Queer as Form


Workshop meets over four Saturdays:

  • Saturday, May 15, 11 am - 1 pm CT
  • Saturday, May 22, 11 am - 1 pm CT
  • Saturday, May 29, 11 am - 1 pm CT
  • Saturday, June 5, 11 am - 1 pm CT


  • Tuition: $100
  • Location: Zoom virtual workshop
  • Deadline: Registration closes Saturday, May 15, 10:30 am CT

Tution Assistance Available!

Queer as Form


When we talk about queer poetry, our conversations often center on the content of literature. We focus, understandably, on literature as a tool for representing lives and loves that had been left to the poetic and social margins. In this needed attention on queer content, do we have anything to say about queer form? Is queer poetry just using old tools to tell new stories? Are there poetic forms that are themselves queer?

Using queer as a verb instead of a noun, our workshop goal is to queer our poems, and to queer our reading practice itself.  We queer through the divergent and the experimental just as we queer those poems and forms that have been declared traditional. We queer to make new structures and we queer to recover what’s been hidden or lost. In thinking about the practice and poetics of queer, we will emphasize multiplicity rather than monoliths, and embrace fluid ambiguity and raw clarity in equal measure. Through readings, discussions, and writing exercises, we will examine the Queer of our poems as sites of passion, politics, and play.

Note: This workshop makes no assumptions about the queer or non-queer identity of its practitioners, and you are invited to bring as much or as little of your personal self to the page as you wish. It will, however, proceed from a queer-as-center intellectual approach.

Guiding Texts include: Danez Smith, Ocean Vuong, Adrienne Rich, jayy dodd, Natalie Diaz, Jos Charles, Vanessa Angélica Villarreal, J. Jennifer Espinoza, Ronaldo Wilson, Dawn Lundy Martin, CAConrad


Jessica Lawson (she/her/hers) is a Denver-based writer, teacher, and activist. Her debut book of poetry, Gash Atlas (forthcoming 2021), was selected by judge Erica Hunt for the Kore Press Institute Poetry Prize, and her chapbook Rot Contracts appeared summer 2020 (Trouble Department). A Pushcart-nominated poet, her writing has appeared in The Rumpus; Entropy; Dreginald; Yes, Poetry; The Wanderer; Cosmonauts Avenue; and elsewhere. She is currently at work on her second book project, a portrait of bodily vulnerability at the intersection of poverty, sex, and trauma. 


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