We are thrilled to welcome Erin Sharkey and Junauda Petrus for virtual workshops on Wednesday, May 6 and Wednesday, May 27, 2020. Both workshops will take place via Zoom. To participate in one or both of the workshops, self-enroll in the Canvas course at https://wwu.instructure.com/enroll/WXC3NW and access the Zoom links posted in Canvas.
Queer and Natural: The Politics of Nature, with Erin Sharkey
Wednesday, May 6, 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.
A low pressure writing experience where we’ll queer our thinking about nature by leaning into how we are natural and supernatural. We will use sensory writing prompts and close observation to remember our own cycles and rhythms. No experience or equipment required–you are what you need.
Erin Sharkey is a poet, essayist, educator and graphic designer based in Minneapolis. She is the co-founder of an artist collective called Free Black Dirt and serves as the co-host for Black Market Reads, a weekly podcast about literature and black cultural production. Erin was a 2015 Givens Writing Fellow and is currently a Givens Foundation cultural producer-in-residence and Coffee House Press in the Stacks artist-in-residence at the Archie Givens, Sr. Collection of African American Literature at the University of MN and also is a consultant with Umbra: Search African American History.
A fun and chill writing experience that allows us to reflect on elements of queerness, magic and mystery and apply it to our writing. We will use the rhythms of nature, oracles, tarot, astrology and words from our our queer ancestors to inspire us to write something otherworldly. If you can, bring something that inspires your magic whether it be a crystal, a poem, a tarot deck, a poignant horoscope, a fantasy book from your childhood, a pretend magic wand. All are welcome!
Junauda Petrus is a creative activist, writer, playwright, and multi-dimensional performance artist who is Minneapolis-born, West-Indian descended, and African-sourced. Her work centers around Black wildness, Afro-futurism, ancestral healing, sweetness, spectacle and shimmer. She has received a Givens Foundation fellowship, Jerome Travel and Study grant, Many Voices Mentorship with the Playwright’s Center, Naked Stages Residency at the Pillsbury House and a 2016 Jerome Film grant to write and direct an experimental and poetic web series about Black teens coming of age in Minneapolis, Sweetness of Wild, with filmmaker Mychal Fisher.
Together, Erin Sharkey and Junauda Petrus are the artistic creators of Free Black Dirt. Committed to creating original theatre and performance, hosting innovative events, organizing local artists, and promoting and supporting the emerging artists’ community in the Twin Cities, Free Black Dirt seeks to spark and engage in critical conversations.
These workshops are organized by the English Department, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and LGBTQ+ Western. For disability accommodations, please contact the LGBTQ+ Director at LGBTQ@wwu.edu.