May 9,16 & 30: POETRY WORKSHOP w Ewa Chrusciel – Finding Wonder through Bewilderment: Inspire Your Creative Practice

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Date(s) - May 9, 2024
1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Twiggs Gallery


Finding Wonder through Bewilderment: Inspire Your Creative Practice

Sell your cleverness, buy some bewilderment” –RUMI

Thursdays, May 9, 16 and 30 from 1:00pm  -3:30 pm

Cost: $185 class fee

Location: Twiggs Gallery 254 King Street Boscawen, NH 03303


This workshop is intended to inspire the creative practice of both visual artists and writers. Poet Ewa Chrusciel believes writing begins in wonder. Wonder is demanding; it comes at a cost. It can be disorienting; it can be wounding. Perhaps, the term “bewilderment” better conveys the discomfort of the writing process. One of Ewa’s favorite contemporary poets, Fanny Howe defines “bewilderment” as a loss of one’s sense of where one is. As Howe writes, “Bewilderment is an enchantment that follows a complete collapse of reference and reconcilability. It cracks open the dialectic and sees myriads all at once.” It is resolving the irresolvable. Howe quotes a Muslim prayer: “Lord, increase my bewilderment.”

After examining some poems by Polish and American poets and doing some writing, participants will arrive at their own formula made of clever and bewildered. You will read poems on wonder, astonishment, and grief and do a collaborative poem as a group compiled off the list of astonishments the participants will compose. There will also be prompts based on several poems read. The main objective will be to dwell in the present moment, find bliss and sparks of bewilderment based on the reading and writing and compose a poem together, as well as two to three poems individually (as a response to several prompts participants will choose from).

Ewa Chrusciel: Biography

Ewa Chrusciel is a poet, translator, and educator. She has four books of poems in English: Yours, Purple Gallinule (Omnidawn 2022), Of Annunciations (Omnidawn 2017), Contraband of Hoopoe (Omnidawn 2014), Strata (Emergency Press 2009, reprinted by Omnidawn, April 2018), as well as three books in Polish: Tobołek (2016) Sopiłki (2009), and Furkot (2003). Her book Contraband of Hoopoe was translated into Italian by Anna Aresi and came out in Italy with Edizioni Ensemble in May 2019. In her work, Ewa explores themes such as eco-poetics, exile, and migration. She expanded on those themes as a guest on New Hampshire Public Radio’s The Bookshelf, February and October 2017. Chrusciel was invited to develop one of her poems into a Stories from the Stage storytelling presentation (starting at 19:45) that was broadcast in 2018 by World Channel in collaboration with Boston’s WGBH and in partnership with Mass Mouth. She was featured along with Cleopatra Mathis at a 2021 reading presented by Bookstock and the Norman Williams Public Library in honor of National Poetry Month. She also translated various authors into Polish, including books by Jack London, Joseph Conrad, and I.B. Singer, as well as a book of selected poems by Jorie Graham, and selected poems of Kazim Ali, Lyn Hejinian, Cole Swensen and other American poets. Her poems have been included in curricula at institutions such as Harvard University, University of Wisconsin, and Salem State University. She is a Professor of Creative and Professional Writing at Colby-Sawyer College.