Three Sessions, 3 hours each (6-9pm)
Wednesdays June 14th, June 21st, June 28th
Fees & Payment Options: $250 General / $220 AAWW Members (Become a Member!)
Full payment due before first class. Maximum of fifteen students.
*EARLY BIRD! Sign up before June 1st for $200 General / $180 AAWW Members*
*STUDENT RATE for limited seats, contact Tracy Wong at firstname.lastname@example.org for availability!*
What is vernacular literature? What is its role in dismantling the oppressor’s language and assumptions? What happens to power when the oppressor co-opts the vernacular of the oppressed? And why would the oppressor want to co-opt the oppressed’s vernacular? Could it be becoz our power is embedded, encoded in our vernacular? We will explore these questions and read texts that challenge imposed ideas of hierarchy. Workshop discussion will center around Rotten English ed. Dohra Ahmed, Sleeping with the Dictionary by Harryette Mullen, Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley, and more. Students will create original vernacular works as part of the workshop.
Marwa Helal is a poet and journalist. Her work appears in Apogee, Hyperallergic, the Offing, Poets & Writers, the Recluse, Winter Tangerine and elsewhere. She is the author of I AM MADE TO LEAVE I AM MADE TO RETURN (No, Dear/Small Anchor Press, 2017) and Invasive species (Nightboat Books, 2019). Helal is the winner of BOMB Magazine’s Biennial 2016 Poetry Contest and has been awarded fellowships from Poets House, Brooklyn Poets, and Cave Canem. Born in Al Mansurah, Egypt, Helal currently lives and teaches in Brooklyn, New York. She received her MFA in creative nonfiction from The New School and her BA in journalism and international studies from Ohio Wesleyan University.