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Me, Myself & I? Meditations on Mirrors, Thresholds, and Selves

Teachers
Gabrielle Octavia Rucker, Lara Okafor
Date
June 24, 2022 to August 12, 2022 (7 classes)
Time
Fridays 11am-2pm ET
Location
Online (Zoom)
Cost
$930 Scholarships available learn more...
Deadline
Applications open until June 5, 2022

Apply Now

Description

In Fernando Pessoa’s The Book of Disquiet, a series of frantic and seemingly impenetrable questions descend: “My god, my god, who am I watching? How many am I? Who is I? What is the gap between me and myself?” Inspired by works from Jorge Borges, Wanda Coleman, Octavio Paz, Renee Gladman, Yanyi, Lebohang Kganye, and others, together we will spend time considering the inhabitants of selfhood, mirrors and mirrored images, alter egos, ancestry, paradoxical realities, opacity, internal myths, Janus figures, the gulf of persona, and the fringes of narrative and experimental poetics. Classes will generally take the form of open discussion guided by a close reading of the weekly reading assignments. There will be two opportunities to workshop writing in class for personal feedback. Participants do not need any formal creative writing background, nor do they need to consider themselves “professional” writers. All experience levels are welcome. Curious folk who have historically felt unwelcome in academic creative writing or English classes are highly encouraged.

Expectations

The only expectations are that students engage with the weekly texts however they can, and that students read and give written feedback via google doc comments to those who submit for workshop.

Course of Study

Subject to change at the teacher's discretion

  • Week One: Introductions and Orientation
  • Week Two: Discussion on Who Drives the Pen?—An exploration of the poetic voice, the questions of self, multiplicity, and the writing process.
  • Week Three: Discussion on Narrative—How flexible is the narrative voice? Is anyone still interested? Is your narrator reliable, fallible, ocular, a fraud? Are you? Can one be anti-narrative? How many personal realities can inhabit?
  • Week Four: Discussion on Mirrors & Navel Gazing—Mirrors as form, mirrors as writing devices, mirrors as divination tools, mirrors as practice. A perspective shift. A meditation.
  • Week Five: Discussion on Memory & Ancestry—Who do you remember yourself to be? Who are you the “spitting image” of? Who do you see yourself in? Ancestors and younger selves will be gently questioned.
  • Week Six: Workshop
  • Week Seven: Workshop

Is this class for me?

Participants do not need any formal creative writing background, nor do they need to consider themselves a “professional” writer. All experience levels are welcome. Curious folk who have historically felt unwelcome in academic creative writing or English classes are highly encouraged. Abstract thinking skills a plus but not required.

Participant Testimonials

"Gabrielle! Thank you so much for creating a reflective, welcoming space to consider ideas and poems. This was the best class I’ve taken in years — I learned so much and really enjoyed our discussions. Thanks for bringing your thoughtfulness and creativity to the virtual classroom. Such a gift." -Emogene C.

"Gabrielle, thank you for an incredible course. I learned so much, enjoyed the texts, and really appreciated your multidisciplinary approach so we engaged with more than the words on the page." Alexis L.

"I just wanted to say I truly enjoyed your class and I hope you teach another one so I can take another class with you. I loved your insight and perspective and your style as a writer and educator. It really meant a lot to me." Sammie D.

Meet the Teachers

teacher

Gabrielle Octavia Rucker

Gabrielle Octavia Rucker is a self-taught writer and poet from the Great Lakes currently living in the Gulf Coast. She is admittedly prone to informal learning styles, “illegible” ways of being and writing, and likes to maintain a general air of mischievousness and willful curiosity in all aspects of her life. Her writing has appeared in various media and publications, including the Sundance Film Festival, the Studio Museum Harlem, the Aspen Art Museum, Montez Press Radio, the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-A-Day series, GARAGE, Vogue, Dance Lawyer and more. She is a 2020 Poetry Project Fellow and 2016 Kimbilio Fiction Fellow. In 2018 she co-founded Sparkle Nation (currently on hiatus), a literary arts collective dedicated to the written word and organizing through its various forms. Her debut poetry collection, Dereliction, is forthcoming from The Song Cave.

she/they · twitter · instagram

teacher

Lara Okafor

Lara Okafor (they/them) is a writer and coder with an interest in digital security and the liberatory power of speculative fiction. They hold bachelor's and master's degrees in Computer Science from the University of Oslo and are an SFPC alum. Lara has many years of organising behind them, such as the digital Cutie.BIPoC Festival 2020 and the documentary project 'Loud & Proud: A Celebration Of Queer Black Voices'.

they/them · twitter · instagram

Accessibility

Our programs are conducted in spoken English with audiovisual materials such as slides, code examples and video. Online programs are held over Zoom.

Please take care and be well. We hope you are comfortable in your housing, living, and working situation in general. Never hesitate to ask us for advice and reach out if you have accessibility requests or need any assistance during your time at SFPC. We will work closely with you towards co-creating the most accommodating learning environment for your needs.

reach out with questions about access...

How do I apply?

Apply Now

Applications open until Applications closed on June 5, 2022.

You can expect to hear back from us about the status of your application on June 13, 2022. Please email us at admissions@sfpc.study with any questions you have.

more about what we look for in participants...

How much does it cost to attend?

$930 + Withfriends payment processing fees for 7 classes.

Upon payment, your space in the class will be reserved. We offer scholarships for those who cannot pay full tuition. Read more about scholarships below.

I can’t pay for SFPC. Can I come at a reduced rate, or for free?

If you can’t pay full tuition, we really still want you to apply. Our application will ask you how much you can pay. We will offer subsidized positions in all of our classes, once each one has enough participants enrolled that we’re able to do so.

We have also started a scholarship fund, and we will be offering additional scholarships as community members redistribute their wealth through SFPC. We direct scholarship funds towards participants who are low-income, Black, Indigenous, racialized, gendered, disabled, Queer, trans, oppressed, historicially excluded and underrepresented.

Right now, tuition is SFPC’s main source of income, and that is a problem. It means that we can only pay teachers, pay for space, and organize programs when participants pay full tuition to attend. Tuition is a huge barrier to entry into the SFPC community, and it disproportionately limits Black participants, indigenous participants, queer and trans participants, and other people who are marginalized, from participating. Scholarships are not a long term solution for us, but in the short and medium term we hope to offer them more while we work towards transforming SFPC’s financial model.

How can I help others to attend SFPC?

For SFPC to be the kind of place the community has always meant it to be, it needs to become a platform for wealth redistribution. If you are a former participant, prospective participant, or friend of the school, and you have the financial privilege to do so, please donate generously. There is enough wealth in this community to make sure no one is ever rejected because of their inability to pay, and becoming that school will make SFPC the impactful, imaginative, transformative center of poetry and justice that we know it can be.

What if I can’t go, can I get a refund?

  • Yes, we can give you 100% refund up to 10 days before class starts
  • 50% refund after 10 days, until the first day of the class
  • No refunds can be given after the first day of the class

Interested in more learning opportunities at the School for Poetic Computation? Join our newsletter to stay up to date on future sessions and events, and follow us on Instagram and Twitter. Support our programming through scholarships. Get in touch over email.