Written on the Body with Elana Bell (Generative Poetry Workshop)




“Who taught you to write in blood on my back? Who taught you to use your hands as branding irons? You have scored your name into my shoulders, referenced me with your mark. The pads of your fingers have become printing blocks, you tap a message on to my skin, tap meaning into my body.”― Jeanette Winterson, Written on the Body

We are creatures of the senses, human-animals. We experience life through our bodies, and yet so often when we sit down to write, we rely exclusively on our heads to provide inspiration.  This can lead to a sense of frustration or disconnection from the creative process. In this generative workshop, we will use embodied practices including breathing techniques, sound meditation, and movement to quiet the inner critic, calm the nervous system, and open the creative channel. From that place we will explore generative writing prompts and texts designed to connect us to our bodies and the wellspring of creative inspiration they can provide. We will read texts from Walt Whitman, Lucille Clifton, Sharon Olds, and others to amplify this connection to the body and embodied writing. You will leave this workshop more connected to your body as a source of creative inspiration, and to the others who have joined you for the journey.

NB: This recorded class is available to rent for two weeks through a private YouTube link. The link will be sent to the email you use to enroll (check your spam).  Please email [email protected] with questions.

Elana Bell is the author of Mother Country (BOA Editions 2020), poems about motherhood, fertility, and mental illness. Her debut collection of poetry, Eyes, Stones (LSU Press 2012), was selected by Fanny Howe as the winner of the 2011 Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets, and brings her complex heritage as the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors to consider the difficult question of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Elana is the recipient of grants and fellowships from the Jerome Foundation, the Edward Albee Foundation, and the Brooklyn Arts Council. Her writing has appeared in AGNI, Harvard Review, and the Massachusetts Review, among others.  She was an inaugural finalist for the Freedom Plow Award for Poetry & Activism from Split This Rock, an award that recognizes and honors a poet who is doing innovative and transformative work at the intersection of poetry and social change.  In addition to her work as a writer and mother, Elana is a sound practitioner, and creative guide. She facilitates artistic rituals and processes that support people in accessing their authentic voice through sound and writing. In addition to her own embodied Creative Fire workshops, Elana teaches poetry to actors at the Juilliard School and sings with the Resistance Revival Chorus, a group of women activists and musicians committed to bringing joy and song to the resistance movement. She is also the founder of the Mother Artist Salon, a community dedicated to supporting mothers in their artistic practice.

Please note: this recording is for the renter’s email only. After purchase of rental, you will receive the link to the private YouTube video of the recorded class. You will have access to the class for two weeks. If you share this recording elsewhere, you may be excluded from being able to purchase other classes.