the body poetik offers intimacy consulting, sensual life coaching, sexological bodywork, and other creativity consults to enhance vitality at the intersection of self-expression and sensory awareness.
the body poetik tailors its approach to meet the needs of all genders, sexual orientations, body types, physical abilities, or comfort levels. Basic creative expression/sensory awareness workshops can also be made age-appropriate for youth.

I am a poet, performance artist, and certified sexological bodyworker with many years of experience as a social service provider and peer counselor for people with disabilities. I offer group workshops or private consults. Sessions can be in-person, via internet or on-site for groups.

February 5, 2015

the body poetik at International Somatechnics Conference this April

As part of a cohort of fellow bodyworkers/performers/artists, I have been invited to present at a conference hosted by the Center for Critical Studies of the Body at the University of Arizona in Tucson. The university in Tucson is now the international home to the Somatechnics Research Network (formerly based in Sweden). 

Here is the very compelling call-to-dialogue-and-explore for this year's conference:

To be open means having the capacity for connection and curiosity, and willing to be receptive to otherness and difference. Openness is an engagement with processes of becoming, to be in anticipation of future states without predetermined ends. To be in the open is to be exposed and vulnerable under conditions of necessity and possibility, of risk and danger. Open is ontological, an ethical stance, an imperative: it demands of us to open borders, detention centers, and prisons, to open our eyes and our hearts, our senses and our awareness. Invitations are openings, as this one is: Let us come together and open ourselves to the embodied experience of our messy entanglements, fraught alliances and fuzzy boundaries with each other and with the Earth. And let us do it in Tucson.

The tension and interplay between self, other, and being open is a fundamental part of the art/ services the body poetik offers. I am so excited to converse, experiment, and play with like-minded others in Tucson and bring new ideas back to my local practice here in Florida!

For more info about the event, go to CCSB.

December 26, 2014

the body poetik residency at alternative school for girls

Just before the holidays, I completed a 10-week residency with girls, ages 12 - 16, at PACE in Pinellas Park. PACE is a nonprofit, alternative school for girls who may have ended up in the corrections system due to truancy or behavioral issues at the regular public schools they were attending.

PACE is only partially funded by the Pinellas county school board. Much of the operations budget has to come from private donors. A fundraiser was planned for November, in which the girls would perform a spoken word poem that told a collective tale about the ways in which many girls come to PACE. It was a difficult piece, full of metaphors about social injustice, and graphic details about addiction, rape, and domestic violence.

I used thebodypoetik techniques with the girls to bring their imagination, empathy, and shared experiences to the script. We played physical improv, group bonding, and vocalization
games to help them relate to and really own their individual parts in the performance.

The event went well, with more than 200 donors in attendance.  More importantly, the girls had fun being fitted with microphones and greeting the donors along the spiral staircase. They spoke their lines with calm confidence and each girl had her own specific flare. They also got to witness the way their words brought about action. Almost $10,000 was pledged immediately after the performance..

Our last class want back to basics--the simple pleasure of connecting to a nurturing, natural state.  Girls read from their journals. We talked about explicit rap lyrics, we rapped a bit, boredom and wanting to be good. We compared notes on the care of guinea pigs and bunnies. One girl talked about accidentally landing on a manatee after she dove into a local river...her concern for the creature, and her horror at it's slimy, barnacled skin.

In the end, we made feet starfish for our goodbye selfie.

Luckily, VSA Florida has given thebodypoetik a  spring residency to return and work with the girls at PACE. This time, we will focus on performing our every day experiences through voice and movement. Each girl will have a solo There will be poetry, performance art and many stars!

November 20, 2014

Betty Dodson on Orgasms as a path to self-knowledge and awareness

One of my clients is a senior citizen who had a decades' long letter-writing friendship with Betty Dodson. Today, he trudged 7 blocks from his parking space to my apartment with boxes full of books by Dodson and others--he donated his collection to The Body Poetik! As for Dodson, she is a world-renowned sex educator and pro-sex feminist who started educating women in the early 60's. So honored that R. brought a little Betty into my studio!

Here, Betty (who is now in her mid-80's and has a live in 20-something Russian lover) talks about Knowing Thyself, owning your solo orgasm.

Not sure how to own it, do it, say it, ask for it, stop putting off pleasure? The Body Poetik can help!

October 17, 2014

Longing to bring a little of Naropa University in Boulder CO to the Tampa Bay Area

I want to bring a little of what is offered at Naropa University in Boulder, CO to the Tampa Bay Area.

A Buddhist-founded, beatnik-run, environmentally conscious, transformation-based, waking-up-to-the-present liberal arts learning community. My collaborators and I were part of a conference in which poets, performers,  and thinkers featuring presenters on mothering, dirt, trash, and radical ways of being in touch with the body.

My current focus with the body poetik is liberated sensuality/sexuality and creative expression consulting. However, the current of what I offer runs through death, aging, disability, motherhood, man-formation, brain differences, and more. 

Here we are, at Naropa. Lisa Gil and other attendees, being sewn together by a gossamer thread, at The Sewing Is Writing panel. The metallic thread, which ran through some clothing item attached to the body of every audience member--it pulsated. We looked at the slides of brain scans belonging to the presenter's mother (the mom having dementia and having been a professionals seamstress) and the presenter's daughter (a young crafter in her own right). I have not been happier in a long time--being, literally, threaded together with other people.

Sheila Black and Violet Juno--using strange, awkward fashionista wings; asking students to draw their bodies in response to ortho-horror stories. Who are we? In our little bodies, one moment at a time? Who can we be?

My body as comma, as the comma intersecting holding and moving the line of someone else's spine. As drawn by Violet Juno, while I presented.

Here is Denise Leto (recent winner of the Room of One's Own award) and I, crashed out in the campus meditation room, taking a break from the intensity of beautiful writers, performers, seekers. We laid on the zen practice floor and ate donuts and checked the baseball scores. This is necessary. This is the body-as-artist practice. My donut, not seen here.

Neese and I are now starting realize that the vocalizing I do for her when she performs her work (she has a disability that affects her vocal cords) is an art of body attunement itself. Do you have a voice difference, body difference, and want to take your art/health/spiritual practice further through collaboration?

Be in touch with me! Also, I am going to be looking to venues like Studio 620, The Venture Compound, and University of Tampa to start offering performance art at the intersection of bodywork and participatory poetics.

Happy Autumn, season of incubating seeds!

September 7, 2014

the body poetik at the Writing, Thinking, Being conference

In October, TBP goes on the road, to Naropa University, a Buddhist college in Boulder. It is home to my mentor--writer, professor, and Aryuvedic healer--Bhanu Kapil. It is also home to a healthier aspect of  Jack Kerouac's spirit.  

And, I will be met there by my friends and fellow performance artists/bodyworkers from the San Francisco Bay Area.  Here is a description of our panel in the conference:

Writing and Performing [Dis]embodied States of Being: The Poetics of Disability, Movement, Grief, and Sensuality 

Shelia Black, Amber DiPietra, Margit Galanter, Lisa Gill, Violet Juno, and Denise Leto. As five interdisciplinary artists, we propose a collaborative panel presentation which will involve poetry, multimedia, and cross-genre performance exploring the poetics of embodiment/disembodiment: how different and differently abled bodies move in space and time both on and off the page in relation to movement, language, loss, and sensuality. Through somatic practices such as qi gong, performance art, embodied poetry, meditation, and live writing we will present a kinetic, aural, and literary articulation of these states of being. Within a rigorous investigation into the myth of heroic, virtuosic embodiment in multiple expressive mediums we will explore the unexpected subject: bodies in difference via challenges in physical capacity or social and political presence. We will ask: How might we enact new meaning in translative states of being within an exacting aesthetic that is capacious enough to address the body in transformation? How can movement strain the "able-bodied" expectation? How can the textual and physical body evoke perspectival shifts in the definition and experience of desire? How can loss, death, breath, and non-breath inform both the dynamism and stasis of writing and performing? In our panel, we hope to surface an emergent discussion of elegy and healing, corporeal disjunct and concord through the prism of multiple genres. In so doing, we will cultivate conceptions of embodiment/disembodiment in which the disparate pieces are not so much reconciled as they are highlighted in a fractured communion of the imaginary.

Ever a fan of Google image search,  here are some gorgeous images that come up for Naropa.

P.S. If you do a Body Poetik's class or consult with me, expect to move your body through inspired Google image searches.

July 29, 2014

Comma Sutra: your sacrum in an electric sentence

A body poetics workshop for getting in touch with your own unique sensuality through poems, songs, lit fragments, anecdotes, some meditation, breath work, and other quirky hybrid improv stuff.

Your sacrum is your root chakra, the tip of your tail bone, you anchor and drive. Poetics is not words and lines, but pulse and sensation. Let's explore. This workshop can take many directions depending upon participant expectations and interests, so bring your sensual, poetic hopes and intentions!

Find out more about me at writetoconnect.blogspot.com I am a poet, performance artist and CA-certified sexological bodyworker.

People of all ages (18 and up), shapes, sizes, genders, and orientations welcome! Artsy-types of all kinds welcome (not just poets) Bodyworkers too...!

Starts August 16th, 3:30pm at Wilson's Book World.

$10 suggested donation.

June 2, 2014

Eva Blake explains everything about why I went to San Francisco to get certified in sexological bodywork.

This comedian lady at Portland's version of TEDTalks explains Exactly what it felt like when I was at sex school in San Francisco this April. She also helps me out of the rut I have been in since last week, when a very artsy, zany red-headed naked lady came up to me at Caliente (where supposedly, I was might find a welcoming community of clients and fellow explorers). This lady looked at my flyers for intro to sex bod classes, laughed and said, "Oh honey, I already know how to masturbate." The rut wash;t about her misconception, but my failure to articulate how much and more and how much less it was then that, the zen of it.

Eva says

"I wanted to know what was beyond this place [...] I had come to this class for erotic embodiment [...] throwing myself off the cliff of sexual vulnerability [...]"
And she explains why poetry, or stand-up, or artful telling, is the hilarious, strange, beautiful moment of orgasm and failure and being alive.