Full course description
This 2-week online course is part of the Iowa Young Writers' Studio Online Camp, Session 1, June 13-26, 2021. There is a separate application process for this course. If you have not been accepted into Session 1 of the Iowa Young Writers' Studio Online Camp you are not eligible to enroll.
I didn’t start reading queer literature until my twenties. It was a revelation to see my queerness, and that of my friends, reflected in art—a revelation I certainly wish I’d had sooner. My goal for this class is to create a space where we can read queer stories and poems and ask ourselves how these works are engaging with queerness, in whatever way the writers understands it, or seems to understand it. We won’t be defining queerness—I don’t want us to draw lines around something that by definition resists definition—instead, we’ll be exploring it. Some questions I’m interested in: How does sexuality get coded into aesthetics? How does queerness inform innovative narrative forms? What is the relationship between sexuality and style? What aesthetics are traditionally coded as queer—camp, drag, melodrama, burlesques, opera, etc.— and how can queer artists draw from these resources?
Our focus will be primarily on fiction, though I love poetry and we’ll read several poems as well. For the seminar portion of our class, we’ll talk about the things that interest or challenge or trouble or delight us about what we’ve read. I’m most interested in how our readings seem useful or exciting for our own work. For the workshop portion, we’ll discuss each other’s stories with the aim of helping the writer see what they’ve written with more clarity and suggest ways for the writer to move forward. We'll begin every class with a show and tell. It’s impossible for me to capture a full range of queer aesthetics in our readings as my knowledge is limited by who I am and what I’ve experienced; to that end, I’m incredibly curious to learn from you and your enthusiasm. I would love for us to begin each class with one student giving a 5-10 minute, low-stress presentation about something that feels queer and excites you. This can be anything—an image, a video, a song, a poem, or paragraph—as long as you feel like it’s engaging with queerness, in whatever way you understand it.
Lastly, it goes without saying: You don’t need to identify as queer to be in this class. Anyone can be excited by queerness in art and life.
Santiago Jose Sanchez is a queer, Colombian-American writer based in Iowa City. Their stories have been published in McSweeney's, ZYZZYVA, Subtropics, Joyland, as well as distinguished in the Best American Short Stories 2020. They have received fellowships for their writing from the University of Iowa and the Lambda Literary Writers' Retreat, where they were a 2017 Emerging LGBTQ Voices Fellow.
REGISTRATION & FEES
The fee for this course is $575. Payment in full is required to enroll in the course.
Note: Your credit card payment will be processed by an external provider and will appear on your credit card statement as “UI Writing—Magid Center."
Cancellation Policy: A $100 cancellation fee will be applied to refunds for cancellations received by Tuesday, June 1, 2021. Thereafter, no refunds will be available.
Contact the Iowa Young Writers' Studio: firstname.lastname@example.org.