Politics, Desire, & the Politics of Desire with Michael Chang


6-week Online Open-Genre Workshop — 20 students

Time & Date:
Wednesdays, 6:00pm — 9:00pm
September 16th — October 21st


Member Price: $296.25*

A limited number of spots in each workshop are reserved for a special scholarship rate. Apply for a scholarship here. For more information on payment plans, please email emily@austinbatcave.org.

Register by 9/8 and receive a 20% discount of tuition fees. 

Is all poetry (writing) political? How, then, do politics shape desire and the poetic self? As James Baldwin wrote: “My memory stammers, but my soul is a witness.” We live in a clarifying time. Falsehoods, deceptions, and longstanding abuses have been (and continue to be) exposed.

Despite these weighty topics, this generative workshop is upbeat, low-pressure, and for all-comers (meaning writers of all skill levels and backgrounds). We will consider aspects of diaspora dislocation, estranging inheritance, the decentering of self, distance, rupture, and restlessness. We will study how political systems routinely fail those they purportedly serve. We will interrogate desire, longing, sex, shame, and everything in between. We will study how to write about sex and shame in fresh, compelling ways. We will investigate the love and romance between partners, families, friends, neighbors, and others as well as unabashed self-love.

As Littlefinger said: “Chaos isn’t a pit. Chaos is a ladder.” Together we will create poems that make literary magic, poems where readers discover jouissance and hidden vulnerabilities juxtaposed with unapologetic declarations. We will leverage experimentation and chaos to create hybrid poems that challenge conventions. Drawing from graphic and other design practices, we will study how form and structure can highlight, impact, and amplify content. The binary-slaying, submission-ready poems we create will defy genres and boast distinctive visual elements. We will introduce new resources and reference materials, offer fresh insights, and study curated readings that guarantee novel perspectives. The goal is for participants to come out with meaningful feedback and at least 3 submission-ready poems. Instructor will cultivate a generous and supportive environment for all-comers, including one-on-one feedback sessions (time permitting) and/or written feedback. This workshop’s clear bias is creation: we will generate work through in-class sprints, prompts, and exercises. Participants leave with new tools for honing their creative practice as well as a fuller appreciation for the sheer breadth of creative writing today.

*applies to The Novel Membership Level only

This class is open to writers at all levels. 

12 in stock


About the Instructor:

A Lambda Literary fellow, MICHAEL CHANG (they/them) was awarded the Kundiman Scholarship at the Miami Writers Institute in addition to fellowships from Lighthouse Writers Workshop, Brooklyn Poets, & the Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing. Their writing has appeared in the Cincinnati Review, Summerset Review, Vassar Review, Minnesota Review, Santa Clara Review, Ninth Letter, Hobart, Harpur Palate, Poet Lore, The Nervous Breakdown, & more. A finalist in contests at BOMB, NightBlock, & many others, their poems have been nominated for Best of the Net. Their collection <golden fleece> was a finalist for the Iowa Review Award in Poetry.

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