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“History has a Human Heart:” Using Historical Documents to Write Epistolary Poems

September 17, 2020 @ EST 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


We’ve moved online! All workshops will be conducted through Zoom, an interactive platform that allows you to participate in exercises and contribute to group conversation in your workshops. You’ll receive an email with a Zoom link to your workshop 5pm the day before the workshop.

Member Price: $22
Deadline to Register: September 17, 5 pm
Instructor: David Mills

Using an excerpt from Dr. King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail, this workshop will look at how a historical document can employ poetic devices. Participants will learn to personalize history and write intimate, epistolary poems, as well as poems in other forms, inspired by concerns evolving from the “Civil Rights Injustices” cited in King’s letter, the Black Lives Matter movement, and other contemporary anti-oppression movements.

David Mills has published two collections of poetry, The Dream Detective, a small press bestseller, and The Sudden Country, a finalist for the Main Street Rag Prize. His poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Black Renaissance Noir, Callaloo, Ploughshares, jubilat, Fence, Rattapallax, and Hanging Loose; and in such anthologies as Live from the Nuyorican Poets Café and The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South. The recipient of Breadloaf, Henry James, ArtsLink, Brio, and Pan-African Literary Forum fellowships, he has recorded his poetry on RCA records; performed a one-person show of the works of Langston Hughes; and been featured in the PBS documentary Slammin. His poetry has been displayed at the Venice Biennale and Germany’s Documenta international art exhibition. Mills wrote the audio tour for Deborah Willis’s national exhibition “Reflections in Black: 100 Years of Black Photography.” 


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September 17, 2020
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Virtual Classroom
NY United States
If you would like to make a request for any accommodation, please email us at accommodation@wab.org at least 10 days prior to the event or workshop.

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