Body, Unapologetic - with Poetry by Sonya Renée Taylor

A practice in spacemaking, caretaking, and fleshing out our resistance, to real-ize a more loving relationship to the body

This practice is designed to give you a somatic experience of moving from being limited, squished in, tangled up, and constricted, to being open, full, and free. The physical sequence is designed in keeping with my beloved friend and teacher Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s theorization of realizing something (which is also a celebration of fatness) as practicing it over and over to make it real. How can we realize - make real for ourselves - that "The Body is not an Apology" (Taylor's poem that started a movement)? This class experiments with some possibilities: repetitions of movements that open the body from constriction towards the freedom to take up space, finding the footing to practice your best uppercut, your hook, or whatever your most empowering strike looks like, and pockets of maternal-style body caretaking. But mostly, in this physical rehearsal of finding the space to breathe, the focus is on healing the gut - your poor, sweet, much-abused belly - and the broken heart above it.

*available for 48 hours upon registration*


-a 60-minute accessible practice guiding you through movement, breath work, and visualizations that give an embodied experience of poetic language

-a music playlist lovingly chosen to capture the poem's ambiance (crafted to match the arc of the physical practice, so you can choose to practice with music)

-a link to the poetry, and a short reflection capturing the most striking phrases, themes, and imagery.

-a distilled skeleton of the sequence (poses, breath exercises, and visualizations) for your reference

In an embodied approach to language, the goal is to generate a spontaneous, authentic experience of a poem that you can hold on to (or, if you're a teacher, one you can share)! When we linger with poems not with our rational "thinky" brain, but with a more primal gut layer of our being, we can absorb their truth and beauty deeper into the psyche. When poems live there, they pop up more regularly in our everyday lives, suffusing our days with new meaning and presence. And isn't this the goal behind any practice?

*don't forget to practice within 2 days of registering!

Your Instructor

Katy Hawkins
Katy Hawkins

Katy Hawkins, PhD, is a professor at Bryn Mawr College, Creator of Moving Poetics, and Director of Shiné: Mind/Body/Spirit in Philadelphia. Moving Poetics courses represent the culmination of her 27 years of teaching, in universities (Comp Lit and Gender and Queer Studies) and in her work of the last decade, teaching poetry through somatics. This cutting edge pedagogical inroad to critical thinking incorporates the urgent need for mind/body integration among students today.

Course Curriculum

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