24PearlStreet Workshops and Events

Stephen Kuusisto Writing the Body in Trouble: on Embodiment, Crisis, & Creativity — POSTPONED to FALL 2024 Multi-Genre March 4 to March 29, 2024 Number of Participants: 2 Price: $650.00 Format: 4 Week Asynchronous Workshop


This four week writing workshop is taught by award winning poet and memoirist Stephen Kuusisto who has written widely about disability and imagination.

In this course we will write about the body in all its remarkable subjectivities, as lyric prose says we’re all universal. Each week will focus on the circumstances of bodily individuality. We will explore the techniques of putting poetry into prose; strengthening our voices; and using devices from fiction to create writing that is both cinematic and original. Bring your body.

Workshop Highlights: generative writing exercises, instructor and peer feedback.

Live Elements: weekly 2 hour Zoom meetings on Saturdays; time TBD.


Stephen Kuusisto is an American poet, essayist, fiction writer, memoirist, and disability rights scholar with a broad interest in the history of medicine and illness. He attended the University of Iowa’s “Writer’s Workshop" studying with poets Marvin Bell and Donald Justice. As a Fulbright scholar in Helsinki he researched Finnish poetry after World War II—a new period of international engagement in Scandinavian writing, much like the burgeoning interest in translation in American poetry during the sixties and seventies. Since he was born legally blind his reading (both in Finnish and English) was slow, careful, occasionally difficult. In those years he remarks that he “grew to appreciate necessity in poetry and prose—bad eyes meant a text should be worth reading. In turn I tried to understand what makes first rate poetry and prose succeed.”

His first two books appeared almost simultaneously: a memoir from Dial Press entitled Planet of the Blind (a New York Times “notable book”) and a collection of poems from Copper Canyon Press, Only Bread, Only Light. He has since published three books of nonfiction and three more volumes of poems: Letters to Borges; Old Horse, What is To Be Done?; and Someone Falls Overboard. His latest memoir, Have Dog, Will Travel: A Poet's Journey is available from Simon & Schuster. He has held senior faculty positions at The Ohio State University, The University of Iowa, and Syracuse University where he currently directs the Burton Blatt Institute’s Program in Inter-Disciplinary Research. He travels and lectures widely on disability rights and literature and has served as a US State Department “cultural ambassador” in Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan.


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