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Living Vivid: Meditations on Mortality

Living Vivid: Meditations on Mortality

In Bhutanese culture, it’s encouraged that in order to live a happy life, one meditate on one's own death five times a day. While this may not be our exact practice as poets, if we’re doing our job we will come face-to-face with life’s big mysteries: our own mortality, the inevitability of loss and the elusiveness of permanence. Paradoxically, by familiarizing ourselves with death’s taboo territories, we encounter our own vivid aliveness and find ourselves more present, more open, more whole. Guided by the work of Gerald Stern, Angel Nafis, Rachel Eliza Griffiths, Jean Valentine, Aracelis Girmay and Japanese death poetry, among other examples, we’ll accept Bhutan’s invitation. By writing odes, elegies, litanies, epistles, and more, we’ll explore what it is to be a body-mind-spirit that is bound to lose everything, including oneself. And, most fiercely, we’ll do so with playfulness, openness and even joy. Class sessions will meet synchronously via Zoom every Wednesday night, and assignments, poems and critiques will be shared via Wet Ink.


Workshop Details

  • Professor: Shira Erlichman
  • Dates: February 24—March 31, 2021
  • Time: Wednesdays, 6:30–9 PM (EST)
  • Location: online via Zoom
  • Cost: $345
  • Class size: 5–10 students
  • Registration deadline: SUN, FEBRUARY 21, 2021
  • Earlybird discount: $15 off by SUN, FEBRUARY 7