Telling the Body’s Many Stories
Facilitator: Savannah Sipple
Dates: September 16– October 11, 2019
Class Size: 10
In Two or Three Things I Know For Sure, Dorothy Allison says: “I am one woman but I carry in my body all the stories I have ever been told…. Every writing course I ever heard of said the same thing. Take one story, follow it through, beginning, middle, end. I don’t do that. I never do. Behind the story I tell is the one I don’t. Behind the story you hear is the one I wish I could make you hear.”
This generative poetry workshop is an intensive study of the stories we tell and the ones we don’t. As you write your way through readings that include Nikky Finney, Danez Smith, Morgan Parker, Nickole Brown, Hieu Minh Nguyen, Eileen Myles, Pauletta Hansel, Kiese Laymon, and many others, you will learn how to anchor the story close to the body as a way to move the story forward, tell the story you’re afraid to tell, and how to tell the story you wish you could make the reader hear. Our conversation will include peer and instructor feedback, extensive guided prompts, and lots of writing!
Savannah Sipple is a writer from east Kentucky. Her debut poetry collection “WWJD and Other Poems” (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2019) explores what it is to be a queer woman in Appalachia and is rooted in its culture and in her body. With a beer-drinking Jesus as her wing man, she navigates this difficult terrain of stereotype, conservative Evangelicalism, and, perhaps most, shame. Her writing has recently been published in Southern Cultures, Split This Rock, Salon, Appalachian Heritage, Waxwing, and other places. She is also the recipient of grants from the Money for Women/Barbara Deming Memorial Fund and the Kentucky Foundation for Women. A professor, editor, and writing mentor, Savannah currently resides in Lexington with her partner, Ashley.