Sundress Academy for the Arts Presents: “won’t you celebrate with me: The Power of Joy in Poetry”

The Sundress Academy for the Arts is excited to present “won’t you celebrate with me: The Power of Joy in Poetry,” a workshop led by Topaz Winters on November 9, 2022, from 6:00 to 7:30 pm. This event will be held over Zoom. Participants can access the event at tiny.utk.edu/sundress (password: safta).

In this workshop we’ll examine the often-fleeting presence of joy in poetry. Must a poem be explicitly “happy” to hold joy? In the context of a culture that often prizes suffering as a prerequisite to creating meaningful & lasting work, what political & personal relevance does joy assume? Is joy frivolous as a topic of study in relation to poetic craft—or does examining it too closely diminish its value? When our gut reactions to expressions of emotion are embarrassment or awkwardness, what does it mean to write poems that unapologetically inhabit their joy? We’ll consider the driving emotions behind a poet’s body of work, discuss joy as a tool of dissent in history & art, brainstorm ways to cultivate joy as a consistent habit in daily life & in a writing practise, & touch on the emotional nuance of allowing room for joy & suffering to coexist.

While there is no fee to participate in this workshop, those who are able and appreciative may make donations directly to Topaz Winters via Venmo @topazwinters or via PayPal to topaz.winters@gmail.com. 

Topaz Winters is the Singaporean-American author of three poetry collections (most recently So, Stranger, Button Poetry, 2022). She is the founder & editor-in-chief of the independent publishing house & literary journal Half Mystic. Her poems are published in diode, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, The Puritan, & Hobart, & have been featured by The Straits Times, American Banker, the National University of Singapore, the Boston Poetry Slam, the Center for Fiction, & the Academy of American Poets. Topaz is 22 years old & studies Creative Writing, Italian, & Visual Art at Princeton University. You can find more of her work at topazwinters.com.

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