24PearlStreet Workshops and Events

Khadijah Queen Mining Speculative Futures: Reading Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower as Writers Fiction July 8 to July 12, 2024 Number of Participants: 12 Price: $550.00 Format: 1 Week Asynchronous Workshop
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As we continue to face international crises related to climate change, war, plague, social unrest, and the rise of pseudo-religious authoritarian governments, Octavia E. Butler’s novel Parable of the Sowerwhich you’ll need to read before our one-week workshop—has proven eerily prescient.

Reading as writers, we can study her 1993 novel for techniques to depict how humans survive disaster, wrestle with questions of morality, and maintain their humanity (or not) under extreme duress. We’ll discuss themes such as trust, gender, good and evil, family and friendship, as well as character, narrative, plot, action, and issues of genre.

Writing exercises, supplemental videos and critical reading will help us frame Butler in context and in the current moment. Whatever genre you write in, Butler’s work offers us an example of boldness and imagination within realistic science fiction that we can carry forward into our work and our lives. Please note that our workshop does not include formal critiques, though there will be regular opportunities for informal sharing and comment.

Optional LIVE elements: Zoom reading at the end of the workshop.


Khadijah Queen is the author of six innovative books of poetry and hybrid prose, most recently Anodyne (Tin House 2020), winner of the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America. Her fifth book is I'm So Fine: A List of Famous Men & What I Had On (YesYes Books 2017), praised in O Magazine, The New Yorker, Rain Taxi, and elsewhere as “quietly devastating” and “a portrait of defiance that turns the male gaze inside out.” Queen’s verse play Non-Sequitur (Litmus Press 2015) won the Leslie Scalapino Award for Innovative Women's Performance Writing. The award included a full production at Theaterlab in New York City, directed by Fiona Templeton. Her poems appear in Ploughshares, American Poetry Review, Fence, Gulf Coast, Poetry Magazine, The Poetry Review (UK), and widely elsewhere. A hybrid essay about the pandemic, “False Dawn,” appeared in Harper’s Magazine in 2020. With K. Ibura, she co-edited Infinite Constellations (FC2 2023), a multi-genre anthology of speculative works by writers from the global majority, praised in Lightspeed as "re-envisioning what an anthology is and how it works and to whom it speaks." Her book of literary theory and criticism, Radical Poetics, is due out in January 2025 from the Poets on Poetry Series at University of Michigan Press. Her memoir about her experience in the U.S. Navy, Never Again Volunteer Yourself, will be out in summer 2025 from Legacy Lit/Hachette Book Group. She holds a PhD in English and Literary Arts from University of Denver.

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