The title of our course comes from Chen Chen’s “Winter,” a poem that candidly describes the body’s excretions while celebrating its beauty, sexuality, and humanity. In this course, we will examine the poetries that have arisen alongside the body positivity movement, paying special attention to poets of color, poets with disabilities, female poets, and LGBTQ+ poets. Through our discussions and our attendant workshops, we’ll discover ways in which we can break down misconceptions and prejudices related to our bodies, and we will draft our own work so as to consciously embody body positivity. In doing so, we might find that our approach and usage of language changes, and that the forms of our poems reflect bodily acceptance.
Emilia Phillips (she/her/hers) is the author of three poetry collections from the University of Akron Press, most recently Empty Clip (2018), and four chapbooks, including Hemlock (Diode Editions, 2019). Winner of a 2019 Pushcart Prize, Phillips’s poems, lyric memoirs, and poetry reviews appear widely in literary publications including Agni, American Poetry Review, Gulf Coast, The Kenyon Review, New England Review, The New York Times, Ploughshares, Poetry, and elsewhere. She’s an assistant professor in the MFA Writing Program and the Department of English at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She’s now at work on Wound Revisions: Memoirs and a poetry collection.