National Poetry Month at Sevilla
NATIONAL POETRY WRITING MONTH
On April 1, we'll launch daily opportunities to engage with your community and writing. Depending on the day of the week, we'll have either readings, writing exercises, poetry seminars, or generative workshops. Proceeds from donations and ticket sales will benefit artists and organizations supporting those affected by COVID-19.
We'll meet every day at 10 a.m. PST. Weekday events happen on Instagram Live, and weekend events happen on our virtual conference software, Hopin.
Monday Readings on Instagram Live
Readings are free to watch. We do, however, encourage sending a donation to the poet!
Monday, April 6
Gayle Brandeis is the author, most recently, a novel in poems, Many Restless Concerns, published February, 2020 by Black Lawrence Press. Brandeis is also the author of of the memoir The Art of Misdiagnosis (Beacon Press) and the poetry collection The Selfless Bliss of the Body (Finishing Line Books). Her other books include Fruitflesh: Seeds of Inspiration for Women Who Write (HarperOne), and the novels The Book of Dead Birds (HarperCollins), which won the Bellwether Prize for Fiction of Social Engagement, Self Storage, which began as a NaNoWriMo novel (Ballantine), Delta Girls (Ballantine), and My Life with the Lincolns (Henry Holt), a state-wide read in Wisconsin. Her poetry, essays, and short fiction have been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, O (The Oprah Magazine), The Rumpus, Salon, Longreads, and more. She teaches at Sierra Nevada College and Antioch University Los Angeles.
Monday, April 13
A 2019 PEN America Emerging Voices Fellow, Dare Williams is a Queer HIV-positive poet, artist, activist native to Southern California. An alum of the John Ashbury Home School, Dare’s poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a finalist for Blood Orange Review’s inaugural contest judged by Jericho Brown. His work has been featured in Cultural Weekly, Bending Genres, THRUSH and forthcoming in Exposition Review. He is currently working on his first poetry collection.
Monday, April 20
Jessica Abughattas was born and raised in California. Her debut poetry collection, Strip (University of Arkansas Press), won the 2020 Etel Adnan Poetry Prize. Selected by Fady Joudah and Hayan Charara, “Strip is a captivating debut about desire and dispossession, and that tireless poetic metaphor, the body. Audacious and clear-eyed, plainspoken and brassy, these are songs that break free from confinement,” the series editors said. She is a Kundiman fellow and a graduate of the Antioch University Los Angeles MFA in Creative Writing program. Her poetry has won Best of the Net and appeared in Waxwing, The Adroit Journal, and Redivider, among other places.
Monday, April 27
Adrian Ernesto Cepeda is the author of the full-length poetry collection Flashes & Verses… Becoming Attractions from Unsolicited Press, the poetry chapbook So Many Flowers, So Little Time from Red Mare Press. Between the Spine is a collection of erotic love poems published with Picture Show Press and La Belle Ajar, a collection of cento poems inspired by Sylvia Plath's 1963 novel, published in 2020 by CLASH Books. Adrian is an LA Poet who has a BA from the University of Texas at San Antonio and he is also a graduate of the MFA program at Antioch University in Los Angeles where he lives with his wife and their cat Woody Gold.
Wednesday Writing Prompts on Instagram Live
Poets will take over our account to run generative writing exercises. These are free to watch; however, we do encourage sending a donation to the poet!
Wednesday, April 8
Valorie K. Ruiz is a queer Xicana writer fascinated by language and the magic it evokes. She lives in Las Vegas and is an assistant flash fiction editor for Homology Lit. Her work has been nominated for many Pushcart Prizes and appeared in Black Warrior Review, Carve Magazine, Hayden's Ferry Review, LunaLuna Magazine, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Maudlin House, among others. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing, Poetry from San Diego State University . Ruiz has taught creative writing, rhetoric and surrealist poetry.
Wednesday, April 15
Mathieu Cailler is an award-winning author whose poetry and prose have been widely featured in numerous national and international publications, including the Los Angeles Times and The Saturday Evening Post. A graduate of the Vermont College of Fine Arts, he is the winner of a Short Story America Prize and a Shakespeare Award. He is the author of the short-story collection, Loss Angeles (Short Story America Press), which has been honored by the Hollywood, New York, London, Paris, Best Book, and International Book Awards; the poetry collection, May I Have This Dance? (About Editions), winner of the 2017 New England Book Festival Poetry Prize; and the children’s book, The (Underappreciated) Life of Humphrey Hawley (About Editions), which has been nominated for the Caldecott Medal and the Newbery Award, among other notable prizes. His most recent book is the poetry collection, Catacombs of the Heart (Spartan Press). Hi, I’m Night (Olympia), a children’s book, will be coming out soon.
Wednesday, April 22
Brian Sonia-Wallace's primary ongoing arts practice is a project called RENT Poet, which creates collaborative poetry, mediated by the technology of the typewriter, with participants. RENT Poet inspires meaningful conversations with the general public about their hopes, fears, memories, and dreams for the future, and work with a poet to immortalize these thoughts in verse. His first book of poetry, I Sold These Poems, Now I Want Them Back, was published by local publisher Yak Press in 2016, and his poetry has further appeared with Angels Flight Literary West, Art&, Spoken Word London, Chaffey Review, Fools Guild Quarterly, New York Academy of Medicine, and more. He's also performed poetry and spoken word, featuring at such venues as UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion, Da Poetry Lounge, The Broad Stage, CAP UCLA, Chandler Center for the Arts (AZ), Electric Forest Festival (Michigan), and University of North Dakota, Grand Forks. His essay collection, The Poetry of Strangers, is forthcoming from Harper-Perennial this June and is available for pre-order now!
Wednesday, April 29
Alex Simand lives and works in San Francisco, though he was born in Russia and grew up in Toronto, which means he exists in a state of constant cultural confusion. He holds an MFA from Antioch University Los Angeles. Alex writes fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry. His work has appeared in Split Lip Magazine, North American Review, Matador Review, Hippocampus Magazine, Apogee, and other publications. His short story, "Election Cycle," was a winner of the 2017 Best Small Fictions Prize. Alex is an editor at Meow Meow Pow Pow, a graffiti broadside press.
Hosted by Sevilla Writers House founder, Lyndsay Hall, we'll get playful with our writing prompts and see where that day's energy takes us. For half a decade, Lyndsay taught creative writing to children, and she hopes to inspire that same fearless, boundless imagination in each of you.
During this time, we will raise money for organizations supporting those affected by COVID-19.
THIS WEEK'S CAUSES
Wednesday, April 1: Direct Relief
Thursday, April 2: No Kid Hungry
Friday, April 3: Los Angeles' Downtown Women's Shelter
Venmo your donation to @lyndsayhall.
Seminars are ticketed virtual lectures that last a couple of hours. You can watch them live and interact with other poets, or receive a replay via email later. Tickets are available on an honor-based sliding scale for $8, $13, or $20 per seminar. Proceeds go largely to the seminar leader.
Saturday, April 4
Axis of Passion: Entanglements of Sacred and Erotic Expressions
This seminar aims to provide an articulation of an examined parallel or link between Anne Carson’s understanding of Eros/erotica as detailed in her essay collection Eros: The Bittersweet, and the experiential understanding of believers in religious traditions toward the divine, with a focus on writings such as the Psalms and John Donne’s “Holy Sonnets” as well as contemporary poets like Carl Phillips, Dante Micheaux, and Franz Wright. Together, we will attempt to outline erotica as a time-honored literary genre and a form with specific aims and formal constraints
Saturday, April 11
Stanzas! Stanzas! Stanzas!: Building Rooms for the Party
This seminar will focus on how stanzas can energize a poem. What is it about, say, a five-line stanza that can get the party started in a poem when another length doesn't? What can quatrains do? This seminar will be lively and focused on exploring poems from a range of voices so we can join the party a poem invites us to help make.
Saturday, April 18
“My voice were a knife”: Persona Poem, the Queer/Trans Body, and Writing Rage
This seminar is about the persona poems that marginalized people write, and what it means to write into someone else's body and identity when your own body is deeply politicized. Persona is a radical act, building a voice that critiques and cuts as well: a body of work setting things ablaze with fury, grace, and brilliance.
Saturday, April 25
Divinatory Poetics: The Poem Is Already Inside You
In this seminar, we'll cover a brief overview of divination before diving deep into practicing it to guide and shape your work. We'll use tarot cards, playing cards, and talismans to reveal the poems already inside you in 3 guided writing sprints.
Workshop Recommendations (not requirements)
- tarot or oracle deck- deck of playing cards
- talisman (any object that the participant regards as having lucky or meaningful spiritual connections)
- a piece of your own writing that you love (not necessarily poetry)
- a book that has spiritual / significant meaning to you (any genre)
- a candle
Workshops are ticketed, generative classes that last a couple of hours. The goal is to help you produce work. You can watch these live and interact with other poets, or receive a replay via email later. Tickets are available on an honor-based sliding scale for $8, $13, or $20 per workshop. Proceeds go largely to the workshop leader.
Sunday, April 5
Where I Fit in the World: Developing A "Poetic Eye" That Means More Than Myself
In this workshop, beginner and intermediate level poets will explore how their daily happenings are an extension of the world. In the words of Whitman, the goal of the workshop is to push the envelope in what it means to "contain multitudes." Whether the poems created are about taking a bath, working, or walking down the street, the work generated will offer lenses that expand the vision and reach of a poem written from a personal space.
Sunday, April 12
A Collection of Small Joys
This workshop will focus on joy in poetry as a practice, a literary craft, and an access point to expand the emotional range of our writing. We'll examine work that engages with joy in different ways, write into some forms and exercises, and explore its relationship with our writing, our lives, & our writing lives.
Please bring a beloved photograph and a book you've read more than a few times.
Sunday, April 19
Focus on the Out Breath: Corporeal Poetry
Exercises in this workshop will draw on the poetic potential of the body (its various parts & wholes). Writers in this workshop will be led through somatic awareness exercises and use what they discover as prompts for their writing practice. Prompts will offer unique entry points into the body as a site of revelation, reclamation, & self discovery. Through exploration and experimentation our writing will flow from an expanded, fully embodied sense of self.
Sunday, April 26
Recurrence and Echo as Focus in Poetry
Sometimes we are doomed to write the same poem over and over, even if it takes different forms. Sometimes we write in new spaces and on different topics, only to find ourselves circling back to our obsessions. How do our obsessions manifest in our poetry, consciously or otherwise? Knowing what they are and how they come about is key to learning how we as writers approach our own poems, and therefore how to give readers access to them.