In this mixed-genre writing workshop, we will explore the genres of poetry and lyric essay as ways of constructing and redefining the self in the face of oppressive social and political structures throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. As Muriel Rukeyser wrote, “In time of crisis, we summon up our strength. Then, if we are lucky, we are able to call every resource, every forgotten image that can leap to our quickening, every memory that can make us know our power. And this luck is more than it seems to be: it depends on the long preparation of the self to be used.” We will ask difficult questions about the presentation of selfhood within writing by reading and writing texts that expand our interpretive lenses and equip us with robust language for discussing how identity emerges on the page. This class will encourage you to explore how your personal history and sense of self can be expressed across genres. Through in-class exercises, prompt-based writing assignments, and an array of imaginative experimentations, we will engage all five senses to write outside of what we think we know about ourselves. We will discover how writing the self is in itself an act of resistance.