Hosted by Young Chicago Authors and led by Chicago poet and author, Kevin Coval, and FAC Director and playwright, Idris Goodwin, Check The Method is Chicago’s premier writing workshop for 14-25 year olds. Come learn how to find inspiration in your daily life, write poems, and craft performances. Check The Method alumni have gone on to publish books and pursue professional writing careers. This workshop is open to all levels and is 100% free. Check The Method operates on a drop in model, so no registration is necessary. If you’re ready to write, you are welcome to join us. Check the Method occurs virtually on Zoom every Saturday.
A workshop to find inspiration in your daily life, write poems, and craft performances.
Past Workshop Activities:
Dec. 5, 2020
- How do you identify? Based on your identities what are things people assume you should like? Stereotypes and expectations.
- Consider your geographic identity. Based on where you’re from what do people assume you like?
Be inspired by your list and give the reasons why you do and don’t like certain things or mix up your identities. What are things on that list that you might actually like or approach differently?
Think about someone public that you truly do love and that you don’t know personally. Someone that provides something for you in some way, write a love letter to them. Write your own love letter to your own RuPaul whoever that is.
Nov. 21, 2020
“Mistadobalina” by Del the Funky Homosapien
“Matt” by Morgan Parker
Make a list of:
• Characteristics/traits that annoy you
• Of what do you find in certain types of people that annoy you
• Specific people in your life who annoy you (names)
A portrait of a trope, a recurring character in your life who gets under your skin, who is a displeasure to you, who annoys you, or worse. Who is your Matt, Karen, Mistadobalina?
“Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid
• Advice you have received and how it played out
• “This is how” instructions poem
• Coming of Age
Nov. 14, 2020
Eric B & Rakim Microphone Fiend
Prologue from Sweat the Technique a memoir by Rakim
As the hour approaches, I gather my thoughts and escape to a room with the bare necessities. I transform. I enter the zone.
I stare at blank walls until they become movie screens giving me a front-row seat to the world.
Until the Earth’s high pitch sound multiplies in my ears only muffled by my thoughts. My mind superseding body I force my life to flash before my eyes again and again. Before I know it, I’m somewhere between conscious and subconscious. My universal awareness heightens.
Seeing vicariously through everyone’s eyes. I can astral project to any place, any time. Past, present, and future. Try to tap into that divine universal source of knowledge until my art speaks as many languages as possible. Try to broaden my horizons and in return achieve omnipresence.
Then finally it hits me. The original idea.
- Write about your creative ritual
- Write about the things you need in order to create
- Write about an aspirational creative space you want to be in
- Write about your optimal creative space
-Mix them up/ make it your own
Ruth Forman’s This Poem from We Are the Young Magicians
Mutabaruka read Dis Poem
Write your own This Poem in your own way and in your own voice
Nov. 7, 2020
I am the city
Write about a place you call home, focus on the sensory detail and its particular relationship to you-your mind, body, and spirit.
I am NOT
I am not Rodriguez — Luis Rodriguez
Additional Inspiration: Saul Williams Sha Clak Clak
Write about how the things you carry. The legacy or perceptions of you based on your age, race, name, nationality, etc, how do you see yourself, reclaim yourself.
Oct. 30, 2020
“Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell” by Das Racist
- Stuff that you eat that you know you shouldn’t
- Where are your guilty pleasure spots to eat
- Favorite spots in your neighborhood and what dishes do you get there
- What are foods you associate with where you come from
Write about a food/food spot on your lists that holds some import in your life/in your city/ culture.
- Write down your favorite albums/artists
- Write down your favorite books/authors
- Favorite films/directors
- Things you do better than anyone
- Your quirks/idiosyncrasies
- Outrageous things you think are real
- Places/People that set a precedent and shape who you are and how you think
Write your own manifesto about yourself and your art style.