Literary Arts, Talk/Workshop

Poetry Workshop: Profanities and Profundities with Marylyn Tan

Organised by: Ethos Books
  • Date:
    19 Jun 2019
  • Time:
  • Duration:
  • Venue:
    The Hive Carpenter, 36 Carpenter St, Singapore 059915
    The Hive Carpenter, 36 Carpenter St, Singapore 059915The Hive Carpenter, 36 Carpenter St, Singapore 059915
  • Language:


In this two-hour workshop, we will explore the different methods of engaging with personal symbolisms of power and protection, such as through prayers, medieval texts which serve to ward off evil by invoking the names of entities, or newer, contemporary witchcraft, in the form of performance art. In particular, we will draw from sources such as Linda Stupart's A Spell To Bind Male Artists from Murdering You, based on Ana Mendiata's death, and CAConrad's somatic poetry. Other forms of using texts or personal symbols in an empowering or apotropaic fashion may draw from the creation and reciting of mantras, or folk magic which incorporates existing prayers, especially Catholic prayers, to manifest one's will into reality.

From this starting point, we will continue to explore physical, somatic body and various universal symbols that have been used in various contexts, from occult texts to Unicode-hex character sets, and how these can be harnessed in our work. As symbols are the way that our unconscious psyche speaks to us, we will use the creation of personal symbols to harness our own energy and experiences. Can one manifest one's will by creating performances and visual texts based on a personal mythology?

This workshop is open to writers of all genres and levels, especially those interested in the occult and poetry.

Marylyn Tan is a poet and painter. Marylyn's first book is a volume of trans-genre, mixed-media poetics called GAZE BACK. It is invested in local witchcraft practices, symbols in the occult, organised religion, feminism and the queer female body. GAZE BACK opens with a wholesome poem about steaming up your vagina. It ends with her dead grandfather. GAZE BACK is a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Poetry.

Poetry Workshop: Profanities and Profundities with Marylyn Tan