Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Poet and labor activist Mark Nowak is eminent-writer-in-residence at UW in February

Poet and labor activist Mark Nowak in coming to Wyoming:

For the much of the past decade, Mark Nowak has been extricating the poetry workshop from the academic classroom and re-employing it in factories, workplaces, and other labor/working-class spaces. These workshops include his early transnational "poetry dialogues" with autoworkers at Ford plants in St. Paul, Minnesota (through UAW 879) and Port Elizabeth and Pretoria, South Africa (through NUMSA, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa), another series of workshops with Muslim/Somali nurses (through Rufaidah, a Somali nurse support organization), and his current ongoing project with members of Domestic Workers United <> in New York City (to be featured in the 2012 PEN World Voices Festival). 
While at the University of Wyoming, Mark hopes to work with graduate students and other community members in facilitating a Wyoming version of these creative writing workshops with workers in the area. In advance of his visit, he would like to work with interested students in identifying potential groups to work with, making initial contacts, and selecting a group of Wyoming workers with whom several creative writing workshops could be facilitated. As always, the goal is to also produce an event at the end of these workshops (and the end of Mark's residency) in which the participants read the work they produce to their family, friends, co-workers, and the larger community. 
Mark Nowak, a 2010 Guggenheim fellow, is the author of Coal Mountain Elementary (Coffee House Press, 2009) and Shut Up Shut Down (Coffee House Press, 2004). He frequently speaks about global working class policies and issues, most recently on Al Jazeera, BBC World News America, BBC Radio 3, and Pacifica Radio’s “Against the Grain.” A native of Buffalo, New York, Nowak currently works as director of the graduate creative writing program at Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY. 
Mark Nowak will be on campus February 18th - March 1st.  Public workshops will be held between February 17th and February 27th and will culminate in a Reading and Celebration the Gryphon Theater on February 28th.  There will be a public reading by Mark Nowak on February 22nd at Second Story Books. 

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