Sunday, May 23 & 24, 2020, 12 pm-3 pm

In collaboration with Woodland Pattern Book Center

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Each June, in collaboration with Woodland Pattern Book Center, we host a visiting writer-in-residence and offer a workshop. This year, the two-day workshop with TC Tolbert will be held virtually.

Fee: $100 general/$90 members/$40 educators
Registration: Limited to 10 participants; advance registration required. Participants will receive instructions for access when they register for the workshop. This workshop will take place virtually. Register online via Woodland Pattern.

Living in quarantine, practicing social distancing, working from home, learning remotely: in a pandemic (if not all the time), the constraints of daily life are all too loud and overbearing. But poetry has long been a teacher for how to find freedom, even expansion, within constraint.

In this course, we will examine and experiment with both traditional received poetic forms and more contemporary (emerging) constraints in order to radically expand and deepen our perception of (the always) available poetic material. Participants will also be introduced to the tools of Compositional Improvisation* as a method for arriving newly at the page.

We will use text, movement, sound, and experiences in our own bodies to follow personal and collective impulses. We will discuss and practice emerging forms and what it means to create as individuals and as a distant but connected ensemble. By moving away from what we already know into a place of experiment (where learning happens!), this course will help students attend to what arrives, trust their own voices, and understand more fully the poetic impact of their choices. No movement experience necessary. Expect to write, stretch, laugh, and be moved. All are welcomed and encouraged!

*Building on the chance, (Soma)tic, conceptual, and collaborative techniques of poets, dancers, and musicians from the last 60 years, Compositional Improvisation explores intersections of text, body, architecture, space, collaboration, and attention in order to expand the range of what is possible for composition.


©2020 Lynden Sculpture Garden