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Words Lost and Found: A Creative Writing Workshop through Unequal Words

Title: Words Lost and Found: A Creative Writing Workshop through Unequal Words
Speaker(s): Dr. Defne Çizakça, Koç University, Istanbul, Turkey
Date & Time: 19/05/2016 15:00-18:00
Location: AVARTS Secretariat Building, Room 4, Former Asylum
Language: English

Short Description:
Some acts of transgression - whether we have enacted or suffered them - can be turned into stories we share with others. In these narrations, there are some words that overpower the rest. They are different for us all, but as words they have the potential to connect to more words and to link our lives to those of others, restoring us in the process.

And yet, certain forms of transgression can cause us to fall quiet, either due to the pain they cause us, or because they border on the transcendent. We may become unable to express what we live through, choose not to perpetuate the story, or lack the vocabulary to articulate the new experience altogether. In these cases, we try to cover up particular words, to lose them, to forget them with a vengeance, or try desperately to speak with another tongue, to imbue old words with new meanings.

“Words Lost and Found” will focus on these “unequal words”; the ones we have saturated with expectations, and the ones we have tried to disown. It is hoped that this creative writing workshop will help participants to discover their own unique lexicon, and to enrich it with words old and new, foreign and made up, gifted and saved.

Short CV
Defne is a reader, writer, editor, and lecturer based in Istanbul. She holds a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Glasgow (2015) where she worked on a historical and magically real novel about fin de siècle Istanbul, Κωνσταντινούπολη. Her book won the Gillian Purvis Award for New Writing, and is currently being expanded for publication.

She is the fiction editor of Unsettling Wonder: A Journal of Folk and Fairy Tales and the co-editor of three books, Tip Tap Flat: A View of Glasgow (Freight, 2012), New Fairy Tales: Essays and Stories (Unlocking Press, 2013) and Miscellaneous: Writing Inspired by the Hunterian (The Hunterian, 2014). Her creative work has appeared in such journals as New Writing Scotland 31 and 33, Gutter, Fractured West, Spilling Ink Review and Time Out Istanbul, among others. Defne was Writer in Residence at the Hunterian Museums from 2012 to 2014, where she researched, wrote and conducted creative writing workshops about the un-exhibited artefacts of the collection.

She currently works as a part-time lecturer at Koç University, and has initiated a programme to teach creative writing to women in Istanbul who have had to flee their homes – Syrian refugees, Kurdish immigrants, residents of trans guesthouses, and women’s shelters.