Career out of Joy
We are seeing an increasing awareness of the need to centre of voices of people of colour, disabled, LGBTIAQ+ and many others who have been excluded.
However, trauma survivors and marginalised folx are always (often only) asked to write about our suffering. Many of us are still welcomed for our shock value, but it’s disguised as “listening to lived experience”.
(The giveaway is that there’s only certain experiences they want to listen to; it’s an updated freak show. Tell us of your terrible experiences so we can nod and gasp, while disavowing how we are contributing to othering in this very room.)
When you are only asked to speak on what you’ve suffered, not your expertise, craft, art, possibility, that has an impact on how you experience yourself and the direction of your work in our world. We redress that here exploring the challenges of writing pleasure and possibility after trauma.
While the structures of our media and industry as artists and writers are inequitable, unfit and unsafe, we still want to speak and occupy space. In this workshop we explore how to do that in a way that’s effective and safe for each of us.
We’ll reflect on and process the ways in which we can explore pleasure and possibility when we struggle to find spaces of safety and how to centre our own pleasure, fighting a temptation to make a career of pain.*
*Adrienne Rich, The Dream of a Common Language, 21 Love Poems, VIII
This FREE workshop is made possible by a Literature Wales and The Royal College of Psychiatrists Wales commission.
We’ll explore questions including:
– Where is the appetite for our stories? How do we discern what’s ours to share and ours to protect?
– What can we draw on to begin writing about joy in a world that dismisses our pleasure?
– How can we centre our joy when we’re only asked about our pain?
– How can we write both pain and joy in a trauma-informed way?
This class is in British Summer Time zone, via Zoom. Saturday 24th July, 1pm to 3pm BST via Zoom.
This workshop is a follow up to my 2020 workshop There is a Charge For The Eyeing Of My Scars: Marginalised Voices Writing About Pain.
N.B: There will be a recording provided after the workshop, and a transcript. Just sign up to get the recording.
If you have questions but can’t attend or want to share them in advance, you can submit them via a comment below this post and I will try to answer them in the Q and A.