Being Political: A Writing Workshop for Poetry and Theatre


A 2-day intensive workshop by the PICT Creative Writing School!
Instructors: Stephanie Papa & Anton Bonnici

All language is political. Once you start “thinking about the words you use, who can hear those words, and who can’t hear those words,” Jamaican writer Kei Miller says, “your work becomes steeped in politics.” What makes writing political? What is at stake in political writing? And how can writers develop their consciousness regarding the political facets of language, whether their work is political in an explicit or implicit way?

In this 2-day weekend workshop, we will pursue these questions in contemporary poetry and theatre. Each day, we will discuss the work of particular writers as well as trying our hand at our own pieces of political writing, all in the supporting and challenging atmosphere of a group of like-minded writers. The workshop is open to novice and seasoned writers alike—no previous experience is required!

Day 1: Political Poetry

W.H. Auden famously wrote that “poetry makes nothing happen.” On our first day, we will challenge this argument. In the morning, we will dive into contemporary poems written in English across a wide variety of cultures, aesthetics, and forms, discussing how poets address the crucial political issues of our day. In the afternoon, we will use prompts to write our own political poetry and receive group feedback on poems we’ve brought to share. The workshop will be led by Stephanie Papa, poetry editor of Venti.

Day 2: Political Theatre

On the second day, we will take a look at writing for the stage and consider if there may be certain forms of drama that are more political than others. To do this, we will turn to the writings of Bertolt Brecht and consider his proposal of the non-Aristotelian narrative and its effects. Afterwards, we will use prompts to help spark the first drafts of our own short plays with political agendas. The workshop will be led by theatre maker Anton Bonnici, artistic director of the Paris Fringe International Festival of Performing Arts.

Maximum enrollment: 10


Saturday-Sunday, 10:00-17:00
25-26 February 2023
7 hours each (including a lunch break)


75016, Paris

All PICT courses are held in person.

All PICT courses are exclusive for PICT Members. Become a member from 3 euros/month.



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Political Poetry, Political Theatre, Both Workshops (2 Days)