What’s Real, Anyway? A Reality-Bending Mixed Genre Workshop with Serrana Gay and KT Herr

    Monday, May 24, 2021 at 6:00 PM until Monday, June 28, 2021 at 9:00 PMEastern Daylight Time

    Instructors: Serrana Gay and KT Herr
    3 hour VIRTUAL session on Mondays (no session Monday, May 31)
    Second session is Tuesday, June 1
    6:00 PM to 9:00 PM EST
    Workshop is limited to 15 registrants

    Course Description
    In this cross-genre class, we will draw inspiration from a variety of texts which explore the surreal, the magical-real, and the hyper-real, in order to expand our creative understanding of truth-telling as a function of the imaginative landscape. 

    As we work to find language which reflects our lived experiences, it is sometimes necessary to interrogate the boundaries of what is real in order to find our way to what is true. In reading and discussing work by a broad selection of poets and prose writers, as well as those working in hybrid formal spaces, we’ll experiment with weirding reality in our own work.

    This class will include weekly reading packets, discussions, in-class and take-home prompts, and a workshop component. Each participant will have the opportunity to workshop both a prose and a poetry piece. The class will conclude with a group reading. 

    The reading list will include selections from Carmen Maria Machado, Brigit Pegeen Kelly, Leonora Carrington, Cornelius Eady, Jos Charles, Julio Cortazar, and Haruki Murakami, among others. 

    Upon completion of the course, participants will be furnished with an array of ideas for utilizing the surreal and the magical in their ongoing work.

    Who Should Take This Class?
    This class will appeal to poets looking for creative ways to expand into prose; prose writers who are working to incorporate lyricism and whimsy into their work; any writer who is intrigued by surrealism, magical realism, and the occult; and, in general, writers for whom hybridity and boundary-crossing is creatively compelling.

    Your Instructors
    Serrana Laure Gay (she/her) has published short fiction in the Hunger Journal, X-R-A-Y Literary Magazine, and Prometheus Dreaming, and she is the author of the illustrated book Fatty Fatty No Friends (Mind the Art Entertainment), adapted from her operetta of the same name. Fatty Fatty No Friends was a New York Innovative Theatre Award Nominee, a selection of the New York International Fringe Festival, and winner of the Best of Fest prize at the New York Musical Theatre Festival. Her stage play Whiskey Pants: Mayor of Williamsburg, won the Audience Favorite Award at the Frigid NY festival, and some of her other work has been produced by Joe’s Pub at the Public Theatre, the HERE Arts Center, and Feinstein’s 54 Below, among others. She has worked as a tutor at Westchester Community College, as a teaching assistant/intern at SUNY Purchase, and she has taught at the Sarah Lawrence College Writing Institute. She holds a BFA from Ithaca College and an MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. She teaches creative writing in NYC at the Gotham Writers’ Workshop.        

    KT Herr (she/her and they/them) is a queer poet, songwriter, and educator from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. They hold a BA in English Language & Literature from Smith College and an MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College, where they were the recipient of the Thomas Lux Award and a Jane Cooper Fellowship. In 2019, they were awarded a Pabst Fellowship to attend Residency #174 at the Atlantic Center for the Arts. Their poems have been selected as finalists in the Frontier OPEN Prize and the Palette Poetry Spotlight Award; as a semifinalist for the 92Y Discovery Contest; and as winner of the 2020 Sweet Lit Poetry Contest. Additionally, their writing has appeared or is forthcoming in SWWIM, Barrow Street 4x2, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, The Rupture, and elsewhere. 

    KT has worked as a TA at SUNY Purchase, a teaching artist for the Sunnyside Creative Writing Program, a coordinator for the Right-to-Write program, and a publishing intern with Black Lawrence Press. Currently, they live in the Pacific Northwest, where they work as a ghostwriter, community educator, podcast producer, and full-time plant mom. 

    “Serrana was such an inspiring, caring, and thoughtful instructor, she was very knowledgeable, which was fantastic, but even better was her genuine love and enthusiasm about the craft.” - former student

    “Serrana is a fantastic teacher. She was extremely open-minded and positive and set the tone to motivate people to write and continue to even after the course. I enjoyed her warmth and workshop approach and felt motivated by her excitement and spirit.” - former student

    “If 'effervescent academia' were a thing that’s what it’s like to play in the field of poetry with KT Herr. A self-professed "hardcore nerd" she leads poetry workshops and teaches craft classes with rigor and grace.” - former student

    “KT was an excellent leader. She taught so much through her own critiques and modeled how to be inquisitive and constructive at the same time.” - former student


    Registration is no longer available because the event has been cancelled.