University of Iowa

Event Archive

Weekend June 15 to June 16 2019
Instructor(s): 
Hope Edelman

“You couldn’t write a story that happened nowhere,” Eudora Welty has famously said. Every story takes place somewhere. But too often, writers don’t allow for or don’t recognize how important Place is to their stories. The same is true for Time, which is overlooked even more often. This workshop acknowledges that narratives unfold within a context of geography, time period, and culture. What happened to you in the past probably could not have happened to you quite that way at any other time or in any other place.

Two-Weeklong July 14 to July 26 2019
Instructor(s): 
Sandra Scofield

This workshop is a rare opportunity to give and receive feedback on book-length manuscripts. There will be ten participants. Admission is by application only. To apply, submit 15 pp/@4500 words. If your excerpt is taken from a chapter longer than the specified pages, you may append a one paragraph summary. Also submit a synopsis, with a word-limit of 1000 words, and submit a one-page statement saying what you hope to achieve by being in the workshop.

Weekend July 20 to July 21 2019
Instructor(s): 
Kelly Dwyer

Flash fiction is fiction that tells a story in a flash—anywhere from six words (“For Sale. Baby Shoes. Never worn.”—attributed to Hemingway) to a thousand words. In this workshop, we will discuss what flash fiction is and what makes it so interesting, we’ll study and discuss some examples, and of course, we’ll complete exercises and assignments, writing some flash of our own that will surprise even its authors!

Weeklong June 23 to June 28 2019
Instructor(s): 
Sandra Scofield

Agency is the word for a character’s central role in pushing a story forward. Often a first draft traps us in a story with characters who are passive, or who just can’t figure out what to do next. But responsibility for one’s own fate is a big part of making a character sympathetic. How do you develop your protagonist’s agency, especially if your character is in trouble? You build character struggle that comes from obstacles between what is desired and what seems possible. You upset the equilibrium and put good things at risk.

Weekend July 27 to July 28 2019
Instructor(s): 
Suzanne Scanlon

Maybe you have a lot of work that’s almost, but not quite, done. Maybe you think you’re done but you don’t know what’s next. This workshop will help you get that story or essay or experimental prose piece ready to send out. You will bring in writing that’s close (but not yet!) done, and by the end of our weekend, you’ll have it polished and prepped for submission. We’ll spend some time looking at a range of options for publication geared to your writing style and genre.

 

Weekend June 22 to June 23 2019
Instructor(s): 
Lon Otto

This weekend workshop focuses on the challenges and resources of writing about childhood experience. (Childhood, for our purposes, runs from a person’s earliest memories to the threshold of young adulthood.) We will read published fiction, creative nonfiction, and poems that involve a child’s perspective, and we will explore the advantages and liabilities of various narrative points of view. We will use these insights to ask constructive questions about writing being worked on by members of the class.

Weekend July 20 to July 21 2019
Instructor(s): 
Diana Goetsch

A two-day immersion in the act of generating poetry, in the presence of a veteran poet known for generously sharing her practice. We’ll look at the many ways poems can arrive, and how we can cultivate our receptivity to them. We will learn ways to broaden our range of subjects and styles, ways to write the poem that eludes us, how to handle emotionally challenging material, and how to write without an agenda (giving rise to poems we never expected).

Weeklong June 23 to June 28 2019
Instructor(s): 
Hugh Ferrer

This generative workshop is for poets and writers who wish to create vivid, poignant, emotionally memorable imagery. The week will cover a wealth of material: poetry and storytelling since forever have been exploring new ways to be the opposite of boring, and we’ll be poring over examples from the ancient to the modern, across all genres, to find inspiration and technical guidance.

Weekend July 20 to July 21 2019
Instructor(s): 
Jennifer Fawcett

One voice telling one story. The one-person play harkens back to the storyteller spinning a tale around the campfire. It can be fiction or nonfiction, it can have one character or many (yes, you can have dialogue in a solo performance), it can involve projections and props and pyrotechnics, or it can just be one person standing on a bare stage asking the audience to come with them on a journey. No matter what form it takes, a play for one is a unique piece of theatrical magic for the actor, the audience and the writer.

Weekend June 22 to June 23 2019
Instructor(s): 
Mieke Eerkens

This fun weekend course promises to stock you with enough fresh material for 10 essays, stories, or even a book to flesh out over the months following the class. In an invigorating, supportive, no-pressure environment, we’ll use tested and effective writing prompts to get some beginnings down on paper for further development when you go home. We’ll have some time to discuss and share some of our work each day and get some feedback on how to proceed with the work we’ve generated, as well as get a list of prompts to generate new material at home.

Weeklong July 14 to July 19 2019
Instructor(s): 
Kelly Dwyer

W. Somerset Maugham has said that there are three rules to writing a novel but that, unfortunately, no one knows what they are. We might safely assume though, that one of these rules might have something to do with plot: Maybe we should have one in our novels? Maybe it would be helpful to plan the plot out ahead of time? In this weeklong workshop, we’ll do various exercises to help us develop and deepen our plots.

Weekend July 27 to July 28 2019
Instructor(s): 
Venise Berry

How do you create a strong and exciting plot in your novel? How do you connect the plot with various subplots? How do you place plot points effectively throughout your story? This class will help you develop or strengthen your novel’s main plot. It will also help you better understand the use of subplots and the purpose of plot points. To write a great novel it is crucial to recognize how the plot, subplots and plot points create the main sequence of events and figure out the best way to use them to move your story from beginning to end.

Weekend June 22 to June 23 2019
Instructor(s): 
Maxine Swann

Good writing is the fruit of both the conscious and the unconscious minds. Sometimes we forget this. We privilege the intellect; we think that if we just think hard enough we can “figure this out.” Our hand grows stiff, our writing forced. In fact, much of our best work is produced when we’re looking the other way.

 

Weekend July 20 to July 21 2019
Instructor(s): 
Sarah Strickley

As any writing instructor worth her salt will tell you, the key to developing as a writer is devoting your time and energy to the craft. But, as any busy budding writer might attest, that time can often be difficult to come by in the hustle and bustle of modern life. In this weekend workshop, writers will learn strategies for cultivating a healthy daily writing practice.

Weeklong July 14 to July 19 2019
Instructor(s): 
Carol Spindel

Annie Dillard famously said, “The writer of any work, and particularly any nonfiction work, must decide two crucial points: what to put in and what to leave out.” If you have a nonfiction or memoir project in progress, you probably agree. But you may be asking: how do I decide? I have all this material, but how do I shape it? Where do I begin and end? Which parts do I put in and which do I leave out?

 

Weekend June 15 to June 16 2019
Instructor(s): 
Ami Silber

One of the most essential components of writing and selling fiction is how quickly and strongly you’re able to snare your audience. Ensuring you have a clear and exciting elevator pitch is one of the tools fiction authors need, not only for garnering outside interest in your work, but also as a means of strengthening your own writing. In this workshop, we will discuss three components that assist us in selling our books to readers, agents, editors, and ourselves with highly-crafted, sharply-honed elevator pitches.

Weekend July 27 to July 28 2019
Instructor(s): 
Mary Kay Shanley

A common problem that plagues writers without a boatload of experience is attempting to tell your reader everything. All-At-Once. But what results is a lot of information that skims the surface. Period. That means your readers miss the richness of all those smaller-picture stories waiting beneath. Stories that harbor marvelous details and vibrant conversations, characters who unfold on the page, places rich and real. Stories strung together in a timely manner—one after another—deliver the heart and soul of your project.

Weeklong June 16 to June 21 2019
Instructor(s): 
Sandra Scofield

You have a story you are burning to tell. You're carrying it around in you, but you haven't even started. OR: You're writing but you aren't sure you can make it to the end. It's prime time to learn key concepts, such as the difference between plot, chronology, and structure. What it means for a character to have agency. How to write a scene sequence. You don't have to do these things in lockstep with the order of your story. You can roam the narrative to test the strength of events and the logic of the steps you take in telling them.

Weeklong July 21 to July 26 2019
Instructor(s): 
Suzanne Scanlon

What does it mean to write in a way that resists? Much of my favorite writing to read can be considered “resistant narratives”—writing that responds to and rewrites the narratives we have received from a culture that often wishes to reduce and limit our very souls. To become an artist is to write oneself back into being. A book can be a place where the individual remakes the world. In this workshop, we will read and write.

Weeklong June 09 to June 14 2019
Instructor(s): 
Zach Savich

In this workshop, we’ll consider how new poems can grow out of close revision. In the first half of the session, we’ll discuss poems that participants have previously writtenwhether recently or many years ago. We’ll identify key poetic techniques and values in each piece, and we’ll practice methods of creative revision. In the second half of the session, participants will submit new poems that reflect our discussion of earlier work; the instructor will work with each participant to devise an individually meaningful approach.

Weekend July 27 to July 28 2019
Instructor(s): 
Sarah Saffian

In an effort to get over ourselves as personal storytellers, we’ll strive in this intensive course to make every sentence, indeed every word, count. What must be there for a reader to get a sense of us? What’s that inciting incident, organizing principle, heat-seeking moment, which could drive our memoirs?

 

Weekend July 13 to July 14 2019
Instructor(s): 
Martin Pousson

What is the difference between miniatures, drabbles, micro-fiction, palm stories, twitterature, and short shorts? In turn, how are these forms different from flash fiction, sudden fiction, and very short fiction? Is the answer more quantitative than qualitative, or does the selection of a frame—and form—change more than the number of words within a story? Increasingly, literary magazines promote contests in shorter and shorter narrative forms to feature on smart phones, tablets, and social media sites.

Weekend July 27 to July 28 2019
Instructor(s): 
Juliet Patterson

This workshop will focus on a variety of exercises designed to underscore the multiple functions of the line in poetry. What’s the primary function of the line in your work? And how can you utilize the line to its fullest? How can the line affect music, drama, and meaning or all of these in our poems? As a group, we’ll also discuss the pitfalls and frustrations each of us has with our own work in relation to the line and work together to dream up solutions to these problems.

Weekend July 20 to July 21 2019
Instructor(s): 
Rachel Pastan

Strong feeling is often what drives us to write. We want our reader to experience the sadness or outrage, the delight or sense of betrayal we feel when thinking about a fictional (or nonfictional) situation. But how do we do that, exactly? How do we tell a story that’s not cold, but that’s not melodramatic either?

 

Weeklong June 16 to June 21 2019
Instructor(s): 
Lon Otto

As challenging as the completion of a draft is, the work of significant revision that follows can be equally daunting. This is not a matter of light housekeeping—dusting, polishing, tidying up. Very rarely that’s all a draft needs; normally something bigger needs to happen before a substantial piece of writing achieves its full potential. Walls might need to be knocked down and rebuilt, new powerlines connected, skylights opened up.

Weeklong July 21 to July 26 2019
Instructor(s): 
Beau O’Reilly

Working from the premise that the two-character play is the most difficult contemporary dramatic form to complete, and the observation that two-character pieces, also, are one of the most expedient forms to stage and produce, we will make a number of short plays over the course of the week, each one working with dialogue, setting, and the restrictions and freedoms of the two-character format. We will write for the first four days in workshop from prompts designed to get us to create from surprising places.

Weekend July 20 to July 21 2019
Instructor(s): 
Jude Nutter

Barry Lopez claims that landscape is a “shaping force” and that our physical experience of the landscape is integral to the meaning of the landscape itself. Landscape, then, is internal as well as external, and there is an intimate relationship between the physical and emotional terrains.

Weekend June 22 to June 23 2019
Instructor(s): 
Marc Nieson

From Melville’s white whale to Walker’s color purple. Woolf’s lighthouse to Carver’s cathedral. Basho’s pond. Frost’s forked path. Naipaul’s river bend. Macdonald’s hawk. Whitehead’s underground railroad. We all recognize the precision and poignancy of these metaphors. Those crystalline choices their creators made to deeply and simultaneously etch into our minds both image and meaning.

 

Weeklong June 23 to June 28 2019
Instructor(s): 
Michael Morse

We’ll spend a week together generating poems, and each day we’ll playfully start something new together. Each session will begin with calculated yet playful springboards into writing: we’ll consider the work of two poets (one contemporary poet & one pre-20th century poet), a mythological tale, visual art, a rhetorical trope, and even idioms and song lyrics. We’ll take these calculated moves and then re-work them, adding whatever inspiration you might bring from personal experience and your own passions.

Weeklong July 21 to July 26 2019
Instructor(s): 
BK Loren

Is your writing a little stiff? Does it need to take a breath? Or is it not as strong as you want it to be, or as balanced and flexible? This generative class will offer numerous exercises to strengthen your writing while also making your words more flexible and “natural” on the page. Plan on writing a lot, learning a lot, and because yoga-writing is a mind-body experience, also plan on learning a bit of brain science as it applies to your writing. This is not a workshop.

Weekend July 27 to July 28 2019
Instructor(s): 
Margaret LeMay

Are you a writer who writes in brief moments of inspiration? These might manifest in poems, prose poems, blog posts, memoir, biography, or short lyric or personal essays. Perhaps you pen or tap out concoctions that integrate elements of all of those that you don’t know how to define, but you know they’re short. Or you’re a beginning writer who is interested in learning how innovative use of form can concentrate meaning and impact in any writing, how to use white space, and how to say more in fewer words.

Weekend July 20 to July 21 2019
Instructor(s): 
Jeremy B. Jones

This course will examine the rich tradition of nonfiction writing about place; however, it will immediately detour onto the road less traveled. We don’t all have stories of Paris or Kilimanjaro. Some of us care about Paducah or desolate prairies. What does a writer need to capture the tiny towns and empty spaces, the everyday Main Streets and failing factories to create engaging, layered essays that reach far-flung readers?

Weeklong June 16 to June 21 2019
Instructor(s): 
Wayne Johnson

All of us encounter dramas in life that seem tailor-made for narrative. But when sitting down to pen such seeming “ready-mades,” we often find that they don’t come to life, drag, or simply seem to lose their once brilliant shine when committed to paper. So, we ask, how do writers such as Bill Bryson, Jon Krakauer, and Sebastian Junger write such engaging narratives? Or Mary Karr, Jeannette Walls, and Tobias Wolff?

Weeklong June 16 to June 21 2019
Instructor(s): 
Jim Heynen

This workshop will begin with life experience, but we’ll use what we remember as a springboard for imaginative verbal adventures. The moment we give our attention to form, whether that be in the music and repetition we associate with poetry or the structure and narrative progression we associate with fiction, what we thought was only a memory can take on new and unexpected life.

Weeklong June 16 to June 21 2019
Instructor(s): 
Christine Hemp

Especially during times of change and upheaval, we yearn for something called home. Whether you’ve arrived from another country, have lived in one Iowa farmhouse your whole life, or you relocate to a new city every year, this class is about the places we inhabit. How have they changed us (for better or for worse)? Why do they transform us—yet again—when we write about them? And why do some houses or landscapes offer us a sense of belonging? This is a generative week, and we’ll do lots of writing in and out of class.

Weeklong June 16 to June 21 2019
Instructor(s): 
Sands Hall

Are you working on a memoir? This course is designed for you. It will also be useful to any writer interested in exploring how fictional strategies help us get our personal stories effectively across to the reader.

 

Weekend June 15 to June 16 2019
Instructor(s): 
Vince Gotera

Many beginning poets become quickly proficient with alliteration—the repetition of beginning sounds in nearby words—”lurk late” or “strike straight” or “jazz June” (examples from the poem “We Real Cool” by Gwendolyn Brooks). The problem is, they begin to overuse alliteration and rely on it too much.

Weeklong June 16 to June 21 2019
Instructor(s): 
Eric Goodman

This is an advanced novel writing workshop. It is designed for students who are fairly far along in or have finished the draft of a novel. Each student will submit up to fifteen pages—preferably the first fifteen, but not necessarily—to be considered in workshop. We will discuss, as a group, how to go from rough draft to final draft.

 

Weeklong July 14 to July 19 2019
Instructor(s): 
Diana Goetsch

Most of us write a first draft the same way every time no matter the subject, falling into habitual patterns that either become unconscious or get mistaken for our “voice.” It is a lot like how we dance at parties: there are countless ways to move in space, and yet we wind up doing the same old two-step that (if we’re honest with ourselves) we’re sick of.

Weekend July 27 to July 28 2019
Instructor(s): 
Cecile Goding

Before I came to Iowa, back in the South Carolina county where I grew up, I became a teacher. Specifically, I taught those who had left school early on and later decided to give education a second look. Those brave, funny students—no one has taught me more. What exactly I learned is a question worth a lifetime. For one weekend at least, let’s write in the company of fellow teachers. Together, let’s give our school experiences a good airing-out. What sustained us in that complex microcosm known as the classroom?

Weeklong June 23 to June 28 2019
Instructor(s): 
Allen Gee

So many creative nonfiction writers have a story to tell, but want to know how to bring their work to a greater level of significance. Writing race, feminism, immigration, nature and the environment, or delving into childhood and beyond—how do we develop and emphasize themes stemming from our personal stories/essays to speak to larger issues? How do we protest artfully, or chronicle most poignantly? This workshop will help nonfiction writers at all skill levels refine their craft or clarify the meaning of their writing.

Weeklong June 23 to June 28 2019
Instructor(s): 
Katie Ford

This workshop is a communal effort toward deep and considered critique of original poems by participants. Our depth of engagement will be open, warm, and full of goodwill toward writer and poem. What we’re after is the mesmerizing poem, no matter the style, form, or subject. The beginning half of each session will focus on a sample of masterful poems from history that might act as guides and examples of poetic techniques, including lineation, lyricism, diction, form, and figuration. Writing exercises included.

Weekend June 22 to June 23 2019
Instructor(s): 
Hugh Ferrer

Plot and character may drive the action in most fiction, but time-management and “camerawork” are crucial for enriching the story and drawing a reader in. This weekend session is open to all levels, but will be particularly useful for writers who feel comfortable with the basics and are looking for techniques to make their storytelling more dynamic, dynamic because time-management and camerawork thrive on variation, as much as on consistency.

Weeklong July 14 to July 19 2019
Instructor(s): 
Jennifer Fawcett

Words and actions, these are the fundamental building blocks of plays. Subtext, motivation, desire, emotion, humor, suspense… How do you communicate these if you don’t have those long descriptive paragraphs where a character remembers her childhood or anticipates the end of his relationship? (Sure, you can put in lots of stage directions but no one reads those.) Hint: you communicate all of this and more through what your characters SAY and what they DO. The rest, as Hamlet says, is silence. And that’s essential too.

Weeklong June 16 to June 21 2019
Instructor(s): 
Mieke Eerkens

From photojournalism, to graphic novels and memoirs, to narrative cartography, the contemporary literary arts are increasingly hybridized, borrowing from other media and unconcerned with crossing categorical boundaries. Visual artists are incorporating language into their work, and writers are incorporating visual components into their work. This course will focus on the interesting ways in which image and language can work together. We will examine the increasingly popular genre of graphic novels and nonfiction.

Weeklong June 23 to June 28 2019
Instructor(s): 
Kelly Dwyer

While there are numerous elements of a novel, it would be difficult—if not quite impossible—to write a successful novel without these five elements in particular: plot, character, dialogue, point of view, and theme. And while of course the elements intertwine, we’ll spend one day focusing on each of them, discussing how to develop each one deeply and successfully in our novels, and doing in-class writing and exercises.

Weekend June 15 to June 16 2019
Instructor(s): 
Thomas K. Dean

Most writers want to write sentences that are clear and that communicate their intended meaning well. Certainly editors are looking for that! Much of a writer’s creativity lies in his or her talent for choosing words imaginatively. But much of your style also depends on some technicalities about what kind of word forms you choose and where you put them in your sentences.

Weeklong July 14 to July 19 2019
Instructor(s): 
Tameka Cage Conley

Our stories can move chronologically. They can also zigzag and weave in and out of time, utilizing flashback to thrust the plot forward and to strengthen and enhance lines of tension—worry, pressure, stress, dis-ease—that our characters experience as their worlds unfold and reveal struggles for them to face, to ponder, to question, to conquer, to perish from. In this workshop, we will consider how to manage the past, present, and the future in our fiction, while simultaneously watering the seeds of suspense.

Weekend June 22 to June 23 2019
Instructor(s): 
Amy Butcher

Once upon a time, long before the Age of Oprah, writers who had lived through something fascinating or terrible or both would turn their experiences into exaggerated works and call them fiction. Nowadays, however, these experiences equally take the form of memoir—ruminative, retrospective narratives that comprise a sub-genre of the diverse and expansive genre we typically call creative nonfiction. What does this mean?

Weeklong June 23 to June 28 2019
Instructor(s): 
Jonathan Blum

When was the last time you read a story you couldn’t put down? We all want to write such stories, but how do we do it? In this class, we will workshop short stories of up to 18 pages, with the goal of helping each writer identify and build on the strengths of his/her story. In so doing, we will discuss what makes a story irresistible. Among the questions we will consider: In what ways does this story engage and move us? Does the story have a recognizable structure that serves the writer’s artistic aims?

Weekend July 20 to July 21 2019
Instructor(s): 
Venise Berry

A book proposal is your introduction to an agent or editor. It should answer two primary questions: Why will this book sell? Why are you the best person to write it? This workshop will focus on helping participants begin the process of writing a book proposal for various nonfiction forms such as memoir, historical, essays, autobiography, anthology, resource, self-help, how-to, humor, and more. Specific areas of the proposal will be discussed and developed including: title, hook, market, promotion, bio, and outline.

Weekend July 20 to July 21 2019
Instructor(s): 
Timothy Bascom

To borrow from an over-used advertising pitch, “Are you tired of the same old essays? Ready to try something new?” If so, come spend a weekend experimenting. We will read and write only the most inventive nonfiction—essays pretending to be poems, essays that stray into the fiction room, collage essays, essays that (like hermit crabs) borrow their homes, even essays that are pure imaginative speculation. (Yes, that counts.

Weekend July 27 to July 28 2019
Instructor(s): 
Nancy K. Barry

Most writers and readers will tell you that to have an engaging style, we need to capture the sound of a “real person speaking.” Yet, it is equally true that good prose is not merely “writing down what people say.” How do we navigate getting the sound and resonance of our “style” down on the page, and how would we even begin to describe the sound we’re trying to achieve? This workshop provides a two-day entry into defining and manipulating prose styles.

Weekend July 13 to July 14 2019
Instructor(s): 
Mary Allen

Have you always felt a deep urge to write but not known how or where to begin? Do you long to get at the meaning and stories inside of you but feel frustrated when you sit down and try to make it happen on the page? If so, this class is for you.

Weeklong July 21 to July 26 2019
Instructor(s): 
Susan Aizenberg

We all know that writing poems is a solitary activity, but it’s often exhilarating and useful to generate work toward new poems by responding to “no-fault” prompts and exercises together in a supportive and energizing group of fellow poets. We’ll spend our week doing just that: free-writing together in class in response to proven prompts designed to inspire new poems or new ideas for poems on which we’ve been working.

Weeklong June 23 to June 28 2019
Instructor(s): 
Marilyn Abildskov

“Can it be that I am the subject?” the writer Elizabeth Hardwick asks in Sleepless Nights. In this course, the answer is yes. You will be the subject, shaping the raw material of your life onto the page. To do so is nothing new. Writers throughout the ages have drawn on their lives, some in small measure and some to a greater degree. But often those stories hid behind the veil of “fiction” while “memoir” remained the domain of older men looking back on public lives.

Weeklong July 21 to July 26 2019
Instructor(s): 
Anthony Varallo

Taking Raymond Carver’s advice as our point of departure (“Get in, get out. Don’t linger. Go on.”) we will explore the virtues of writing short stories, short exercises, and other short forms, and the downside of “lingering” in fiction.

Weeklong June 16 to June 21 2019
Instructor(s): 
Maxine Swann

In one moment your character is a blurry outline on the page and in the next she comes vividly alive. How and why does this happen? And how can you learn as a writer to make it happen again and again?

 

Weekend July 13 to July 14 2019
Instructor(s): 
Sarah Strickley

Every novel begins with a great idea, but not every great idea makes for a compelling novel. How do you know if your idea is strong enough to sustain a book-length work? What are the tried-and-true methods for transforming ideas into pages? In this weekend workshop, the focus will be carefully laying the groundwork for the composition of a novel. We’ll pre-write our way through our cast of characters, our major plot points, and our thematic concerns; we’ll learn the value of an outline; and we’ll experiment with voice and point of view.

Weeklong July 14 to July 19 2019
Instructor(s): 
Ian Stansel

In this workshop, we will look at first chapters of published novels, discussing strategies for engaging readers, setting tone, planting seeds of future plot points, developing characters, and generally writing captivating opening pages. We will also workshop student first chapters, analyzing them in the context of what we’ve learned from successfully published work. But an opening is just a start—we’ll also discuss what comes next. While all writing should be a process of discovery, for many writers a novel needs a bit more planning.

Weekend July 13 to July 14 2019
Instructor(s): 
Carol Spindel

We all lead multiple lives, so no wonder it’s difficult to write a single memoir. And when our own lives are the subject, we have far too many subsidiary characters and subplots and know way too many details about all of them. This makes wrestling our memories into coherent literary form a bit like trying to organize an overstuffed closet, except in literature we don’t have plastic tubs or garage sales.

 

Weeklong July 21 to July 26 2019
Instructor(s): 
Laurel Snyder

Have you ever flipped through a picture book, and thought to yourself, “I could do that!” Have you ever tried? It’s tougher than it looks....  

 

Weeklong June 09 to June 14 2019
Instructor(s): 
Ami Silber

Whether or not you read romance novels, there’s no denying it’s the most popular genre of fiction currently published. The Romance Writers of America has estimated that annual sales of romance in 2013 totaled $1.08 billion. Given its strength and endurance through decades of development, fiction writers of every genre can mine romance for valuable techniques to bring to their work.

Weekend July 13 to July 14 2019
Instructor(s): 
Mary Kay Shanley

Even before the first draft of a memoir is written―sometimes before the first sentence is written―a wave of doubt can sweep the writer out to sea. “What if,” you gulp, “people disagree with what I write?” It’ll probably happen for one simple reason: Your memoir is written from your perspective. You see, understand, remember and interpret the people, places and events that merge to become your story from your vantage point. Others in your story see it from their vantage points, and these twains will not all meet.

Weekend June 15 to June 16 2019
Instructor(s): 
Sandra Scofield

If you have written, are writing, or want to write a novel, you are thinking of All Those Pages. But the secret to a novel that flies is knowing exactly what it's about, and being able to convey that succinctly. I call that “Aboutness.” An agent or editor needs it in a query. A reader will sense it and talk about it to others. Most of all, you need it as a North Star to guide your writing. And you will write it this weekend! You will learn to use a 9-slot plot template; a logline; and a summary map.

Weeklong July 14 to July 19 2019
Instructor(s): 
Suzanne Scanlon

Whether fiction or memoir or something in between, many powerful works of literature are strange—structured in a fractured, fragmented, nonlinear style. In this class, we will read and write a lot. We will experiment with forms, styles, approaches to time, place, structure, point-of-view and character, finding new and strange ways to tell (and retell) a story. Through in class writing prompts, we will construct a series of short pieces.

Weekend June 15 to June 16 2019
Instructor(s): 
Zach Savich

Creative nonfiction is about more than what happened. In this workshop, we’ll explore ways to enhance essays, memoirs, and other forms of narrative nonfiction by using techniques that deepen our prose’s significance and resonance. We’ll take inspiration from a capacious range of essays, as well as from fiction, poetry, and other arts. Participants will complete new writing activities, receive feedback about past work they wish to share (optional), and discuss published works by diverse writers.

Weeklong July 21 to July 26 2019
Instructor(s): 
Sarah Saffian

In grappling with the cardinal question of memoir—Who cares?—this workshop zeroes in on what’s most compelling about our life stories. What about us is potentially interesting to others? Can a personal essay stand alone as a complete mini-memoir?

 

Weekend July 13 to July 14 2019
Instructor(s): 
Kathleen Rooney

Prose poetry is far more than just verse without line breaks. Borrowing from a variety of forms and genres, including questionnaires, conver­sations, dream narratives, and art installations like those of Joseph Cornell, these little blocks, patches, scraps, chunks, fragments—whatever you want to call them—are tiny boxes that can contain big things.

Weeklong July 14 to July 19 2019
Instructor(s): 
Martin Pousson

What is the difference between a linked collection of stories and a novel-in-stories? Are these merely new terms for old forms, or is a new direction now possible for writers? Increasingly, a once contested category is becoming more accepted and more viable, with an in-between road to book publication cutting a way between the sometimes difficult-to-sell short story collection and the sometimes difficult-to-read novel.

Weeklong July 21 to July 26 2019
Instructor(s): 
Juliet Patterson

“It sounds like a simple thing to say what you see,” Mark Doty has written. “But try to find the words for the shades of a mottled sassafras leaf or the reflectivity of a bay on an August morning.” In this workshop, we’ll take refuge in the sensory experience found in some contemporary writing, as a way of thinking about a number of questions: How does description contain or convey meaning? What do we do when we describe something? Reproduce, account for, portray, trace, parcel out?

Weeklong July 14 to July 19 2019
Instructor(s): 
Rachel Pastan

Often when we’re writing a story, we start at the beginning and try to get everything done at once: compelling plot, best point of view, engaging characters, beautiful images, and so on. Sometimes this works, but oftentimes it feels like so much to juggle that we get stuck, or don’t feel that the story we end up with is as rich as we’d like it to be.  

Weeklong June 09 to June 14 2019
Instructor(s): 
Lon Otto

Without fretting over the boundaries separating these closely related genres, the class will focus on learning and putting into practice principles that allow extremely short narrative works to achieve great emotional, imaginative, and sensory power. Reading as a writer (itself a rewarding and essential activity), you will explore the techniques involved in a variety of published very short narratives in different genres.

Weekend July 20 to July 21 2019
Instructor(s): 
Beau O’Reilly

So you have your favorite story, poem, limerick, song, theater piece, and you keep getting close—so close—to completing it. Then the dog gets the measles, you worry that your mom will read it, you get divorced, married, a new job, you take up fantasy football or water polo, you give up smoking, you try to live without the internet and everything grinds to a halt. You never finish the thing. I will throw my not inconsiderable psychic bulk and creative moxie into helping you FINISH THE THING. We will do it. We really will.

Weeklong July 14 to July 19 2019
Instructor(s): 
Jude Nutter

Poetry, like alchemy, is a process of experimentation, distillation, and transmutation; a mixture of courage, patience, skill and happenstance. This workshop takes to heart the idea of the alchemical journey and its willingness to commit to process in order to build skills, and poems, over time. We will explore and experiment with some of the “base metals” of craft (line/sentence/pacing, the image, the stanza, for example) and look closely at the relationship between poetic form, structure, and content.

Weeklong June 09 to June 14 2019
Instructor(s): 
Derek Nnuro

A common belief among writers is that we can’t know a novel’s appropriate first chapter until we’ve completed a full draft or two of the novel. Only after conceiving the whole does the writer truly know where and how to begin. While this might be the case, it does not mean that we should discard our linearity of thought. More often than not, we start writing from what, at the time, occurs to us as the most appropriate of beginnings.

Weeklong June 16 to June 21 2019
Instructor(s): 
Marc Nieson

“The best literature is always about matters of the human heart,” Larry Brown posited. And it’s true, certain tales are more moving than others. You look up from their last page startled to remember your life—the one you now must return to—as somewhat strange and distant. Or, as perhaps more familiar and treasured than you ever realized. How do some stories achieve such rare imprints of dislocation and connection? Amazing us or haunting us, touching us, perhaps even shifting our perspectives on what is real?

Weekend June 22 to June 23 2019
Instructor(s): 
Michael Morse

In Exercises in Style, Raymond Queneau re-imagines one brief narrative in 99 different versions. We won’t get that obsessive in our weekend together, but we will read a number of poets from different “schools” and carefully listen to different modes of expression that can help us re-work our own poems. How might Romantic, Modernist, Confessional, Objectivist, New York School, and Oulipo voices help us to see our subjects and our language differently?

Weeklong June 23 to June 28 2019
Instructor(s): 
June Melby

You’ve finally carved out some time in your life to write. You have a bunch of great ideas, maybe even a new desk. But when you sit down to write, your muse refuses to speak. Or the muse gets you started, and then disappears completely, leaving you high and dry. Should you give up? Move on to a different project? Are you just not talented enough? Is there a secret that successful authors have to keep their muses on the job?

Weeklong June 23 to June 28 2019
Instructor(s): 
James McKean

This workshop is based on the premise that the whole story is made up of parts, that writing a memoir starts with a compilation of many pieces—episodes or anecdotes or vignettes or moments held in memory. Designed for those who are in the process of connecting these moments, this workshop will look at ways to “fashion a text” as Annie Dillard says, from “fragmentary patches of color and feeling,” especially for those trying to write about family with its many competing voices.

Weeklong July 21 to July 26 2019
Instructor(s): 
Malinda McCollum

Writing can be a solitary and frustrating endeavor. It’s one reason many writers enroll in M.F.A. creative writing programs: to be part of a vibrant literary scene. Of course, not everyone can drop everything to pursue a multi-year M.F.A. With that in mind, this workshop is designed to give you a concentrated version of the close reading and community you might find in a creative writing graduate program.

Charles DeLint has written, “When you are touched by magic, nothing’s ever quite the same again.” During our time together, we will explore how to create stories that bring a touch of wonder, magic, to our readers. How do we set the stage for wonder? How do we balance that wonder/that magic with the story’s reality?

 

Weeklong July 21 to July 26 2019
Instructor(s): 
Sabrina Orah Mark

‘“Who are you?’ said the Caterpillar. This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, ‘I—I hardly know, sir, just at present—at least I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have changed several times since then.’”

 

—Lewis Carroll (from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland)

 

Weekend July 20 to July 21 2019
Instructor(s): 
BK Loren

A novel, story, memoir, or essay—whatever form you choose—is a three-dimensional space the reader enters upon reading the first word. At least, it should be. We get stuck when we see our work as words on a page, and the revision process suffers from this flat approach.

Weekend July 20 to July 21 2019
Instructor(s): 
Margaret LeMay

Whether we are healthcare providers, patients, parents, children, loved ones, or loving ones; elements of illness, loss, birth, healing, and health underlie our days at each age and stage. In this generative workshop, we will read and write in short forms with the unifying theme of illness and health. These forms will include short stories, lyric essays, memoir, poems, and creative works that incorporate elements of all of those.

Weeklong July 14 to July 19 2019
Instructor(s): 
Jeremy B. Jones

The memoir form often carries an unfortunate and limiting reputation as navel-gazing and dreary. Of course, the best memoirs do much more than meticulously document a writer’s dark past: they open up wide-reaching subjects; they find the universal through the personal. This workshop will explore work by writers who successfully weave in other subjects—history, ornithology, geography, music, and more—in order to create artful and ambitious literary nonfiction.

Weeklong June 09 to June 14 2019
Instructor(s): 
Wayne Johnson

You’ve been working on this story for...how long? Months? Years? It’s supposed to look like a novel, but now that you’ve got it in front of you, it looks more like a six-legged cow or a bus with wings. You’ve begun to wonder what, exactly, a “novel” is. You might be writing a cycle-of-stories-as-novel, or a faux memoir, or a “modular” novel with some unifying structural element. In this class, we’ll look at ways of structuring novel-length narratives to create a variety of fully-engaging, satisfying works.

Weeklong July 21 to July 26 2019
Instructor(s): 
Naomi Jackson

Stephen King suggests that a novel should be written in a season. Walter Mosley’s This Year, You Write Your Novel offers advice on how to do what his title suggests. In this workshop, you will make significant progress towards the goal of finishing a complete first draft of your novel by the end of the summer. Participants will cheer each other on as we break obstacles to our projects’ completion. Each writer will submit and receive substantive feedback on a new excerpt of their novel-in-progress.

Weeklong July 21 to July 26 2019
Instructor(s): 
Charles Holdefer

Telling a story well requires a sure touch with narration, characterization and dialogue. But how do you find the right balance? This is a nuts-and-bolts craft workshop that welcomes fiction writers of all levels. We’ll look at brief samples from contemporary writers (Zadie Smith, George Saunders, et al.) and do several exercises that will allow participants to generate new writing or to experiment with their own work-in-progress. Each writer will also be invited to workshop a short story, novel excerpt, or hybrid text.

Weekend June 15 to June 16 2019
Instructor(s): 
Jim Heynen

In this workshop, we’ll confront the challenge of writing emotional scenes—or emotional moments—whether they are in fiction, nonfiction or poetry. How can we be sincere about our own or a character’s emotions without appearing sentimental or garish? We’ll confront some of these challenging questions, we’ll look at some successful models, and we’ll see if we can apply successful techniques while still being true to the emotions we hope to deliver to our readers.

Weekend June 15 to June 16 2019
Instructor(s): 
Christine Hemp

This class is for anyone passionate about the short form who wants to create—in one weekend—a suite of three related pieces 300 words or less. We will read the new New York Times “Tiny Modern Love” pieces, Beth Ann Fennelly’s micros from Heating and Cooling, and other short-shorts from Brevity Magazine and Hippocampus.

Weeklong July 21 to July 26 2019
Instructor(s): 
Robin Hemley

“Frangible” has two meanings: able to be broken up into many parts and bullets that disintegrate upon impact. We’ll be approaching the memoir this week in both senses of the word—looking at memoir and memory in terms of fragmentation, writing brief snippets of memoir in a series of exercises, and creating little explosions on the page, brief bursts that suggest more than they state explicitly. This class is designed for both poets and prose writers who are drawn less to narrative and more to suggestion and metaphor.

Weekend June 15 to June 16 2019
Instructor(s): 
Sands Hall

Whether we’re working on stories or a novel, a memoir or creative nonfiction, it’s essential to understand point of view. Yet the topic can seem vast and inchoate—or so simplistic that it’s possible to wonder what the fuss is about. This course is designed to clarify this delightful aspect of all creative writing, and to give you tools to delve into this rewarding piece of craft. With the help of published examples, we’ll examine various options and strategies, and the reasons for selecting one particular POV over another.

Weeklong June 09 to June 14 2019
Instructor(s): 
Vince Gotera

In his poem “A Course in Creative Writing,” William Stafford wrote that students of poetry “want a wilderness with a map.” In this beginning poetry workshop, we will begin to explore the wilderness of poetry writing with three basic elements: image, sound, and form. This class will provide a map for poets who are starting out, as well as those who have written a bit and would like to expand their skills.

Weekend June 15 to June 16 2019
Instructor(s): 
Eric Goodman

This weekend workshop is designed for prose writers of all levels, scribblers of fiction or creative nonfiction who would like to learn how to be funny, or in many cases, funnier, on the page. Whether a writer’s intentions are ultimately serious or light-hearted, being able to make readers laugh is a sure way to attract and to hold their attention. If a writer can amuse readers they’ll follow you straight to the cash register. Just ask Sedaris. This class will be generative, beginning with short readings and exercises.

Weekend July 13 to July 14 2019
Instructor(s): 
Diana Goetsch

Nonfiction is the most flexible of writing genres, encompassing essays, memoir, articles, op-eds, columns, letters. When any of these forms are done well, the execution of craft brings factual writing to the level of art. “Cut these words and they bleed,” Ralph Emerson said of Montaigne, whose essays were so lucid they pulsed with life. This will be a hands-on class for nonfiction writers wishing to stretch their capacities.

Weeklong June 23 to June 28 2019
Instructor(s): 
Cecile Goding

What can you say in a 500-word paragraph? Or in 200 words? When you show that paragraph to another writer, what might they create, sparked by a memory or a phrase of yours they have just now read? Whatever it is, you can’t wait to see it. You can’t wait to write back. There. You have begun a different way of responding to the work of another. Can we write a whole book like this? Yes, we can. During this writing retreat, we will not read manuscripts. We will not so much comment on others’ work directly, although we may have suggestions.

Weekend June 22 to June 23 2019
Instructor(s): 
Allen Gee

Every writer applying for an M.F.A. struggles to know how to put together a strong application, especially if you’re the first family member to apply to graduate school, or if you’ve been away from academia, or if you weren’t an English major. What goes into the application from the cover letter, to the resume or c.v., to recommendation letters and the personal statement, and of course, what should the writing sample look like?

Weeklong June 16 to June 21 2019
Instructor(s): 
Max Garland

Borrowing a phrase from Toni Morrison, in this workshop we’ll help each other imagine our way toward what seems distant, strange, remote to our experience. Also, we’ll work our poems toward a deeper imagining of things close at hand: people, places and things so familiar we may have become blinded to their beauty or sadness or depth. One thinks of Pablo Neruda’s odes on common objects which wind up exploding the mundane into the fabulous.

Weekend June 22 to June 23 2019
Instructor(s): 
Katie Ford

In this generative weekend course, we will spend the majority of each session writing from original prompts designed to wrench you out of your ruts and open you to the vast array of poetic shapes and styles. To that end, you’ll receive a selection of poems throughout the weekend that we will discuss in order to ignite our creativity toward our own new drafts. A wide variety of exercises will be practiced, with a goal of twelve new “starts” or drafts.

Weeklong June 09 to June 14 2019
Instructor(s): 
Hugh Ferrer

Between contemporary fiction and creative nonfiction, there is no hard border, and both forms teem with morally ambiguous situations, judgment-free (or unreliable, or multiple) narrators, and complex characters. In both, it is common to leave the reader to decide what the story means. Themes are suggested, not imposed; and moral emotions may be awoken, but not necessarily resolved. Surprisingly, an open-ended coherence seems to suit many modern readers just fine—they want to be moved without being preached at.

Weekend July 13 to July 14 2019
Instructor(s): 
Jennifer Fawcett

Have you heard the anecdote about the writer who wrote 900 pages and then was ready to start her book? Extreme as that may seem, the point is that sometimes the best way to develop your story is to write around the edges of it, to discover the world around the plot, the history of characters, the provenance of an object. In other words, sometimes you have to write a lot that won’t go directly on the page but will flavor everything else that does.

Weekend June 15 to June 16 2019
Instructor(s): 
Mieke Eerkens

Shopping list as short story. Death certificate as personal narrative. Map as manifesto. Where once writers were expected to stay inside genre lines and adhere firmly to traditional presentation of their material, contemporary writers increasingly challenge these rigid notions, insisting that the thoughtful exploration of a subject can be enhanced by a complementary form to add additional layers of meaning. Today’s prose might therefore borrow the formats of poetry or drama to most effectively make its point.

Weeklong June 09 to June 14 2019
Instructor(s): 
Hope Edelman

Memoirists face two important tasks: First, to tell the plotted story of action, and second, to tell the story of one’s own change and growth over time. That second story, the emotional arc, conveys the author’s larger message, elevating one person’s experience from the unique and personal to the universal and shared. It reveals what your story is truly about. But how do we extract that deeper message from a story, and articulate it to readers in a meaningful way?

Weekend June 22 to June 23 2019
Instructor(s): 
Kelly Dwyer

No matter the genre in which you’re interested—literary, science fiction, paranormal, young adult, romance, etc.—you would probably think it ideal if your novel had many readers. If it attracted buzz. If it were, in other words, popular. In this weekend workshop, we’ll discuss the elements that make popular novels (across genres) so popular (according to bestseller lists and computer algorithms), and do exercises on various elements of the novel, such as character, plot, pacing, theme, style, etc., to increase the odds that your own novels will be widely read.

Two-Weeklong July 14 to July 26 2019
Instructor(s): 
Amber Dermont

Admission to this workshop is by application only. Enrollment is limited to ten. To apply, submit twenty pages of your novel, a two-page synopsis, and a brief personal statement detailing your hopes and goals for the workshop. All of these items—your novel excerpt, synopsis and personal statement—must be double-spaced and in 12-point type.

The deadline to apply is April 9. See Registration Information for further details specific to Two-Week Intensive Workshops.

Weeklong June 09 to June 14 2019
Instructor(s): 
Thomas K. Dean

The late 19th-century American novelist Frank Norris titled one of his critical essays “Fiction Is Selection.” The same holds true for memoir. When we tell stories from our lives—whether it’s in a short essay, a series of essays, a memoir, or even a full-blown autobiography—we must be selective in what we tell in large part to give our story a shape. What that shape might or should be is one of the biggest questions memoirists and essayists wrestle with. The “shape” of a memoir encompasses a range of issues: Where should the memoir begin and end?

Weekend July 27 to July 28 2019
Instructor(s): 
Tameka Cage Conley

Who are we and from where do we come? What are the narratives—true, false, somewhere in-between—that have shaped the music of our lives? How can the poetic form be used to interrogate the self in relation to the family, the world at large, and the world that we can’t often see—the world of the soul?

Weekend July 27 to July 28 2019
Instructor(s): 
Jennifer Colville

Imagery in prose is not merely ornamental, it is necessary. Images unite mind and body; they are active nerve cells branching out, sending reverberations, creating networks and structure across the body of a story or essay. In this workshop, we’ll look at how images operate on both primitive and sophisticated levels. We’ll take inspiration from several highly imagistic prose writers—examine the ways in which they use imagery to create interwoven metaphorical refrains, evoke the uncanny, or give a piece its own unconscious undercurrent.

Weeklong June 16 to June 21 2019
Instructor(s): 
Amy Butcher

You’re out of shape, bored of the same routine, or simply haven’t had the time to keep that promise you made to yourself in January. You’re stuck, in other words, in one way or in several. You need that extra push. Welcome to Essay Bootcamp. In this course, we’ll sweat our way back into the writing chair and work our way up to heavy lifting—of pencils and of thought—through a dozen new and generative exercises guaranteed to jumpstart a year of writing.

Weekend July 20 to July 21 2019
Instructor(s): 
Sarah Sadie Busse
Jacqueline Briggs Martin

Charles DeLint has written, “When you are touched by magic, nothing’s ever quite the same again.” During our time together, we will explore how to create stories that bring a touch of wonder, magic, to our readers. How do we set the stage for wonder? How do we balance that wonder/that magic with the story’s reality?

 

Weekend June 22 to June 23 2019
Instructor(s): 
Jonathan Blum

We use the word “I” countless times every day to refer to ourselves. But in fiction, “I” refers to something else. It refers to a storytelling creature we invent who has an identity of his or her own. In this class, which is open to writers of all experience levels, we are going to explore the possibilities of first-person singular in fiction. The class is generative; there is no need to bring anything other than your imagination. We will start out by experimenting with autobiographical voices.

Weekend July 13 to July 14 2019
Instructor(s): 
Venise Berry

Sensual writing can be just as powerful, if not more powerful, than sexual writing. What is the difference between a sensual love scene and a sexual love scene? How do writers convey passion, emotion, and love without using explicit language?

 

Weeklong June 23 to June 28 2019
Instructor(s): 
Linda Bendorf

Come write the stories of your legacy. Some call it the story of your soul. Like memoir writing, legacy writing chronicles your most profound, defining moments and milestones (some joyful, others painful), those that inform and perhaps inspire future generations. Unearth your personal stories. Your narratives. What do you value? What did your ancestors value? Figuratively speaking, what garden did you plant? What did you stand up for? Whom did you touch? Who most inspired you? What mark—or footprint—do you hope to leave?

Weeklong July 14 to July 19 2019
Instructor(s): 
Timothy Bascom

When we write memoirs or personal essays, we inevitably find ourselves depicting those who have had the most influence in our lives—our family members. To understand the self, we must understand them. Take a look at a shelf of memoirs, and you will see just how vital those relationships are—in Vivian Gornick’s Fierce Attachments or Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home or Geoffrey Wolff’s Duke of Deception or Michael Ondaatje’s Running in the Family.

Weeklong July 21 to July 26 2019
Instructor(s): 
Nancy K. Barry

We all know that revision is the deepest level of “work” that we do on any piece of writing we compose, but not all writers have a system in place for what to actually DO once they set themselves to the task. By listening carefully to what the draft is saying, and by applying some specific criteria to handling a manuscript in different stages, writers can begin to be more systematic, and less vulnerable, to the enduring and sometimes maddening work of revision.

Weeklong July 14 to July 19 2019
Instructor(s): 
Dorothy Barresi

One of the most exciting, crucial currents in poetry today is the ascendancy of identity poetics: that is, poems that explore, in boundless ways, a speaker’s individual self as a political site, diversely inhabited, self-mapped, and always moving toward discovery. In this workshop, built on mutual respect and the belief that each of us owns our unique story, “political” is not a term of party allegiances in turbulent times; rather, it is an inclusive term acknowledging that all poems arise out of their particular cultural and historical moment.

Weekend July 13 to July 14 2019
Instructor(s): 
Thomas Fox Averill

Plots in stories and novels take many twists and turns, as do the plots of our lives. Our weekend will include discussion of plot strategies, the various kinds of plots, the use of subplots, and how our plots create meaning. The plot of the weekend: scene one, discussion; scene two, writing a series of exercises designed to help understand plot in its many forms; scene three, sharing writing; and scene four, problem solving and insightful conclusions. This generative class is open to fiction and would-be fiction writers at all levels.

Weeklong June 09 to June 14 2019
Instructor(s): 
Kate Aspengren

This workshop is for playwrights who have a play at some stage of development. The writing we do as playwrights is intended primarily for the ear, so it’s essential to hear our work read in order to see if we’ve achieved what we intended. We’ll read excerpts aloud from each play and give thoughtful, specific feedback to the playwright. The goal is to hear what you’ve written and use that for further revision.

Weeklong June 09 to June 14 2019
Instructor(s): 
Mary Allen

As anyone who has engaged with writing in any serious way knows, writing itself is essentially a spiritual endeavor. In order to write well it’s necessary to tap into the flow of spiritual energy inside each of us, whether we call that energy creativity or inspiration or something else. In this class, we’ll generate new work in an energizing, strictly positive environment, using prompts and in-class writing to explore the places in our lives where the moments and details intersect with meaning.

Weekend July 13 to July 14 2019
Instructor(s): 
Susan Aizenberg

Imagery—the recreation of sensory experience through language—is one of the key elements of poetic craft, and surprisingly, frequently among the hardest to master. Most of us are familiar with Pound’s famous dictum, “Go in fear of abstractions,” and of course that old saw, “Show, don’t tell,” yet it can be challenging to put these concepts into practice or to understand why they are so important.

Weekend June 22 to June 23 2019
Instructor(s): 
Marilyn Abildskov

In this weekend course, we will look at texts that break rules: essays that read like short stories, short stories that sound like poems, prose poems that make a reader rethink what words like “poem” and “essay” and “story” mean. We will look at texts that play with borrowed forms (recipes, how-to lists, and wedding vows) and texts that push traditional boundaries of time, creating new portals into old subjects.