Guided by award-winning poet Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, overcome writer's block and transform pandemic pain into creative power through writing.
There are no available registration dates at this time.
It has been increasingly difficult for creative individuals to stay productive during the pandemic. In the wake of uncertainty, overwhelming chaos, and general apathy at the state of the world, it can be incredibly difficult to put pen to paper. We may ask ourselves, what can art do? In this poetry workshop with Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, we will work through exercises to not only stimulate writer’s block but also investigate the virtues that we can learn from the distances that have grown between ourselves and give light to the narratives that have sprouted in these uncertain times of isolation. We will make art that can restore, heal, and awaken our sensibilities to the pain around us. We will create original texts that will bear witness to the power of art to make substantial change in our lives.
“Castillo compresses the emotional resonances of lived experience into poetic narratives of devotion, eroticism, family, labor, and migration. He make displays of fragility and power by turn, a duality drawn into relief by the precarious condition of the undocumented immigrant.” – Publisher’s Weekly
“In the spirit of Whitman, Marcelo Hernandez Castillo slips in silently to lie down between the bridegroom and the bride, to inhabit many bodies and many souls, between rapture and grief.” – DA Powell
“Castillo’s forms feel airy and fragile, but the strength of his revelations are unquestionable.” – Major Jackson
Header image by Dave Bell.
Instructor: Marcelo Hernandez Castillo
Marcelo Hernandez Castillo is a poet, essayist, translator, and immigration advocate. He is the author of Cenzontle (BOA editions, 2018), chosen by Brenda Shaughnessy as the winner of the 2017 A. Poulin Jr. prize and winner of the 2018 Northern California Book Award.
Castillo was born in Zacatecas, Mexico and immigrated at the age of five with his family to the California central valley. As an AB540 student, he earned his B.A. from Sacramento State University and was the first undocumented student to graduate from the Helen Zell Writers Program at the University of Michigan. His immigration case was used by the Supreme Court to justify the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) under President Obama. Castillo is a founding member of the Undocupoets campaign which successfully eliminated citizenship requirements from all major first poetry book prizes in the country and was recognized with the Barnes and Noble “Writers for Writers” award from Poets & Writers Magazine. Through a literary partnership with Amazon Publishing, he has helped to establish The Undocu Poet Fellowship which provides funding to help curb the cost of submissions to journals and contests.