Bending Genres Workshop: Subverting the Line Break, A Prose Poetry Workshop
to Feb 17

Bending Genres Workshop: Subverting the Line Break, A Prose Poetry Workshop

Charles Simic compared writing a prose poem to “trying to catch a fly in a dark room. The fly probably isn’t even there, the fly is inside your head, still, you keep tripping over and bumping into things in hot pursuit. The prose poem is a burst of language following a collision with a large piece of furniture.” In this workshop, the focus will be on prose poetry as a vehicle or conveyer belt for subversive content that doesn’t fit well in other boxes.

Participants will study the techniques and subversions of contemporary prose poets (including Layli Long Soldier, Zbigniew Herbert, Ann Waldman, Danielle Mitchell, and others) in addition to writing and revising their own prose poems. Specific techniques will include parallelism, parataxis, lexical accretion, and various subversions of voice. We will generate new poems and revisit old poems that ache to be poured into different glasses. There are so many incredible ways to experience collisions with large pieces of furniture. We’ll focus on turning those collisions into small bricks of poetry.

Register online at the Bending Genres Workshop page.

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Poets Reading the News, Rise Up Review & Writers Resist at AWP
6:00 PM18:00

Poets Reading the News, Rise Up Review & Writers Resist at AWP

Join us for a free collaborative reading by contributing writers to Poets Reading the News, The Rise Up Review, and Writers Resist at AWP, hosted at Rontoms--have a yummy bite and join the resistance!

RISE UP REVIEW READERS: Devon Balwit, Brent Terry, Lenny DellaRocca, Jennifer Jean, Iris Dunkle, Claudia F. Savage, Darius Atefat-Peckham, Joel Peckham, Cynthia Atkins, Katharine Whitcomb

WRITERS RESIST READERS: Peter Brown Hoffmeister, Tara Campbell, Tori Cárdenas, Jamie Davenport, Lisa DeSiro, Amy Freeman, Robbie Gamble, Amanda Gomez, Liz Kellebrew, Courtney LeBlanc, LJ Provost, Sima Rabinowitz, Sam Sax, Judith A. Skillman, Alina Stefanescu, Katie Thomason, C. Gregory Thompson, Writer and Hector Tobar

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#bhamstands Reading & Open Mic
6:00 PM18:00

#bhamstands Reading & Open Mic

We’re very excited to announce that our next LastThursday at Revelator Coffee Company Open Mic Night will be a partnership with 100 Thousands Poets for Change Birmingham to raise support for Shut Down Etowah! 100 Thousand Poets for Change encourages poets to address, envision, & encourage social change, & will have selected poets discussing various systematic injustices. Thed Weller will still be our host & this is still an open mic available to anyone who wants to speak. Kawmane TheArtiztic will have art on display. Will you stand with us?

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9:00 AM09:00

2018 Local Authors Expo

This event is open and free to the general public and offers a fun-filled day to meet authors, buy signed books, learn about writing and publishing and network with both established and up-and-coming authors and publishers.

I will be signing copies of Stories to Read Aloud to Your Fetus and Every Mask I Tried On.

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Words of a Wordsmith: Writing a Poem in Negative Metaphor
6:00 PM18:00

Words of a Wordsmith: Writing a Poem in Negative Metaphor

  • Birmingham Public Library Central Location (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Alina will introduce the negative metaphor. Using examples from contemporary poems, attendees will shape their own poem from a negative metaphor. 

The final hour will be reserved for providing feedback and comments on works in progress. 

Free and open to the public.

Bring poems, notebook, and pen. 

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6:00 PM18:00

Words of a Wordsmith Workshop: Two Ways to Revise

  • Birmingham Public Libary Central Location (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Alina Stefanescu will introduce two different ways of revising or breathing life into faltering poems, including Diane Lockwood's Revision-Expansion method and making architectural changes. There will be two handouts available with notes.

Make sure to bring various drafts and/or your poetry notebook. These methods can be applied to final drafts as well as fledglings or feathers. 

Bring pen, paper, pencils, several poems you hope to revise, and yourself. Free and open to the public courtesy of Birmingham Public Libary. Go to the second floor into the meeting room behind the Children's Librarian desk. 

And for inspiration, here's an exemplary, absolutely finished poem by Erica Dawson...

In Black and White 

        by Erica Dawson

Who else is really trying to fuck
With Hollywood endings, the clipped
Finish sealed with a kiss and dipped
In dark chocolate ganache? I’ve stuck

My hand into the bonbon box
Too many times. The Juliet
Costume won’t fit my body, yet
Dear Romeo’s a pair of socks:

One size fits most; and, we all die
So many times before our deaths.
I huff on all my last orgasmic breaths.
So, death, take off your shoes, stretch, sigh,

And take me from behind and check
The paw prints on my back. They’ll climb
Away from you. There is no time
To mess around. Quick, clip my neck

With your grim reaper teeth—and, keep
Your hood on, hon—until we throw
Our costumes on the floor for show,
Expose ourselves as one big heap

Of bone and flesh and bone. With luck,
You’ll clip me hard and I’ll shout, Dei
Ave Maria… and people will say
If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck,

That girl’s going to Hell. Please, can
I hold your scythe? And if I don’t
Go to Hell, can you say it’s that you won’t
Take me. A spade’s a spade. A plan

Can change. I love your pivot, covet
Your line, pin, point, arbor and shaft;
And I can dig it. Feel that draft?
Come close. Now tell me how you love it.

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Book Launch, Book Fair & Open Mic: Heidi Lynn Staples & Alina Stefanescu
7:00 PM19:00

Book Launch, Book Fair & Open Mic: Heidi Lynn Staples & Alina Stefanescu


Co-sponsored by Sister City Spoken Word Collective.

Open community book fair organized by Biz Smart and local writers. 

Violin by Ladonna Smith. 

Book fair, book launch, open mic, reading, reception, and everything under the sun in one single night. Co-sponsored by Sister City Spoken Word Collective. Featuring short readings from Heidi Lynn Staples (celebrating release of A**A*A*) and Alina Stefanescu (celebrating release of her short story collection EVERY MASK I TRIED ON. 

Open mic sign-up at the event. Don't be surprised if face-painting and sign-making also takes place. Poets live between the words on the page and the words on the poster. 

Free book fair--bring your books, your art, and a covered dish.

Featured readers:

Ashley M. Jones
Joi Miner
Lori Lassetter Hamilton
Jessica Smith
Maria Vargas

OPEN MIC. Bring your readables. 

Facebook event page.

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Reading & Book Signing
3:00 PM15:00

Reading & Book Signing

Ernest & Hadley reading.png


Join local author Alina Stefanescu as she signs copies of her Brighthorse Prize-winning fiction collection, Every Mask I Tried On.

In prose that reminds us of the best of Grace Paley, Every Mask I Tried On is by turns smart, funny, and profound. Including prize-winning stories previously published in multiple literary journals, Every Mask I Tried On weaves through fabulism, magical realism, and poignant realistic fiction to leave the reader in the post-national space of home and life. 

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