The Dread Unsayable: A Free 2024 Poetry Intensive with Shivanee Ramlochan

Shivanee Ramlochan has posted the following news about an upcoming poetry workshop:

Mentoring - giving or receiving - has always stuck in my craw as a fraught enterprise. Service, on the other hand, has always been how I’ve understood why I am here at all. Please think of this as a service, a way for me to tangibly and truthfully share what I’ve learned so far to help writers who find themselves crossroaded, short of options.

What's this? The Dread Unsayable, a quarterly workshop intensive series, will run throughout 2024, with four 2.5 hour Zoom sessions hosted by Shivanee Ramlochan, in January, April, July, and October next year.

Who is it for? Queer Caribbean writers, living either at home or in the diaspora, who have not yet published a first full-length collection. A chapbook is fine.

What does it cost? The Dread Unsayable is entirely free. I’m absorbing the costs of my labour, time, and Zoom fees.

Why is this happening? I want to be of good use to a cohort of poets who are in the mid-range, intermediate, or otherwise slippery-to-define part of their journeys towards full-length publication. I’ll be sharing my experience, critique, insight, the benefit of my mistakes, and the cumulative acumen I’ve harnessed in doing this work.

What will the workshops be like? Each session will balance generative feedback and interactive tutelage. Teaching tools such as powerpoint presentations and virtual whiteboards will be employed, and a curated reading list will be made available to the cohort in advance of each session. Each participant will further receive written feedback from me during the course of the year on five of their poems. No individual workshop participant will bear the responsibility of running a session, but will be expected to engage productively in discussions of their peers’ work. A guideline of ethical considerations and provisions for safety in the virtual classroom will be shared.

Will there be a set number of us in workshop? The workshop cohort is strictly limited to six participants, to guarantee my ability to meaningfully engage with each of them.

Why queer? What’s that mean? The Dread Unsayable is specifically in service of LGBTQIA+ Caribbean writers, wherever in that umbrella you find yourself best represented. To my heteronormative creative colleagues, I cherish and esteem so many of you: please honour and respect that this space is not for you.

What kind of poems can I submit? Do they have to be ‘queer’? Any type of poem on any subject is admissible. You do not need to write explicitly ‘queer’ content, whatever that might look like, for acceptance in the cohort. All you need to do is be queer and exist.

Application & Deadline

You can make your expressions of interest via this Google form. The deadline for receipt of complete forms is Thursday 28 December, 11:59 PM AST. If you have any queries, please feel free to email them to me directly at [email protected] - I’ll accept queries up until the day before the deadline.

Please share this call with anyone you think would be interested. Future cohort of The Dread Unsayable, I look forward to writing alongside you.

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