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Crafts and Craft: Brit Bennett and Adrian Matejka

Thursday, May 4, 2017 @ 6:30 pm

Books & Books @ the Arsht Center

1300 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, United States

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A happy hour conversation series on the writing craft

You’ve had an immersive day of writing workshops and readings- you want to keep going but you need a refresh! Enjoy a change of scenery and wind-down with a craft beer as you explore different aspects of writing with our craft talk series.

The Masks We Want: Persona Poetry & Its Contemporary Possibilities with Adrian Matejka
Persona poetry is one of the earliest styles of poetry. The word persona comes from the Latin term for the masks ancient Greek actors used to exaggerate their features during performances. Over the last 30 years, a number of poets—including Rita Dove, Andrew Hudgins, Natasha Trethewey, and Kevin Young among many others—have made the move to adopt linguistic masks in their work as a way to create new and complicated narratives. Some of these poets have used persona to explore the intricacies of the contemporary imagination in voices that might be fabricated, but are emotionally resonant. Others have utilized persona not only as a tool for artistic exploration, but also as a means of historic reclamation by adopting the masks of musicians, politicians, soldiers and spelling bee champions who are actual historical figures. This talk will consider the possibilities and implications of contemporary persona poetry. How do we negotiate those spaces that aren’t from our experience? What kinds of opportunities and permissions does writing in persona offer us? How can we write in persona with ethical and creative clarity? By answering these questions, we are better-positioned take advantage of one of literature’s most venerable and wide-ranging styles.

Raising the Stakes with Brit Bennett
What are the narrative stakes of your story? In other words, why should anybody besides you care about what happens to these characters? In this craft talk, I want to examine what makes a story matter, and discuss how to create and heighten the stakes of a story.



Thursday, May 4, 2017
6:30 pm


All Year


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Books & Books @ the Arsht Center
1300 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, United States
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