with Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo in Highland Park
7:30 to 9:30 pm
May 7 to June 25, 2019
Poets will read, analyze, and discuss contemporary poetry from women, people of color, and queer writers with attention to form to find strategies for creating and revising fresh new poems. As a sculptor works and reworks a block of stone to create a masterpiece, so will poets look at the different ways words can be placed on the page to create a piece of art. During this eight-week workshop, each class meeting will begin with a short lesson on such topics as classic and new forms, line breaks, stanza breaks, and the use of white space before workshopping original pieces from the group. Each session will also include a writing exercise poets can experiment with at home.
This class is open to students at all levels and will take place at Book Show in Highland Park, where wine, sparkling water, and the occasional gourmet snack will be served.
Enrollment limit: 8 students
$420 for new students; $380 for returning students. (Payment plans available to returning students.)
Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo is the daughter of Mexican immigrants and 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. A Macondo Writers’ Workshop member, she has work 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 cofounder of Women Who Submit and a member of Miresa Collective.
“Poetry II was my first workshop at WWLA and my first time working with Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo. Xochitl's vision and direction for the class were right up my alley—as a teacher, she is open yet directed, stimulating and positive. I hope to take more classes with her at WWLA.” —Helena Lipstadt
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