The anti-racist writing workshop How to decolonize the creative classroom

Felicia Chavez

Book - 2021

"This easy-to-use guide explains how to recruit, nourish, and fortify writers of color through innovative reading, writing, workshop, critique, and assessment strategies."--Provided by publisher.

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Series
BreakBeat poets series.
Subjects
Published
Chicago, Illinois : Haymarket Books 2021.
Language
English
Physical Description
xii, 202 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
ISBN
9781642592672
1642592676
Main Author
Felicia Chavez (author)
Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Colorado College English professor Chavez (coeditor, The BreakBeat Poets, Vol. 4) combines memoir and teaching guide in this spirited call for building more inclusive and supportive writing workshops. Chavez deplores "traditions of dominance and control in the creative writing classroom" that cater to "(white) creativity, (white) imagination, and (white) autonomy on the page." As a private tutor and a college instructor, she developed a workshop model that "decentered whiteness and redistributed power equally among participants and instructors." Classroom objectives and activities include freewriting, reading aloud to develop participants' authentic voices, and the replacement of "canonical texts" with a "living archive" of works by "young people, people of color, women, queer, differently-abled, and gender-nonconforming artists." Chavez documents her own frustration at being "the only person of color present" and feeling "alienated and isolated and deeply lonely" during her graduate studies at the University of Iowa, but makes no mention of low-residency and online creative writing programs that already offer more inclusive alternatives to the traditional model she rails against. Still, the mindfulness and generosity that guide her teaching principles will resonate with other scholars and students who have been working to diversify creative writing and English literature programs. (Jan.) Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

This easy-to-use guide explains how to recruit, nourish, and fortify writers of color through innovative reading, writing, workshop, critique, and assessment strategies.

A captivating mix of memoir and progressive teaching strategies, The Anti-Racist Writing Workshop: How to Decolonize the Creative Classroom demonstrates how to be culturally attuned, twenty-first century educators.

The Anti-Racist Writing Workshop is a call to create healthy, sustainable, and empowering classroom communities. Award-winning educator Felicia Rose Chavez exposes the invisible politics of power and privilege that have silenced writers of color for far too long. It’s more urgent than ever that we consciously work against traditions of dominance in the classroom, but what specific actions can we take to achieve authentically inclusive communities? Together, we will address how to:

· Deconstruct our biases to achieve a cultural shift in perspective.

· Design a democratic teaching model to create safe spaces for creative concentration.

· Recruit, nourish, and fortify students of color to best empower them to exercise voice.

· Embolden our students to self-advocate as responsible citizens in a globalized community.

Finally, a teaching model that protects and platforms students of color, because every writer deserves access to a public voice. For anyone looking to liberate their thinking from “the way it’s always been done,” The Anti-Racist Writing Workshop is a clear, compelling guidebook on a necessary step forward.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

This easy-to-use guide explains how to recruit, nourish, and fortify writers of color through innovative reading, writing, workshop, critique, and assessment strategies.