Workshop with Sonoma County Poet Laureate Phyllis Meshulam

May 13, 2021 7:00 pm



onoma County Poet Laureate Phyllis Meshulam

Dear once, current and future Sonoma County poets,

The time has come to get serious about our county-wide anthology. Here’s how I envision the themes and topics: One section will look at some of our foundational texts and the places we’ve been led astray by them. An example is Aeschylus’s Apollo denying a woman’s role in creating a child. Or conversely, some texts may have provided good warnings but we may have forgotten their message. We can talk back to some texts, while re-broadcasting others. I know we need to approach such a project with great humility, but I feel it’s important to try.

The other sections will be based on Joanna Macy’s “the work that reconnects.” Macy, an environmental activist and translator of Rilke, starts with the concept of “gratitude,” then moves to “honoring our pain for the world,” then “seeing with new eyes.”

The first section mentioned is probably the most complicated one to explain, so today’s workshop is intended to help clarify that section. There will be digital “hand-outs” with possible texts to talk back to, and a discussion of strategies of how to approach doing so. Then there will be a little time for writing while we’re together. And then a time for sharing and questions.