Workshop: Human Events with Lucy Ives

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Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 4.55.09 PM.png

Workshop: Human Events with Lucy Ives


Saturday, April 4th 
2:00–5:30pm (includes 15 minute break)
$25 (includes materials) 

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This is a workshop designed to encourage new thinking and writing around narrative and the description of events. It will include an in-depth presentation of the work of artists and writers who have used techniques of narrative and description in revelatory ways, as well as discussion of techniques of plot and event construction, culminating in a writing exercise.

We will initially discuss the ways in which historical documents, materials, facts, and narratives may be creatively employed and depicted in visual art and literature. We’ll look at the documentations, collections, and arrangements of such artists as Group Material and Hanne Darboven, examine the documentary poems of M. NourbeSe Philip and Heimrad Bäcker, and analyze scenes from the historical fiction of Thomas Pynchon. All texts will be presented during the course of the afternoon and there is no need to read in advance of the workshop (though you may wish to look in greater depth after!)

After a brief break we’ll turn to the ways in which events and facts are structured and portrayed in works of literature. What is literary time? How do literary works convince us that events occur? How is it that fiction has need of true events, that poetry is related to documentary? We’ll talk about concrete strategies for engaging with historical materials and for creating the feeling and structure of events in writing. And we will work with a historical text to produce new pieces of writing at the end of the afternoon.

You’ll come away from this workshop with new ideas about how to structure narratives and describe persons, places, and things and the ways in which they act and change over time. You may acquire a new sense of the usefulness of fact, as well as of ways you might employ preexisting historical documents and artifacts in your own writing or other work. A bibliography and reading packet will be provided to all participants; again, no preliminary preparation is required for the afternoon. This workshop is for writers of fiction, of non-fiction, and of poetry. It also addresses the interests of certain visual artists, of designers interested in narrative texts, and of historians.

Presented as a component of ResidencyX. 

Lucy Ives is the author of four books poetry and prose, including nineties: A Novel, which will be reissued in June 2015 by Little A. She is the editor of Triple Canopy (