What: “Crafting the Mixtape” Poetry Workshop Series, led by Melissa Conway

Where: Midwest Writing Center, ground floor of the Rock Island Public Library (410 19th St., Rock Island, IL), and online via Zoom

When: Every Thursday in January 2023 (Jan. 5, Jan. 12, Jan. 19, Jan. 26), 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. CST

Cost for Workshop: $70 for MWC Members, $80 for non-MWC Members. Scholarships available for students, veterans, and those with financial need – contact MWC for more information

Contact: Ryan Collins: ryan.collins@mwcqc.org | 309-732-7330

Workshop Description:

My favorite exercise for generating poetry and getting out of a rut is by reading work from other artists and writing poems inspired by them. I take a line or a feeling or a writing style that I’ve never tried before, and write poems based on that aspect of the work.

“Crafting the Mixtape” will apply this exercise to a long-form structure in which the group will read works from two artists each week and pick one piece to write “after”.

We’ll talk as a group about what felt good, bad, new, and uncomfortable for each work and challenge each other to apply those new and uncomfortable strategies to our own writing.

This workshop has a deep focus on pushing personal style boundaries. The structure is meant to guide writers through finding, refining, and solidifying their own voice with experimental trial & error.

Works to be explored include Nayyirah Waheed, Neil Hilborn, Foxing, Warsan Shire, Mitski, Andrea Gibson, Danez Smith, Ocean Vuong, The Mountain Goats.

Registration – “Crafting the Mixtape” Poetry Workshop Series

Instructor Bio:

Melissa Conway is a lover of landlocked states, gas station slushies, and the drive back home. An avid roller derby enthusiast with a day job. Melissa has been instructing writing workshops in various forms since 2017 and has loved every second of it. Melissa’s work has been published in Saga Lit Magazine in 2016-19, the MWC’s These Interesting Times anthology, upcoming Beholder ’23, and their chapbook Sundog is out now. You can find Melissa playing Animal Crossing, eating cherries on the porch, or on instagram @screen.name.generator

This workshop is made possible thanks to the support of Illinois Humanities and the Illinois Arts Council Agency