Sundress Academy for the Arts presents: “The Past is not Disappearing Ink: Writing the Self-Elegy”

The Sundress Academy for the Arts is excited to present “The Past is Not Disappearing Ink: Writing the Self-Elegy,” a workshop led by Kara Dorris on January 11, 2023, from 6-7:30 PM. This event will be held over Zoom. Participants can access the event at (password: safta).

Who doesn’t wonder, what-if? Today, in a time when “selfies” are popular, even leading to the invention of the “selfie stick,” it is not surprising that we would become more internally reflective while externally revealing our most personal desires. The self-elegy can be reflective, reinventive, and confrontational, interrogating and elegizing past versions of self.

Speakers in self-elegies exert agency and participate in their own creation myths to explore how identity is created and how the past shapes us today. When writing about the past, uncovering those infinite, shadowy selves can allow us to discover truths about the present. This workshop will introduce and discuss the idea of self-elegy and provide instructions to write a self-elegy and, possibly, begin incorporating elements of self-elegy into participants’ own poems beyond the workshop.

While there is no fee to participate in this workshop, those who are able and appreciative may make donations directly to Kara Dorris via Venmo @karadorris.

Kara Dorris is the author of two poetry collections: Have Ruin, Will Travel (2019) and When the Body is a Guardrail (2020) from Finishing Line Press. She has also published five chapbooks including Carnival Bound [or, please unwrap me] co-written with Gwendolyn Paradice (The Cupboard Pamphlet, 2020). Her poetry has appeared in Prairie Schooner, DIAGRAM, RHINO, Tinderbox, Tupelo Quarterly, Wordgathering, Waxwing, Puerto del Sol, and Crazyhorse, among others as well as the anthology Beauty is a Verb (2011). She is an assistant professor of English at Illinois College. For more information, please visit

This workshop is brought to you in part by a grant provided by the Tennessee Arts Commission. Find out about the important work they do here.

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