We often think of the poem, essay, or story as a device that delivers great knowledge, wisdom, or emotional insight, and the writer as an expert craftsman, who, with great skill and complete intention, willfully inscribes those messages onto the page. In contrast, the late (great) author Donald Barthelme defines the writer as “one who, embarking on a task, does not know what to do”. This workshop takes Barthelme’s definition as its starting point, and is designed to give students hands-on experience in writing without any predetermined outcome in mind–in writing with an eye towards uncertainty, chance, experiment, play, and discovery. This will be a playful, exercise based workshop and seasoned writers as well as students with little to no experience are equally welcome to participate.
Quinn Gancedo is a writer and educator based in Portland, Oregon. He is the author of The Nouns (The Cupboard Pamphlet, 2022) and his work has appeared or is forthcoming in Fence, Diagram, Tammy, New Delta Review, and elsewhere. He has taught creative writing, literature, and DIY bookmaking at the California Institute of the Arts and in various community and youth education settings. He is a co-founder of Elbow Room, a non-profit arts organization focused on providing material support, mentorship, representation, and space to work, collaborate, and experiment for artists experiencing intellectual and developmental disabilities in Portland.
Katie Savastano is an artist, educator, and designer out of Portland, Oregon. From 2011 to 2015 she booked and promoted countless DIY shows in Portland and Eugene under the moniker Small Howl. Since then she has done design work making merch, album art, and promotional materials for Rock and Roll Camp for Girls, Mississippi Studios, Revolution Hall, Antiquated Future, Black Belt Eagle Scout, and others. In 2020, she co-founded Elbow Room, a non-profit arts organization dedicated to providing material resources, mentorship, representation, and space to work, collaborate, and experiment for artists experiencing intellectual and developmental disabilities in Portland.