Memorial Day Nostalgia

Bittersweet Re-Memberings, with Gregory Pardlo & Maggie Smith

Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer, the season of childhood nostalgia. Remembering implies loss - the root of nostalgia is "homesickness" (from the Greek root nostos, to return home, and algos, pain.) This movement sequence is about the bittersweetness of memory, exploring somatically the gestural language of remembering: how we hold on to and push against our stories, how our childhood self is attached to us, and where memory lives in the body.


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

-a 60-minute accessible practice guiding students through 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)

-a distilled skeleton of the sequence (poses, breath exercises, and visualizations) for 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. When we linger with poetry not with our rational, cerebral forebrain, 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 fullness.

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.

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