prompts

we’ve collated some prompts and examples of work if you want some ideas for your submission to issue one: white.

we also run free online workshops to explore these works and prompts in real time with us. issue one’s run is now complete – check in for future issues!

issue one: white, submissions open the first of january to the thirty-first of january 2022.
issue one: white, submissions open 1st-31st january 2022

prompts

task 1

look at the world through a white lens: list things that are white (or grey, or greyscale, or silver…)

questions:
what is white around you? inside you? beyond you?
where are you hit with political whiteness – white as default, oversaturation, supremacy?
what, like the cold, ‘gives off’ white? follow your senses.

examples:
Hydrocele – torrin a. greathouse [poem]
White Justice – Alice Bag [song]

task 2

make the colour white (or grey, black, chosen shade), or an example from task one, a metaphor for something intangible or abstract (e.g. your queerness, gender, dysphoria, heterosexuality, societal oppression)

questions:
is white positive or negative to you?
is there something you wish you could do with the thing you’re metaphorising if it were tangible? (e.g. pulling out dysphoria like teeth)
how do you physically interact with it? does it spill out of you? do you pull teeth? is your queerness bodily-tied and therefore undeniable, via your bones?

tip: mention white without *mentioning* white – as in Julio Barrera’s (translated) poem, you can note how something is white by likening it to something else that is generally known to be white: “like sails of a shipwreck”.

tip: the first layer of a metaphor is highlighting likeness, the second is changing perception of the original.

examples:
the moon is a lesbian – maddie fay [poem]
texas, december – isaura ren [poem]

task 3

retell, or recreate, an event/scene involving whiteness (e.g. bathroom sex) and forefront whiteness. or its unfolding is like colours spilling onto a canvas.
OR a queer first time.

questions:
can you hone in on anything you’ve explored re: white – the feeling of moonlight on skin, anything physical from task two?
do you want to find whiteness through metaphor (e.g. skin as fragile as porcelain)?

examples:
love with you 1 – seosamh lily [illustration]

examples (or ‘how can i thematise white?’)

talk about things that are whiteHydrocele – torrin a. greathouse [poem]
texas, december – isaura ren [poem]
White Knuckles – Maris [song]
Egg – Rachel Hock [short story]
White Papers – Martha Collins [poem]
Ekphrasis on My R*****’s Wedding Dress – torrin a. greathouse [poem]
the moon is a lesbian – maddie fay [poem]
The Moon is Trans – J Jennifer Espinoza [poem]
use symbolism that already exists for the colourThree White Horses – Andrew Bird [song]
texas, december – isaura ren [poem]
discuss your experience with political whitenessWhite Justice – Alice Bag [song]
Dark Skin, Whitening Mask – Lamya H [personal essay]
Declaration – Tracy K. Smith [poem]
be ‘meta’ about the white of the page/canvas
use a formal practice that uses the colour
Hydrocele – torrin a. greathouse [poem]
Declaration – Tracy K. Smith [poem]
Melody – Mary Ruefle [poetry]
love with you 1 – seosamh lily [illustration]
burst into colour!White Justice – Alice Bag [song]
A Brief History of my Underwear – Gerard Wozek [personal essay]
ynygordna – Kelly Williams [poem]
works without links have quotations in the documents below

to take the table and its links with you, and for guiding notes on the way white is used in those examples, download this PDF:

and here’s the powerpoint from our workshops: