with Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo in Silver Lake
7:30 to 9:30 pm
October 15 to December 10
(with no class on December 3)
Building on basic poetry tools such as imagery, sound, figurative language, line, and form, poets will read contemporary work from Cathy Linh Che, Chen Chen, Natalie Diaz, Morgan Parker, Javier Zamora, Khadijah Queen, and others with a critical eye toward their own work. In this eight-week workshop, we will pay special attention to using wonder, humor, and sensuality as strategies for writing on difficult topics such as trauma, chaos, and sex. Each class meeting will include a short lesson on one of the previously mentioned topics and a workshop of student poems. Previous experience studying poetry and/or enrollment in Poetry I or Mixed Levels Poetry is recommended but not required.
This class will take place in Silver Lake, where wine, sparkling water, and the occasional gourmet snack will be served.
Enrollment limit: 8 students
$420 new; $380 returning
(Payment plans available for returning students.)
Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo, a first-generation Chicana, is the author of Posada: Offerings of Witness and Refuge (Sundress Publications, 2016). A former Steinbeck Fellow, Poets & Writers California Writers Exchange winner, and Barbara Deming Memorial Fund grantee, she’s received residencies from Hedgebrook, Ragdale, National Parks Arts Foundation, and Poetry Foundation. Her work is published in Acentos Review, CALYX, crazyhorse, and American Poetry Review among others. A dramatization of her poem "Our Lady of the Water Gallons," directed by Jesús Salvador Treviño, can be viewed at latinopia.com. She is a co-founder of Women Who Submit and a member of Macondo Writers’ Workshop.
Reviews of Posada: Offerings of Witness and Refuge
"I am moved by Xochitl-Julisa's work, her embrace of familia, of places long gone and present, of abandoned things too, near or in a neighborhood house yet filled with luminous power as a 'black lava molcajete,' a 'mano,' and many kinds of cacti-enduring, inscrutable, fierce, & makers of nectar. Perhaps her verses are gazing at the border-crosser-perhaps at you and me. I found joy in Bermejo's work, her caring journeys, places I have traveled. Her touch is that of an artist. Unique, light, and expansive in its humanity. Bravissimo, Xochitl-Julisa!" —Juan Felipe Herrera, Poet Laureate of the United States
"Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo's poems rattle the heart, jolt the mind. Moving from the 'tender emerald bites' of nopales shared around a table to the brutal desert terrain crossed by immigrants, she interrogates the intimate and the political. Inventive, glimmering with Spanish, her language punctures silence and makes visible resilience. Her language is also curious; it's shaped by the work of Georgia O'Keeffe and Frida Kahlo, and it cruises through the city of Los Angeles. These poems weren't written to provide solace. These poems will break you in a thousand beautiful ways." —Eduardo C. Corral, 2011 Yale Younger Poets Prize winner for Slow Lightning
"Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo's poems are a haunting vortex from Mexican America, detailed with the items we share, the stories, the names, the old country memories, and also deserts, many, many deserts. Her voice is formidable, her language clear and complex at the same time. Here's a millennial poet that goes beyond the millennium." —Luis J. Rodriguez, Poet Laureate of Los Angeles and Founding Editor of Tia Chucha Press