Unmaking the Compartmentalized World: Poetics Against Possession with Maryam Parhizkar

[a 6-week online program starting 7/15; Thursdays from 7-9 pm EST]

Image Description: photo of wild carrot flowers, some of which look like balled up green-yellow-brown tumbleweed-like bundles of little stems and smaller flowers within them. Others look like a smaller white nest of white little flowers. All are on tall stems, poking through a chainlink fence. Behind them and the fence is a gravel parking lot with orange palastic barricades, urban buildings of mostly 3-4 stories, and nearly clear blue sky with sparse white clouds.

NOTE: THIS WORKSHOP IS CURRENTLY AT CAPACITY! Please email us at operator@theoperatingsystem.org to share your interest in a waiting list and/or a future iteration. 

Workshop Description:

This interdisciplinary workshop makes room for those interested in poetics and research to consider the relationship of language to western ideas of possession and human difference under colonialism. Given the roles of discovery, naming, collecting, taxonomy, and taking inventory in the making of “Man” in the modern world–– what would a counter-possessive poetics look like?  How might language gather while accepting distance and the unknowable, against the grain of conceptions of ownership, certainty and mastery? This will be a space in which readings will inspire in-and out-of-workshop writing/making experiments. Workshop time will be divided between discussion of selections from reading packets, generative writing, and debriefing. 

Artists, writers, and thinkers we might spend time with in this workshop include: Kimberly Alidio, Zaina AlSous, Dionne Brand, Ellie Ga, Michelle Dizon & Viêt Lê, Lauri García Dueñas, kari edwards, Renee Gladman, Édouard Glissant, Wingston González, Marwa Helal, Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Jamaica Kincaid, Rosamond S. King, Petra Kuppers, Brandon Shimoda, Sun Ra, Eve Tuck & Wayne K. Yang, Trinh T. Minh-ha, Manuel Tzoc, and Sylvia Wynter. 

Note: Asynchronous participation is welcome––recording of class, weekly instructions and reading guides, and communal class documents/notes will be provided to all who register. 


Image description: photo of a tan-olive-skinned woman with brown-black eyes and short straightened black hair just below ear-length and three-hoop gold-tone earrings. She is looking at the camera and wearing red lipstick. She is standing under scaffolding in front of the awning of a bodega, with some lettering/numbering, plants, produce, passersby, and a city street visible in the background.

Maryam Ivette Parhizkar is a poet, scholar, and teacher who grew up in a Salvadoran and Iranian family in southwest Houston. Her poetry and essay chapbooks include Somewhere Else the Sun is Falling into Someone’s Eyes (Belladonna* Collaborative, 2019), As for the future (Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs, 2016), and Pull: a ballad (The Operating System, 2014). She is a member of the U.S. Central American collective Tierra Narrative, a CantoMundo fellow, and a Ph.D. candidate and graduate student worker at Yale University.



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):  $1350  — 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: $30-50/session → $150-300 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.

**hey friend, did you know? you can also click here to support low or no cost participation for others!** (or to become a member, supporting all OS/LL projects and programs!)

Did you know? you can also become a member to gain admission to all of our programs, or make a donation of any size to support low and no cost participation in our programs for others!


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