DIARY: Process, Attention, Time, Audience – w Ashna Ali & MC Hyland

[a 4-week online program; Wednesdays at 7pm EST; begins 7/7]

{Nude Woman Writing a Letter, Tempera on Canvas. Jaromír Krosch, 2020, via creative commons SA-4.0.}

DIARY: Process, Attention, Time, Audience is a workshop interested in exploring the diary and its variants as a form with particular exigency in our moment. In a period characterized by frequent misinformation and political gas-lighting about our own lived experiences of late capitalism, state violence, and falling empire, diaristic writing serves as a form of resistance, self-actualization, and agency against imposed narratives and erasures. Together, we will explore the following questions: What genres of writing can hold the pressures of contemporary struggles? What is worthy of documentation or what does documentation make worthy when writing within and highly attuned to history? Can writing be not only an aid to attention, but also a pathway to new forms of agency? 

Each week’s readings and writing will focus on a different theme: Writing Within and Against History (week 1), Work and Money  (week 2), Illness and Health (week 3), and Sex (week 4). We’ll read from diaries and journals, poems, and memoirs from a wide range of writers including Hervé Guibert, Lara Mimosa Montes, Cathy Park Hong, Frida Kahlo, David Wojnarowicz, and Dorothy Wordsworth.

The workshop’s writing component is invested in processes of collective authorship. Each session will include a dedicated time toward producing diaristic writing together simultaneously on a Google doc. After the workshop is over, we will assemble and edit these pieces to create a publication of communal texts. 


MC Hyland (she/they) is the founding editor of DoubleCross Press, a poetry micropress. She is the author of two full-length books of poems: THE END (Sidebrow 2019) and Neveragainland (Lowbrow Press 2010); and over a dozen poetry chapbooks/artist books. Holding MFAs in Creative Writing and Book Arts from the University of Alabama and a PhD in English Literature from NYU, MC teaches undergraduate creative writing and literature classes at NYU as an adjunct. She was a staff member at Minnesota Center for Book Arts from 2009-2012, where she designed MCBA’s certificate programs for adult learners, and she now directs the online Creative Publishing Seminar for Writers at the Center for Book Arts (NYC).


Ashna Ali (they/them) Raised in Italy and based in Brooklyn, Ashna Ali is a queer non-binary Bangladeshi diasporic poet, researcher, and educator and the author of chapbook The Relativity of Living Well (The Operating System 2021). They hold a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from The Graduate Center, CUNY, and serve as Assistant Professor of Literature at Bard High School Early College Manhattan. They are invested in community co-creation, advocacy, and cultural activism around social justice issues through art and education. Their poetry and research explore issues of postcolonial migration and diaspora, gender and queer justice, critical race theory, disability and chronic illness, prison abolition, and narrative documentary practices in poetry and visual art. IG and Twitter: @doctordushtu



Liminal Lab is committed to providing a source of income for our collaborators and facilitators in an increasingly precarious time for culture workers and educators. However, no one will ever be turned away for lack of fundsWe ask that those who can pay the suggested price, and/or help cover the cost of scholarship slots in each of our programs by sponsoring other participants. 

  • Compare the below to the cost for a similar accredited workshop in a university setting (where most of the $$$ goes to institutional bloat):  $1200  — we show you this so we can begin to think about wtf is happening in our institutions, where both students and faculty get the short end of the stick.
  • At a standard “Market Rate,” at arts orgs: $350*
  • Recommended Sliding Scale: $30-60/session (for two facilitators) → $120-240 for the series
  • Precarity Pricing: $10-20/session
  • Barter / Volunteer / No Cost Option Available 
  • Membership / Sponsorship: You may now become a member of Liminal Lab! Which allows you to support as well as participate in this and other programs. By becoming a member, you can also sponsor low or no fee participants in this workshop with a donation of any size.

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