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Teaching Philosophy

My name is Alexa Young

Ariana Brown (she/they) is a queer Black Mexican American poet from San Antonio, TX. She holds a B.A. in African Diaspora Studies and Mexican American Studies as well as an M.F.A. in Poetry. Ariana is a 2014 national collegiate poetry slam champion. She is the author of We Are Owed. (Grieveland, 2021) and Sana Sana (Game Over Books, 2020). She has been writing, performing, and teaching poetry for 13 years. 

As a teacher, Ariana believes there is no wrong way to write a poem. She encourages discovery by asking participants to identify what excites them or what they notice most about poems. Ariana is skilled in teaching writers of all levels, creating opportunities for everyone’s thoughts and experiences to live harmoniously in the classroom. She teaches from a queer Black feminist approach, meaning she invites participants to safely engage in vulnerability and mutual support, as she works to craft a comfortable and challenging learning environment for all.

Headshot of Ariana Brown, a light skinned Black person leaning against a tree with a green lawn behind it. She is smiling at the viewer, wearing a black and white checkered button down, with the sun softly hitting her face.

Virtual Writing Classes

Black and white photo of a typewriter against a white background.

Embracing Our Softness

Saturdays April 1st--22nd from 1pm-3pm CST

Class Size: 35


Embracing our own softness can feel impossible in a world which tells us we must develop thick skin in order to survive. This class asks: “How can we allow ourselves to find the power in tenderness, in softness?” Together, we will explore the capabilities of tenderness, focusing on self-care and communal care, through weekly writing exercises and group dialogue.

We will study poems by Black queer and trans authors such as Alan Pelaez Lopez, Sasha Banks, Claudia Wilson, and Venus Kii Thomas. Ariana will facilitate group discussion about our relationships with tenderness based on our positions within capitalism and empire. Writing prompts will help participants understand their own tenderness and offer ways to practice it more intentionally
in the future (with ourselves and others). 


Participants are invited to create new work in any form, especially creative nonfiction, memoir, personal essay, journaling, song lyrics, and of course, poetry. Each session includes dedicated time to write, discuss, and share new work, as well as a lesson on creating visual poems. Writers of all experience levels ages 18 and up are encouraged to attend.

Black flyer with white text. Loves, Names, & Odes with Ariana Brown. A national poetry month virtual workshop on April 4th. 7pm to 8:30pm Central Standard Time. Scalawag: Grief and other loves series.

Love, Names, & Odes

Tuesday, April 4th from 7:00pm-8:30pm CST


Some of the strongest feelings we have are about people we've loved and lost. Ariana will guide participants in writing odes to themselves and their loved ones. Participants will consider the power of our own names, the strength of self-love, and the love we share with others. This one-day generative creative writing class is offered in partnership with Scalawag Magazine, an arts and culture journal focused on the politics of the U.S. South.


Poetry Workshop: June 2023

Meets Wednesdays 7pm-8pm CST for lectures

Meets Saturdays 1pm-4pm CST for workshops

Class Size: 6


If your primary focus is getting supportive feedback on your poems, this is the class for you. Ariana rarely teaches this kind of intimate workshop! We will meet twice a week for craft lectures and workshop sessions focused on providing detailed, encouraging feedback to strengthen your writing practice. Ariana does not teach in the MFA-style workshop model: she prefers to encourage you to identify your goals for your work and structures her workshops so that the feedback you receive helps you get closer to reaching your goals. We will hold everyone's work with care and eliminate self-doubt by learning to trust our writerly instincts. Ariana will provide mentorship in the form of personalized reading recommendations, craft techniques, and insider knowledge about the publishing industry. Scholarships are not available for this class due to the intense nature of the labor Ariana will provide. Deadline to apply is April 15!

What Students Say

"I loved the focus on POC and queer poets. I've taken other poetry courses before that were great, but did not explicitly touch on many of the topics around identity and lived experiences that did come up in this course. Ariana's teaching was also lovely, thoughtful, deep, and overall such a great learning experience."


Get notified when Ariana is teaching a new

virtual writing class!

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