The Writhing Society: Beautiful Outlaws, Beautiful In-Laws, and Poems for Dogs

The Writhing Society practices writing under constraints, combining a class with a salon. This is nothing like a typical writing workshop. This is a process-oriented workshop for people who are interested in potentiality, possibility, and the unexpected. We experiment by imposing specific and arbitrary rules, known as constraints, upon already-existing texts or texts that we create from scratch. We practice the experiments in a relaxed, supportive, playful—yet not undisciplined—atmosphere, and we welcome new members.

In this session, we will play with texts that can haunt and be haunted: a belle absente, or Beautiful Outlaw, constructs a text by omitting the letters found in a name. A beau présent, Beautiful In-Law, works in the opposite way, limiting itself to just the letters in that name. We will also write Poems for Dogs, in which the sounds of a dog’s name (or someone else’s) are embedded into a piece. The name itself is not there, but the listening dog will sit up. All will be explained: no prior knowledge of constrained writing is required.

Guests can purchase tickets to attend in person at 144 Montague or virtually via Zoom. Advance online ticket sales for in-person attendance will end at 12 PM on the day of the event. After that, tickets for in-person attendance can be purchased at the door until we reach capacity; tickets for virtual attendance will be available until the start of the event at 1 PM. A Zoom link will be emailed to all ticket holders.

Closed captions will be available for the event through the Zoom livestream. For more information and to request additional accommodations, contact us at [email protected].

Note that by attending, you agree to abide by our code of conduct and COVID-19 policy below. Brooklyn Poets reserves the right to dismiss from our programs any participant found to be in violation of these policies. Thank you for respecting our community.