In this 1-day workshop we’ll think about how we can imagine the city. We’ll draw inspiration from works on Berlin by writers like Else Lasker-Schüler, Audre Lorde, and Musa Okwonga, and use them as prompts to render our own worlds. We’ll then look to some of the most fantastic city fabulists, like Italo Calvino and William Gibson, as we invent and animate in our own words our own places.
Mixing writing exercises with our readings and discussion, this workshop considers questions that can feed into essay, fiction, and poetry practices, like:
How can we bring the world we live in into life? How might different writing styles bring into focus new details—and enable new narratives? How can we make our texts sing and breathe like the city?
Imagining the City is open to writers of all experiences. We will work together to see how we can use past writing about cities to open up new paths in our vision and to enter new places in our own writing practices.
A selection of texts will be sent out (about 20 pages) to prepare for our writing in workshop.
Sanders Isaac Bernstein is a writer living in Berlin, writing stories that might otherwise be forgotten. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in newyorker.com, Los Angeles Review of Books, Hypocrite Reader, Ploughshares, Slow Travel Berlin, Majuscule and The Bad Version, a literary magazine founded and edited from 2011-2014. He holds degrees from Harvard College, the University of Oxford, and the University of Southern California, where he is completing his doctorate in literature. If you’re looking for him in Berlin, chances are you can find him at the Berlinische Galerie. He likes the dimensions of the upstairs gallery very much—and can hardly tear himself away from that Fred Thieler.