G.O.A.T. Poetics and Other Ways to Say It

Don’t feel the greatest in your creative, personal, or political lives? Or maybe you’re curious about art but have never understood it? This workshop will help you master the meaning behind a selection of poetry, essays, and prose through a discussion of how they help you become a better person. The workshop may help you become a better storyteller, tell your secrets to a captive audience of new people, or learn to speak up in a debate. 

Each session of this workshop will begin with a discussion of a short text (poem, short story, YouTube video, craigslist ad, contemporary work of visual art) and emphasize close, deep readings rather than a breadth of readings. Close readings will give participants the ability to understand these materials so that they can seek out more on their own time. 

Readings will serve only as the starting off point for the workshop, which overall will teach participants how to better craft their own writing. Participants will be asked to workshop at least one poem, but they may choose to workshop a number of other “texts.” They may want to become a better storyteller and choose to workshop a story they like to tell, or they may wish to workshop their dating profile, or stage a debate with other participants in the workshop.  

At least one workshop will take place at an outside art space and at least one will involve some charitable gesture in the community.  

The central tenet of this course is that the literature teaches us empathy by allowing us insight into other people’s lives. Studying literature has the ability to make us better people.

Patrick Johnson with goat Madison Wisconsin poet

Patrick Johnson works at UW Hospital while preparing to become a physician assistant. A graduate of Washington University's MFA program and UW-Madison's English Department, he has published poems from his manuscript “Gatekeeper” about the internet, online dating, and philosophy. He enjoys lifting weights, progressive politics, and cooking, and has completed courses in contemporary art and art theory, art and politics, queer theory, race theory, literature, nonfiction, and more. 

Ready to Visit?

Arts + Literature Laboratory is located in Madison’s Schenk-Atwood neighborhood at 2021 Winnebago Street, Madison, Wisconsin 53704.

Gallery hours are Tuesday-Saturday 11am-3pm during exhibitions or by appointment. Please check the exhibitions calendar before planning your visit, as the gallery is closed between exhibitions and other schedule changes are posted here.


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