Courses Offered

Tatyana Brown offers critical analysis and creative writing workshops tailored to your program’s needs. Youth and adult students with a range of experiences have benefitted from her humorous delivery and provocative insights. She has taught everywhere, from middle schools to university classrooms, from coffee shops to homeless shelters. She is also an experienced coach and facilitator for slam teams and collectives, public speaking groups, forensics clubs, and storytellers. In addition to custom-designed courses, Tatyana has developed popular and effective classes that explore a few of her favorite topics and are guaranteed to invite thoughtful discussion, practical improvement, and growth in a wide variety of communities.

(All courses can be taught in 1-3 sessions, depending on the host organization’s desired depth of study.)

Introduction to Embodied Performance

Many factors contribute to the unique magic of being a part of a live audience. A masterful performer—one capable of inviting the crowd to fully engage their art while staying present to the emotional experience of its creation—is by far and away the most important part of the equation, no matter the genre. This course explores the theoretical underpinnings of creative, live performance, and provides exercises and tools for artists at any level of experience to improve their attention to, enjoyment of, and execution in delivering live work.

(One session recommended, 60-90 minutes)

Performance as a Radical Feminist Act

Whether you’re a woman artist, salesperson, politician, or just an average citizen, it doesn’t take much to realize that gender bias and misogyny are still active elements to be considered in many public spaces. This course will provide participants with tools for recognizing gender bias to avoid internalizing it, strategies for empowered performance in spaces where women’s voices are less than welcome, and an opportunity to strengthen a sense of community with allies in the trenches. Embodied performance exercises will be included in this course, and allies/men are welcome to attend (should your organization be interested).

(One or two sessions recommended, 60-90 minutes)

Slam as a Contemporary American Literary Tradition

The poetry slam movement has spread across the globe for the past quarter century. This game has reinvigorated a cultural interest in poetry, oral tradition, and creativity-based community in general=and the U.S. slam scene is certainly at the epicenter. Through performance analysis, experiential exercises/a simulated slam, a survey of the development of slam--writers and scenes alike=and an exploration of the ways contemporary poets all over the world are relating to one another (trends and responses in content and performance), students will discover new ways to experience and interpret contemporary performance poetry. In addition to honing literacy and critical thinking skills in a unique context, this course aims to engender and support a lifelong love of performance poetry in its participants.

(Two to three sessions recommended, 60-90 minutes)

How to Use Shock-Value Comedy for Awesome and Not Evil

This class invites students to see comedy as a vitally important tool for anyone of a progressive mindset. Terms like “systemic oppressio”n,“progressive politic”s,“privileg”e,and “ally” are defined in an unlikely setting that allows the conversation to be inviting and non-threatening for all parties. Students from all walks of life come away with new tools to deal with moments where what’s meant to be funny comes off as offensive (including how to apologize and learn from unexpected mistakes without feeling attacked). This course is for anyone who wants issues of race, class, sexual orientation, and ability (among others) to be dealt with compassionately and without becoming a flame war. (Based on a course on “XXX Haiku” taught to much acclaim at Yale’s 2012 Sex Week

(One session recommended, 90 minutes)