Writing in Liminal Spaces
How does writing from the body function as a nation of stories on the page. How do you create the anatomy of story, poetic narrative, characters? In what ways do our bodies carry everything that came before us? What strategies and techniques can you utilize to write from the body on back through lineage? (Think of your human museums, memories, passed down stories, artifacts…what we keep keeps us. Remembering to remember…
How do we think of ourselves as liminal writers? Liminal means relating to a transitional or initial stage of a process…occupying a position at, or on both sides of a boundary or threshold. Liminal experiences are transitional, a suspension in identity, time, or community. How do your dreams, rituals, wildernesses, births, deaths, visions, ghosts, tricksters, crossroads, revolutions, and all kinds of collapses of the status quo write themselves into the thresholds of your creative process or suspend, mute, or erase your creativity? What happens when we or our characters cross a significant boundary? We step into an unsettling in between zone, where we have to abandon accepted structures or truths. We embrace the tension between now and the next big thing.
Jaki Shelton Green, ninth Poet Laureate of North Carolina, is the first African American and third woman to be appointed as the position. She is a 2019 Academy of American Poet Laureate Fellow, 2014 NC Literary Hall of Fame Inductee, 2009 NC Piedmont Laureate appointment, and 2003 recipient of the North Carolina Award for Literature. Jaki teaches Documentary Poetry at Duke University Center for Documentary Studies and was named the 2021 Frank B. Hanes Writer in Residence at UNC Chapel Hill. Her publications include: Dead on Arrival, Masks, Dead on Arrival and New Poems, Conjure Blues, singing a tree into dance, breath of the song, Feeding the Light, and i want to undie you. On Juneteenth 2020, she released her first poetry album, The River Speaks of Thirst. Jaki is the owner of SistaWRITE, providing writing retreats for women writers in Ocracoke, Sedona, Arizona, Martha’s Vineyard, Northern Morocco, and Tullamore, Ireland.