How Food Invokes Poetry 4-Week Generative Zoom Workshop, Starts Saturday, April 13th, 2024
Begins Saturday, April 13th, 2024
Class will meet weekly via Zoom on Saturdays, 11:00AM to 1:00PM ET
Any questions about this class? Use the Chat Button (lower left) to talk with us.
There has always been food, and people have always written about food. There has always been song, and music revitalizes the soul. Good old’ Shakespeare opened Twelfth Night with“If music be the food for soul, play on”
Food and poetry are both created to gather and collect breath. These are both aspects of our life where we go inwards, where silence finds a resting ground. It is no surprise, therefore, that food serves as both an inspiration and metaphor for poetry.
How Food Invokes Poetry is a four-week workshop that is an invocation to all five senses and brings alive both food and poetry. You will engage with multi-dimensional paradigms by bringing your own experiences, close reading of evocative poetic texts related to food as well as creating your own food poems.
Led by poet Kashiana Singh, who is the author of the poetry collections Woman by the Door (Apprentice House Press, 2022), Crushed Anthills (Yavanika Press, 2019) and Witching Hour, forthcoming from Glass Lyre Press. When Kashiana is not writing, she lives to embody her TEDx talk theme of Work as Worship into her every day. She also serves as Managing Editor for Poets Reading the News.
Learn more about Kashiana in our Meet the Teaching Artist series.
Poetry is witness, and what better location to witness than at the kitchen table? Ingredients, recipes, and rituals of honoring are a celebration and a meditation. Mealtimes hold us, as well as history. Every morsel is an activation process; stories have been buried within our pots and pans. Flavors serve as a platter of beginnings and endings of relationships, cultures, identities, memory, medicine, and bodies.
**All readings will be done online, and materials shall be provided by the teacher during class as slides and handouts.
Week 1: Food as a marker
Food and poetry come together at key milestones during the cycle of life – Birth, Death, Weddings, Illness, and Wars.
In ancient cultures, food has always been associated with places of worship. It is intricately connected with gods and goddesses and poetry of myth and fables.
We will review texts from the following books:
- Food and Faith by Shobha Narayan
- The Language of Food by Annabel Abbs
The group will gather food images/memories from key life events and start to write with food at the kernel of poems of witness, poems of resilience, and poems of memory.
Do you have any traditional, cultural, or personal traditions surrounding food? If so, what are they? Share with your partner, and write a few words about the prayers, chants, food offerings, aroma, and flavors you remember from this tradition.
Week 2: Food and the Immigrant Experience
Food has a complex relationship with colonialization, immigration, and suppression. The diaspora communities live with a bounty of and trauma held within recipes, anecdotes, names of fruits, or dishes from their roots/birth countries/ancestors.
There is a continued tension between belonging here or there, leaning in or shifting away, and food is a key participant in this journey. Within the act of eating exists many complex issues of acceptance, resistance, and preservation of culture, as well as symbols of history.
We will review texts from the following poets
- Zilka Joseph
- Zeina Azzam
- Inside Out and Back Again, by Thanhha Lai
We will pay homage to these poems, and recall our own histories – find it in kitchen centered images and ingredients. We will also use words from other languages if we wish to and include those within our poems.
Week 3: Food and memory
Food makes people, places and particulars come alive. Within a pinch of spice, or a whiff of an aroma, or the way you hold a ladle we find stories. Using the food colander as a technique to sift ingredients of our food memories we will write anew.
This will be a generative session using the beginnings from Week 1 and Week 2 and findings from a memory pantry to develop a recipe for our own poems. Food Colanders, Utensils and tools will come together to cook and create.
- Tassajara Bread Book
- Displeasures of the Table by Martha Ronk
Week 4: Food and Women
We will discuss the insistence among women to retain food rituals. Intergenerational politics of food. The transition of recipes – bitter, sweet, and edible. Intermingling of genetic memory, embodied transition and learned skills. How and Why women nourish others before themselves.
- Food and poetry – their collective miracle of abundance.
- Exposure and orientation to poems from a diverse set of voices in and outside the United States – this will encourage us to listen to and lean in to experiences that may be unique but not limited to the diaspora.
- Participants will open thresholds through readings and dialogue for a continued exploration of intersections between food, feminine, family, politics, passion, body, economics, culture and above all memory.
- Open our creative process and thinking to broader, complex issues that find their way into the topic of food and poetry — immigration, starvation and hunger, gluttony in societies, systemic injustice, feminism, seasons. While food is a great community builder, it has also been a great divider - it has political and economic layers that cannot be overlooked.
ONLINE COURSE STRUCTURE:
This class meets weekly via Zoom. Come prepared for a super fun class with live interaction on Zoom each week and plenty of writing, reading, and talking!
- Instructor: Kashiana Singh
- Begins Saturday, April 13th, 2024
- Class will meet weekly via Zoom on Saturdays, 11:00AM to 1:00PM ET
Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this class.