In the Company of Lot’s Wife: Writing Poems of Remembering and Witness

Instructor:  Shari Wagner
Date: Saturday, June 15
Time: 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Location: IWC
Cost: $75 nonmembers, $48 members, $42 student members/teacher members /senior members/military members

Genesis 19 tells the story of Lot’s Wife who turns to see the destruction of Sodom and becomes a pillar of salt. Did she look back in disobedience or out of compassion? What is our responsibility to bear witness? What are the consequences when we look back? How might we see contemporary events or painful personal events through the light of this text? We will examine some poems inspired by the specific story of Lot’s Wife (for instance, “Lot’s Wife” by Anna Akhmatova) and poems of witness from other contexts (such as “Facing It” by Yusef Komunyakaa). This workshop will include writing exercises that will help participants craft a rough draft of their own poem of remembering and witness.

Shari Wagner is the literature instructor for the “Religion, Spirituality, and the Arts Seminar,” part of IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute and directed by Rabbi Sandy Sasso. Lot’s Wife was the focus of the 2018-2019 seminar which brought together a broad range of artists from diverse backgrounds to create music, poems, and visual art inspired by this narrative.

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Click here for the Faculty Bio for Shari Wagner

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