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Are you an artist or writer who is longing for a reinvigorated and renewed attention to the world, new approaches to your work, or new understandings of what it can mean to write or make art? Or are you an art- or writing-lover wishing to start a deep and sustainable practice of artmaking or writing? Join us for a week of walking, looking, annotating, drawing, mark-making, color-tracking, land-listening, weather-watching, and plant-noticing as the days shift toward midsummer. We will make commonplace books, write, share readings, look at the sky and the ground, observe early morning quiet. This workshop will cultivate a warm, open, and supportive space so that you can freely extend your practice in new directions. Many guided exercises will be provided. Each day begins with the binding of simple books for use in that day’s activities. An intensely generative space, you will leave with new perspective on your own work, past and future, concrete suggestions for future looking-walking-thinking-making, and commonplace books full of the time, place, season, and impressions of these days in June.
Note: The content in Midsummer will build on but be different to the four “Seasonal Observations” classes taught in 2020-2021. You don’t have to have taken any of those classes to join, and if you took any or all of those classes, this will extend your practice.
I anticipate that running this course in person will intensify the experience of community and inspiration that seemed to be so central to many participants’ time in each month-long online version. While participants will lose the ‘at-home’ time in between weekends for practicing, it’s my sense that the increased immediacy and intensity of being together in person will more than compensate for that. We will also benefit from operating in a shared landscape that we can respond to directly. I expect this will support less-experienced participants in becoming more adventurous in their approaches to our exercises. It will also be very pleasing to have shared spaces for the development of projects or project concepts that arise out of this shared work, and to see how collaboration and cross-pollination takes place as a result. As in the month-long courses, I will produce a booklet of take-home exercises so that participants can extend their practice beyond our time together.
Instructor: Éireann Lorsung
Éireann Lorsung is the author of the collections Her book, Music for Landing Planes By— named a New and Noteworthy collection by Poets & Writers—and The Century, all published by Milkweed Editions. She received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 2016. After completing an MFA at the University of Minnesota, Lorsung studied printmaking and drawing at Scuola Internazionale di Grafica in Venice and taught high school in rural France. While living in Belgium, she ran a micropress called MIEL Books and a residency space called Dickinson House for writers and artists. She holds a PhD from the University of Nottingham (UK). From 2017-2020 she was Visiting Assistant Professor of Creative Writing - Nonfiction at the University of Maine, Farmington; she now teaches in the Baccalaureate Program at Bard College.