Imagine being able to write using ALL of your languages: the ones you use with your grandparents and with your peers, at school and at home, the language of your childhood and the ones you are learning and/or reclaiming. In this creative writing and literature class, we will explore the practice of “translenguar/ translanguaging”: what linguist Ofelia García describes as the use of our “full linguistic repertoire” disregarding the borders that have been drawn between languages. Drawing inspiration from Latinx writers, we will develop skills in writing poetry that engages our full linguistic repertoire, including multiple languages, various linguistic registers, and many Englishes. This class is open to writers at all levels, including students new to poetry writing. All languages at all skill levels are welcome, and you do not have to know a language other than English to participate in this program. This class is also appropriate for aspiring teachers who want to learn strategies for supporting multilingual students.
Our readings will focus (primarily, but not exclusively) on the work of Latinx poets, including Gloria Anzaldúa, Claudia Castro Luna, Cecilia Vicuña, Roque Raquel Salas Rivera, and Natalie Díaz: we will reflect on how these writers move across languages (including the many Englishes of their communities as well as the multiple Indigenous languages and Spanishes of the diverse Latinx heritage), how they navigate English-dominance in the United States, and bring their intersecting identities as LGBTQ+, Indigenous, Black, migrant, and/or undocumented poets into their language. They will be our teachers as we refine our poetic skills, expand our linguistic capacities, and experiment with writing. We will read poetry, play with language, write, learn more about the practice of translanguaging, and share words with each other.
This program is offered for 12 credits for students who wish to explore poetry through lectures, workshops, and seminars, and for 16 credits for students who wish to develop an extended (personal or collective) writing project, shared through a chapbook, a zine, spoken word performance, installation, or other public means at the end of the quarter.
Anticipated Credit Equivalencies:
4 – Latinx Studies: Contemporary Latinx Writers
4 – Literature: Contemporary U.S. Poetry
4 – Intermediate Poetry Writing
4 – Advanced Creative Writing Project (for students taking the program for 16 credits)
Advanced studies and graduate work inLatinx studies, creative writing, literary and cultural studies, education. This program builds cultural competencies for working with Latinx and multilingual communities in a broad range of professional fields, with particular focus on educational spaces.