SMELLING IS A TOOL FOR SURVIVAL: a workshop and poetry reading

Please join us at the Flow Chart Space for Smelling is a Tool for Survival—a poetry reading and workshop with Jared Stanley— co-sponsored with Toolshed on the publication of Stanley’s latest collection So Tough (Saturnalia, 2024)

Smelling can be intense, repellent, disgusting, powerfully fragrant, redolent, comforting. Part of its power comes from its status as a secondary sense, its ungraspability, and the way it creates dense interactions between, say, memory and the environment, home, the comfort of another’s body. Despite this power, some cultures have worked very hard to control smell, which has resulted in a kind of psychic abandonment of smell’s potential as a way of knowing. In this reading and workshop, we’ll explore how writing alongside our sense of smell can help us renew our relationship to the world that enters our head through the nose, trying to focus our noses on both specific smells and on the riotous medley that comes our way.

Attendees will be provided witha keepsake notebook to write in (please bring something to write with), and weather-permitting we will be going outside for part of the workshop!

Jared Stanley is a poet and writer who often collaborates with artists. He is the author of four collections of poetry, So ToughEARSThe Weeds, and Book Made of Forest, as well as many chapbooks and pamphlets, most recently The Blurry Hole (with Sameer Farooq, Artspeak, 2022), and SHALL, (Black Rock Press, 2019). His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Bennington Review, Harvard Review, VOLT, Folder Magazine,and many others. His awards include The Saturnalia Prize, Harvard’s Woodberry Poetry Room Creative Fellowship (with Sameer Farooq), a Silver Pen Award from the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame, as well as fellowships from the Nevada Arts Council and the Center for Art + Environment. Recent collaborative art exhibitions have shown the Atheneum Art & Music Library (La Jolla), in collaboration with Matthew Hebert, and at the Lilley Museum (Reno), in collaboration with Sameer Farooq. He teaches in the MFA Program in creative writing at the University of Nevada, Reno and lives in Reno, Nevada with an historian and their daughter.

So Tough cuts a loose and spaced-out path through the interpenetrated dreams of public, doomsday time and private, organic time. Written in a season of wildfire smoke punctuated by gunfire, grieving, and a child’s questioning spirit, the book moves to the countervailing rhythms of household, eros, pleasure and charm, casting a wayward grin at the catastrophic comedy of our days. Though he’s not really that tough, Jared Stanley rides elemental tones through ” the desert roses, semi-wilted, wonderful, yellowed, well, you know / suffering to cover the suffering.”



Apr 25 2024


6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
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