Rachel Eliza Griffiths – A Frame of Forms: Poems, Pictures, Prose

Virtual Online

Open to the public

/ Wednesday


At present, this talk will explore how risks can happen across genres and how such risks ––in one’s creative process and one’s identity––can serve as catalysts for thinking intimately about how voice and narrative engage us. Whether by stanza, sentence, or shutter speed, I’m interested in what is at stake for both author and audience when we are met by interdisciplinary experimentation. I’d like us to think about the relationship between text and images in this contemporary world and how this relationship has functioned historically in our own creative practices. I’ll try to encourage us all to think about how we see, and are seen, and how cultivating mindful attention to one’s inner life, and the politics of visibility beyond our own bodies, is a power that we deserve. There is also ever the notion of wonder, as a frame and form and voice, and how it confronts us in grief, joy, desire, and imagination. Perhaps wonder itself is what leads us to the edge of our pages and lives. Perhaps then we leap. Why do we leap and how can we craft our flight across genres?

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Rachel Eliza Griffiths MFA ‘06 is a poet, novelist, and photographer. She is the author of five collections of poetry, including her recent hybrid book of poetry and photography, Seeing the Body (W.W. Norton 2020), which was nominated for the 2021 NAACP Image Awards in Outstanding Literary Works and selected by NPR for Best Books of 2020. Griffiths is the recipient of fellowships including Cave Canem, Kimbilio, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, and Yaddo. Her literary and visual work has appeared widely, including The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, New York Review of Books, Los Angeles Review of Books, Poets & Writers, The Kenyon Review, Best American Poetry (2020 and 2021), BAX: Best American Experimental Writing (2016), African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle and Song (edited by Kevin Young), ESPN, Lit Hub, The L Word: Generation Q, and many others. Griffith is the image designer for Castor & Patience, a libretto written by Tracy K. Smith and composer Gregory Spears, which will premiere in 2022 with the Cincinnati Opera. Currently, Griffiths is the 2020-2021 Stella Adler Poet in Residence. Her debut novel, Promise, is forthcoming from Random House. Purchase Rachel Eliza Griffiths’s work  here.​