Between the A4 Sheets

Date: 29 April, 6-8 pm
Faculty: Emma Barnes
Location: 166 Cuba Street, Wellington
Registration: Limited to 12; registration by donation.

There can be shame and stigma around writing about sex and intimacy. (See Toni Morrison’s examination of the topic.) Some of that is about cliché and awkwardness. Some of it is about taboo. Sometimes it’s about how difficult it is to be vulnerable. Sometimes we don’t think we can write about feelings or love because it’s not accepted as being a ‘good’ subject for literature. Sometimes writing about intimacy is seen as the domain of writers who are women or queer or otherwise marginalised and sometimes it’s all about the white guy and his muse.

In this workshop we’re going to explore writing about sex in our own ways, when we’re the objects and the subjects. This workshop will predominantly be focused on poetry but writers in other genres are welcome to come along too. We’ll discuss letting go of assumptions and shame, the political aspects of writing about love and sex and then we’ll just get down to it and put some words on the page. The content will probably be explicit and you should come along prepared to hear some frank talk and ideally share your thoughts but you are under no duress to share your work with the room.


Emma BarnesDescribed (not totally in jest) as New Zealand’s foremost erotic poet, Emma Barnes has had poems selected for Best New Zealand Poems (2008 and 2010) as well as multiple international journals. Most recently she’s had poems published in Cordite and Shenandoah’s New Zealand selection, with work upcoming in Verge.