Greenhouse is an intergenerational educational space that centers art, food, and climate justice, 152 Farm Rd. Santa Cruz. Greenhouse is conceived, developed and being built by L Gilbert and Dav Bell, along with many collaborators. https://www.instagram.com/_the_greenhouse_project_/
Best Selves, Better Worlds: A Writing Workshop with Amanda Choo Quan
N.K. Jemisin once said that the idea for the Broken Earth trilogy came to her in a dream. In her sleep, she saw a woman “holding [a] volcano aloft with her mind.” The woman was not her, but perhaps it was a mirror reflection. Jemisin woke up perturbed but determined, needing to know “how that person became who she is…angry in a slow burn, with the kind of anger that is righteous, enough to change a planet.”
Ok, ok. Change begins with us, we are the world, etc etc. But how the hell can we change things if we receive a daily onslaught of mixed messages telling us who to be? We should soothe our nervous systems. We should place our hands upon our chests. But also, we should think less of ourselves. We should take up less space. We should forget about our collective post-pandemic PTSD, and march on. Um, no.
This is a writing + making workshop. We’ll work with kids’ clay to tap into our inner hellscapes, our inner dumpster fires, our rage and our yearnings, modeling the best or worst versions of ourselves — you with the power to build or to raze. And then we’ll world build, creating the kind of future that could contain such a person. This is a speculative writing workshop inspired by the work of BIPOC greats — but it isn’t just for writers and it isn’t just about writing. I want to know what happens when we imagine the kind of new realities that ripple outwards from our best and worst selves. When we dare to see ourselves at the center.
Lead by Amanda Choo Quan, writer and dreamer.
Amanda Choo Quan is a writer, artist, and essayist who is both Trinidadian and Jamaican. Winner of the 2020 Johnson and Amoy Achong Caribbean Writers’ Prize, one of the most significant for emerging writers from the region, she is also a DVCAI/Readytex, Truman Capote, Callaloo, Juniper, REEF Residency and Cropper Foundation fellow. Writing about race, class, and Caribbean culture, she’s been published in Harper’s Bazaar, Teen Vogue, NYLON, the Huffington Post, LitHub, and Caribbean Beat, among others. She’s a graduate of both the California Institute of the Arts and the University of the West Indies. These days, she’s either in Los Angeles, Trinidad or on an even smaller island off its coast (no, not Tobago). Or maybe elsewhere, chasing a story. She tweets @amandacq.