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Stardust Sessions: Writing Magic

  • Iowa Writers' House 332 East Davenport Street Iowa City, IA, 52245 United States (map)

When: First Session: Sunday, October 13, 4:00pm-6:30pm

Following Sessions: November 10, and December 8

Where:  Iowa Writers' House, 332 East Davenport St

Cost: $225


Stardust Sessions are workshops for anyone who believes that writing is a way to light up the magic in the mundane. Through an eclectic array of methods—guided meditations, visionary poetry, chance operations, Fluxus instructions, divination, spells, and more—you will to tap into your imaginative and writing capacities in a supportive and reverent environment. No previous experience with any of these practices is required; all you need is a spirit of openness and play. The registration fee for this workshop also includes a copy of the book "The Descent of Alette" by Alice Notley.

Each month, we’ll explore the following topics and more:

Practice, Ritual, and Community (October)

How can the use of practice and ritual allow us to become more grounded and, at the same time, access transcendent experiences?

To the Underworld and Back: The Heroine’s Journey (November)

How has the idea of “the hero’s journey” been adapted to reflect women’s experiences, and how might these alternative narratives help us reframe our sense of our own stories?

Old Divination for New Worlds (December)

Why is it so hard to envision a new world, and how might ancient images, such as those found in the tarot and other divination methods, guide us toward future possibilities?

From the Instructor:

In my workshops, giving feedback is treated as an art form in itself. Something magical happens when we open up our writing to the work of the group mind. We’ll practice various methods of giving feedback (reflection, description, association, expansive praise, inquiry) and participants will be able to choose the type of feedback they receive, a sense of agency that is especially important when sharing work in its early, exploratory stages.



Becca Klaver is the author of the poetry collections LA Liminal (Kore Press) and Empire Wasted (Bloof Books). Black Lawrence Press will publish Ready for the World, a poetic spellbook for the digital age, in early 2020. Her poems and essays have recently appeared in The American Poetry Review, Fence, Denver Quarterly, and The &NOW Awards 3: The Best Innovative Writing

As an editor, Becca cofounded the small press Switchback Books and is currently coediting, with Arielle Greenberg, the multimedia poetry anthology Electric Gurlesque. As a scholar, she researches women’s experimental writing practices at the intersection of life, art, and activism. 

She holds degrees from the University of Southern California (BA), Columbia College Chicago (MFA), and Rutgers University (PhD), and is the Robert P. Dana Director of the Center for the Literary Arts at Cornell College. Born and raised in Milwaukee, she currently lives in Iowa City.


Although I originally went off to college to study screenwriting in LA, hold a scholarly PhD in literature, and have written and published stories and essays, I am a poet at heart. This means that I bring an attention to language, form, and experimentation to writing in any genre. I love the way close reading can work like dream interpretation, helping a writer see what she didn’t know she knew. I love giving permission: my dissertation was titled “Include Everything,” an artistic stance that banishes the censor and instead urges us to write the true content of our lives. I love helping other writers discover the formal containers that this fluid content could most organically be poured into.

Lately my teaching has begun to question why certain types of knowledge are included in or excluded from different contexts. It’s a common truism among creative writing teachers, for example, that “writing workshops aren’t group therapy,” whereas many students enroll in workshops for a chance to reflect on their lives as much as they arrive eager to learn craft. I see these as false dualisms: what counts as “life” or “writing” is not so easily separated, and I’m more interested in the fuzzy gray areas from which new ways of living and writing spring.


All course information is sent to participants upon registering, including confirmation of workshop times, location, and materials.


Earlier Event: October 9
October Zen Write Night
Later Event: October 21
October Writers' Circle 2