The New Orpheus
The New Orpheus

Cocteau deeply identified with the mythical Greek poet Orpheus, transforming the legend into his most enduring and beloved motif. He also adapted the tale of Orpheus in his first film, The Blood of a Poet (1932), demonstrating how “poetry” is a descriptive term for all his art, in whatever medium: poésie de roman (the novel), poésie graphique (drawing), poésie de théâtre (theater), poésie critique (essays), and poésie cinématographique (films).

The New Orpheus workshop, designed and led by author and artist Allison Grimaldi Donahue, aims to create a piece of queer collective autofiction by plundering from other written sources, sampling ambient sounds and conversatioins, and borrowing song lyrics or clips of prerecorded speeches. Through a series of group writing exercises and sound sampling—inspired by the experimentations of Bernadette Mayer, Oulipo, the Language Poets, and Jack Spicer, as well as Cocteau—participants will compose a collective poem that brings Orpheus “back to life” in 2024 as a queer poet who has returned from the afterlife to save us.

important information

The workshop is open to anyone who defines as queer or is willing to challenge themselves.

  • Participation is free. Registration required. Places are limited.
  • The event takes place on July 5–7, from 10 am–2 pm. Participants must guarantee their participation on all the dates.
  • The workshop is led in Italian by bilingual (English/Italian) writer Allison Grimaldi Donahue. Therefore, participants should understand at least one of these two languages. However, each participant may write in any language they wish.
  • The final version of the collective poem will be edited and performed by Grimaldi Donahue and signed by all participants.

For futher information:
+39 0412405430

Allison Grimaldi Donahue is a writer and artist. She is the author of Body to Mineral (2016) and On Endings (2019), and the translator of Blown Away (2021) by Vito M. Bonito and Self Portrait (2021) by Carla Lonzi. She has held poetic performances at Cross Project, Verbania; Kunsthalle Bern; Cabaret Voltaire, Zürich; Die Sonnenstube, Lugano; Short Theatre, Rome; MACRO – Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome; MAMbo – Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna; and Fondazione Giuliani, Rome. She teaches creative writing at various U.S. universities. She lives in Bologna.

  • Free / Registration required
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