is the author of the novels Toxicology, Dream Jungle, The Gangster of Love, and Dogeaters (all Penguin); and books of poetry including Danger And Beauty (City LIghts) and Burning Heart: A Portrait of the Philippines (Rizzoli). She is the editor of Charlie Chan Is Dead: An Anthology of Contemporary Asian American Fiction (Penguin) and Manila Noir (Akashic). Her work for the stage includes adaptations of Dogeaters and The Gangster of Love, as well as multimedia collaborations with visual artists, composers, and choreographers, among others. Her work in film includes the screenplay for Fresh Kill, a feature film directed by artist Shu Lea Cheang. She is presently at work on a hybrid memoir.
Saturday, November 5, 2022
I have had the good fortune over the years of collaborating on multimedia projects with musicians, visual artists, dancers, actors, filmmakers, even an architect or two. These rich and thrilling encounters—especially with music—have had a profound impact on how I approach my writing practice. Music has a visceral immediacy that can trigger memory, enhance focus, make language come alive, propel the narrative forward or disrupt it. I love writing to music, and find that making a playlist for whatever I’m working on can be revelatory. The playlist I imagine putting together for the new book I’m writing includes spoken word, an aria from a favorite opera, a Filipino pop song from the fifties, a disco anthem from the seventies, maybe a bit of Penderecki, then something funky and sublime by Grace Jones. A wildly eclectic mix, but never random. The music I choose is meant to inform or transform my writing in some interesting way.
Assignment: Create a playlist for a real or imagined writing project. Channel your inner DJ and think about the way you want your music to ebb and flow. Give your playlist a title, have fun. Feel free to include text and visual images. Bring your playlist to our class, and let’s talk about the process. Optional: Experiment with writing to your playlist in advance of our session.
I look forward to your questions, the sharing of work, a lively discussion, and—if time and technology permit—everyone free writing to music.
Saturday, November 5, 2022
3:00–5:00 p.m. ET
Online on Zoom
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