Visiting Author Series: Erasure Poetry with Barbara Tomash

$65.00 Members
$75.00 Non-members

In this generative seminar, we‘ll look at some inspiring examples of erasure poetry and then work with existing texts to create our own erasures. In recent years, erasure has taken on the stimulation and scope of a new genre within poetic practice. In extended projects, poets have used erasure to translate existing pieces of writing—government documents, autobiographies, poetry, novels, handbooks, speeches—into new ones. By way of intuitive assemblage, or by focusing on musical or thematic elements, or by systematically following a specific process, these erasures have constellated new meanings and new worlds. When we practice erasure, we have the excitement of re-seeing the text within the aesthetics and ethics of artistic selection, of who and what we choose to foreground. What will our erasures do to the original text? Does an erasure celebrate, denigrate, subvert, or efface the source completely? Please bring to the seminar an excerpt (around five to ten pages) from an existing piece of writing that you would find it compelling to erase. Also, please bring a magic marker and/or white erasing fluid, a pencil, and paper.

Some erasure projects (each uses a different technique) to take a look at before we meet:

Nets—Jen Bervin’s erasure of Shakespeare’s sonnets

A Little White Shadow—Mary Ruefle’s erasure of an obscure 19th century book

Voyager—Shrikanth Reddy’s erasure of Kurt Waldheim’s autobiography

Of Lamb—Matthea Harvey’s erasure of the biography of Charles Lamb

Bird Book—Laura Walker’s erasure of a field guide to North American Birds

Zong!—M. NourbeSe Philip’s erasure of a legal document relating to the massacre of Africans aboard a slave ship.

Stick around after Tomash's craft talk for a reception and reading from 5:00 to 6:00 PM. Tattered Cover will be on-site to sell books. 

Instructor: Barbara Tomash Learn More


Jul 21, 2018 2:00pm - 4:30pm