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Writing And/As the Mother with Amanda Montei

October 1 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Online, N/A, Portland, OR 97207

Writers, artists, and theorists have long used the figure of The Mother to make sense of what we seek in writing, art, and politics. Today, The Mother remains a receptacle for all our cultural anxieties and longings. And yet, the work of taking care, cleaning up, and maintaining life—which someone must do to make space for creative practice— is too often rendered invisible. How have the body and labor of The Mother shaped our ideas of comfort, home, work, and novelty? How does caring for others, big and small, teach us to care on the page? Should the book be a space in which we are held, or perhaps something else entirely?

In this 4-week course, we will discuss the cultural and political influences that have shaped the archetypal mother. We will also consider how motherhood and creativity have historically been set in opposition, as we locate methods for combatting our collective fatigue with the work of care during these unprecedented times. Emphasis will be placed on honoring the impossible working conditions of the American care economy, while also affirming mothering as an embodied labor from which we can draw inspiration for creative forms and processes. Most importantly, we will work together to locate space for bodies-who-care to create on their own terms, even if a quiet room of our own sounds like an impossible dream.

As we read, discuss, and write together, we will test and try new ways of characterizing The Mother in our work, while exploring the connection between writing and mothering. Writers in all genres, and at all levels, are welcome. We will consider poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and concepts by writers/artists/thinkers such as: Sylvia Plath, Virginia Woolf, Hannah Arendt, bell hooks, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Adrienne Rich, Mary Kelly, Lydia Davis, Lidia Yuknavitch, Rachel Zucker, Hoa Nguyen, Maggie Nelson, Rivka Galchen, Lynn Steger Strong, Audre Lorde, Hannah Weiner, Bernadette Mayer, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, and others.

This course is open to all who identify as mothers and/or caretakers. It is also open to anyone writing about mothers or caregiving but is intended to create space for those alienated and overwhelmed by the childcare crisis to rebuild a sense of community and creativity.

WHAT: A 4-week generative creative lab

WHEN: To provide maximum flexibility for caregivers, all course content, including readings, discussions, writing exercises, and sharing of work, will be hosted on WetInk (Corporeal Writing’s interactive online platform). Weekly work can be self-paced. Amanda will also host five live meetings. These meetings will be held on Zoom and will provide space to further build community, receive support, share work, and articulate creative practices. Attendance for these meetings is optional but highly encouraged. Interruptions by children, labor, and loved ones always welcome. For those unable to make the meetings, a recording will be available. The final meeting will be a sharing of work. Zoom dates: October 1, October 8, October 15, October 22, October 29. Zoom time: 12pm-1pm Pacific time zone.

ACCESS: While able to be purchased directly from this site at our standard rate of $350, this offering is available at a sliding scale rate to anyone who inquires. Please reach out to Daniel Elder at registration@corporealwriting.com. Payment plans are also available.

Week One: Mother as Craft

Week Two: Mother as Character

Week Three: Mother as Theme

Week Four: Mother as Book

Amanda Montei is the author of the book Two Memoirs (Jaded Ibis Press), as well as two collections of poetry, including the chapbook The Failure Age (Bloof Books) and Dinner Poems (Bon Aire Projects), the latter co-written with her partner Jon Rutzmoser. Amanda’s writing on feminism, motherhood, gender, literature, and culture has appeared/is forthcoming in the Believer, Vox, the Rumpus, Salon, Ms. Magazine, Air/Light, Joyland, Mutha Magazine, Explosion Proof Magazine, Everyday Genius, Entropy, and others. She is currently completing a book about care and consent. For three years, Amanda was editor and publisher of the literary journal P-Queue. She also co-edited and co-published Bon Aire Projects, a series of collaborative publications on love and intimacy. Amanda holds a PhD from the Poetics program at SUNY at Buffalo and an MFA from California Institute of the Arts. Her recent research, reporting, and writing focuses on antagonisms and synergies between creativity and motherhood, as well as intersections between caregiving and systems of power. She has been teaching writing for over a decade. While she grew up in Los Angeles, a place for which she woefully longs, she now lives in the Bay Area with her partner and two children, ages six and three. She spent the entire pandemic without formal childcare. More can be found at https://www.amandamontei.com/.


Portland, OR 97207


Corporeal Writing