Poiesis: *ONLINE* Cross-Genre Generative Writing Workshop










Instructor:  mia susan amir
Dates: Thursdays, Oct. 15th – Nov. 26th (no class Nov. 12th)
6:00 – 9:00pm PST
Writing Retreat:
Oct. 14th
Maximum number of participants:
Registration fee:
$150.00 – $350.00, sliding scale based on income level.
Bursaries and scholarships available! Read below
for more information.
*Apply here!


Poiesis is 6-week cross-genre generative writing workshop appropriate for individuals with all levels of experience in creative writing. Participants will be part of an intergenerational, innovative, and collaborative community that centers play, encourages experimentation, and fosters supportive space for risk-taking in the exploration of creative voice. Through this workshop we consider the aesthetic, beside ethics, and the crucial role of creative voice in the work of individual transformation, and collective liberation.

Using interdisciplinary, embodied, interactive approaches to the creative process participating writers will:

  • Read short pieces in multiple genres to explore elements of the craft of creative writing
  • Use these short readings as a provocative tool to generate new work
  • Use the body, environment, memory, archive, and imagination to discover where language and story reside
  • Generate a new creative work, 1 – 5 pages in length, in the genre of their choice, each week of the workshop
  • Develop familiarity with their physical voice, and skills in the craft of reading their writing aloud
  • Receive supportive feedback from both the instructor and their peers

We will have lively and thoughtful discussions about:

  • Aesthetics
  • How to sustain a creative writing practice
  • Story writing and storytelling as inherently political and politicized act
  • The role of storytelling in healing and transformation, community and movement-building, visioning and constructing a more just world

Examples of writers whose work we may explore:

Aurora Levins Morales, Anne Whiston Spirin, Adrienne Rich, Alison Bechdel, Chris Abani, Claudia Rankine, D’bi Young, Elmaz Abinader, Gloria Anzaldua, Gregory Scofield, John Vernon, June Jordan, Kiese Laymon, Leanne Simpson, Linda Hogan, Matthew Shenodah, Nalo Hopkinson, Octavia Butler, Patrick Chamoiseau, Patricia Hampl, Sarah Jones, Thomas King, Warsan Shire.

Workshop Structure:

  • 6 evening workshops, 3-hours in length will run once a week for the full duration of the program
  • Each workshop will include some combination of the following: a physical and writing warm-up, the investigation of assigned texts, creative writing prompts, discussions exploring theory and craft, and participants’ reading the work they have generated
  • Each participant will have 2 one-on-one meetings with the instructor
  • Participants will attend an virtual writing retreat on Nov. 14th
  • Participants will be invited to publicly share new work generated through this workshop on an online platform

Participating writers will leave this workshop with:

  • Prompts and exercisers to support their continuing work beyond the Intensive
  • New craft skills in creative writing and oral storytelling
  • Four new pieces of writing that have received feedback
  • An experience of publicly sharing their work
  • A new community of creative minds to work with in the future

Registration Fee, Bursaries, Scholarships, Payment Plans, Work Trades:

Successful applicants will be required to pay a sliding scale Registration Fee. Those earning a living wage should consider paying the full amount.

Bursaries, full scholarships, payment plans, and work trades, are available for those interested in applying but for whom the fee is a barrier.

Those wishing to be considered for a bursary, full scholarship, payment plan, or work trade, are required to submit a Letter of Request with their application, as detailed on the application page. Work trades most relevant to SWB’s current needs will be web-development related, though other proposals will be considered.

Those applying to attend as delegates of collectives, grassroots, or funded groups/organizations are encouraged to explore fundraising options from within those spaces to help cover participation costs.

Read about mia’s Guiding Philosophy, here.