Gathering Place is a home for spectacular, cost-free events that showcase art, history, entertainment and culture from around the corner and around the world! Check out the event calendar to plan your visit.
Get out of your writing comfort zone and find inspiration at our "Spontaneous Writing Workshop"! Join author and poet Robert Vivian along with Tulsa Artist Fellow Liz Blood at this spontaneous generative workshop that will teach you new ways of breaking artistic habits and help you explore a new side of creative writing using dervish styles. Dervish essays are short, lyrical, ecstatic, prose poems that celebrate life and spontaneity and seek to connect the small to the large. Vivian sometimes refers to them as "love letters to the world."
Registration for Spontaneous Writing Workshops is now closed. If you have registered, please check your email for more information.
These dervish-styled "Spontaneous Writing Workshops" are free and open to all with registration. Capacity is limited and will be reserved through the registration link. Workshops will be held inside ONEOK Boathouse at Gathering Place, adjacent to the “Cabinet of Wonder” art installation on Saturday, May 11.
Workshop One: 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Workshop Two: 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Writers of all practices, genres, and experience are welcome! This workshop is perfect for prose writers, poets, interdisciplinary artists, or anyone looking to broaden their creative vision. All participants will receive a small notebook and a copy of Immortal Soft-Spoken, Vivian’s second book of dervish essays published by Awst Press. Please bring a writing utensil and a water bottle.
This workshop is presented by Gathering Place in collaboration with Tulsa Artist Fellowship.
On the following Sunday, May 12, workshop participants have the opportunity to share their writings in a public reading held in the large Unity Circle amphitheater immediately west of the upper entrance to the Boathouse. Reading slots will be limited to five minutes each and will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Sign-ups to read will begin at 5:00 p.m. and the reading will begin at 5:30, emceed by Liz Blood. Robert Vivian will close the reading with selections of his own writing. Visitors to the park are welcome to these informal performances.
About Robert Vivian
Writer Robert Vivian refers to himself as "an inveterate lover of the written and spoken word, especially those spoken from the white hot center of a poet’s heart.” He is the author of two books of dervish essays, a coin he termed for lyrical prose poems driven by anaphoric repetition and a desire to connect disparities large and small.
Vivian teaches at Alma College and in the low-residency MFA program at the Vermont College Of Fine Arts. Dozens of his plays have been produced in New York City and elsewhere, and his poems, essays, and stories have appeared in literary journals including Georgia Review, Harper’s, Ecotone, Creative Nonfiction, and others. He has published four novels—The Tall Grass Trilogy (Lamb Bright Saviors (2010), Another Burning Kingdom (2011), The Mover Of Bones (2012)), Water And Abandon (2012), and two books of meditative essays, Cold Snap As Yearning (2001) and The Least Cricket Of Evening (2011). His first book of dervish essays, Mystery My Country (2016), was published by Anchor & Plume and the second, Immortal Soft-Spoken (2018), was published by Awst Press. He has visited and taught in Turkey several times and has been heavily influenced by the works of Rumi. In the summer he tries to fly fish in northern Michigan every day and when he can’t, he dreams about it anyway. His newest book, All I Feel Is Rivers, is forthcoming from University of Nebraska Press in 2020.
Vivian is blown away, sustained, and renewed by the poems of Rumi, Hafiz, Osip Mandelstam, Mary Ruefle, and "too many others to name here." He agrees with Mandelstam that “words are sheer pleasure, a cure for anguish,” and believes literature is the ongoing hope of the world because of its particularity and universality.