The Pleasures of Refusal

The Pleasures of Refusal

Delve into the possibilities and pleasures of refusal, and delight in the sanctity of illegibility.

‘What does it mean to refuse that which has been refused you? What new infusion is made possible by such refusal?’ – Fred Moten, Gestural Critique of Judgement.

In this workshop we will explore refusal in all its forms, looking at work from Akilah Oliver, kari edwards and Jayne Cortez to Aziza Barnes. These poets embody a refusal to yield to forms, genres and enforced subjectivities. Theirs is a poetry of slippage, of assembly and disassembly, of private mourning. These are fugitive poems. Poems that are made and unmade in the crook of the night. Poems that do not speak truth to power but turn their backs on it instead. Grounding our understanding in the theoretical work of Fred Moten, we will delve into the possibilities and pleasures of refusal and learn to delight in the sanctity of illegibility.

This course is a half-day workshop running 2 – 4.30pm on Saturday 21 April and is part of our Tutor Academy scheme. To find out more about the courses in the Tutor Academy, please see here.

Image credit: ‘Walter A. Aue’

About Momtaza Mehri View Profile

Momtaza Mehri is a poet, essayist, literary studies researcher and meme archivist. Her work has been featured in DAZED, Buzzfeed, Vogue, BBC Radio, Poetry Society of America, Mask Magazine and Poetry International. She is a Complete Works Fellow and winner of the 2017 Outspoken Page Poetry Prize. Her chapbook sugah lump prayer was published in April 2017 as part of the New Generation African Poets series. She also edits Diaspora Drama, a digital platform showcasing international immigrant art.

‘The course acts as inspirer and renewer. It has opened new horizons and made me delve more deeply into what I can do with poetry!’

– Autumn 2017 Survey response

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