History SLAM! 2014

Historians Are Writers (HAW!) will be hosting our fifth annual History SLAM! on Friday, May 2nd at 3:30 pm at Buffalo Street Books, and you’re invited! This year the History SLAM! is part of Spring Writes, the Finger Lakes Literary Festival.

Well, thanks for the invite, you might say, but what the heck is a history slam?

It’s like a poetry slam (only with history), or a blues jam (only not at a bar). It’s an open format, alternative way to present creative historical work, in the broadest possible sense of those terms, to a sympathetic, supportive audience. All of this will be enjoyed with drinks and snacks.

But, you might say, I don’t have anything polished enough to share!

That’s okay! The Slam is all about short pieces, and works-in-progress are welcome! If you know you’ve got something to share, email Amy at alk237 AT cornell DOT edu. We’re looking for five or six people to commit to being on the program.

After the first hour, though, the format is open mic, so feel free to bring something so that you can jump in if it feels right. The Slam is a chance to try out new approaches, new voices, new ideas in your writing, and to explore what it feels like to speak and listen to our writing out loud.

Call for History Slammers, 2014:

We seek readings, showings, and performances of short works that are no more than 10 minutes long and that experiment with the creative possibilities of language and history, broadly conceived. This might mean that you flirt with the boundary between fact and fiction. Or maybe you throw all caution to the wind, jump the dividing line, and whole-heartedly embrace the possibilities of fantasy. Perhaps you will experiment with chronology: why does time need to run in a linear fashion, anyway? Or maybe you experiment with voices, or tenses, or your position as author. What happens if your historical characters are self-aware? Can histories show love or hatred? What about histories of the present, or the future? What role might symbolism or metaphor play in historical prose? Can one create a minimalist history? Might you experiment with sound, rhythm, rhyme, pace, or texture? What role might images, or music, or smells play in an experimental history? How will you balance showing, telling, and withholding information? Where will you locate the boundary between creator and created, audience and text?

All are welcome. Come to share your work, or just come to listen.

If you have questions, feel free to contact Amy at alk237 AT cornell DOT edu

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