Dreaming the Self

with Mathias Svalina

Genres: Fiction, Poetry, Reading

In Person

Open to all levels

1 Session

Start Date: April 5, 2024
End Date: April 5, 2024
Day of Week: Friday
Time: 11:00 am - 1:00 pm PT
Capacity: 15 seats
Member Price: $114.30
General Price: $127.00

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We often reduce a dream’s expansive chaos into a streamlined narrative style when telling it to others: I was in my childhood home but it was also a treehouse, & then a deer with the eyes of my mother walked in, & then this happened, & then this, & then, & then. In some ways, the self is an infinity of possibility until it must be understood by another, at which point it can be seen as a streamlined thing performed for public taxonomies & utilities, reduced by the rules of plausibility.

In this generative creative writing workshop, we will discuss the way writers like Will Alexander, Lucille Clifton, Jackie Wang, & Franz Kafka use dream logic, particularly how they write about the surreal experience of being a selfy thing. We will share our own experiences in the dream-worlds, mine them for writing tools, then write toward the dream logic of the self. 

Students can expect to leave the workshop with new work. This class is suited for writers of all genres interested in surrealism.

Please note that this is an in person class that will take place at the Hugo House in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle.


  • This class includes generative writing: students create new work during class or from assignments.
  • No writing or reading outside of class.
  • No feedback given
Mathias Svalina

Mathias Svalina

Mathias Svalina is the author of seven books, most recently America at Play, a collection of absurdist instructions for children's games published by Trident Books. His latest poetry collection, Thank You Terror, is forthcoming in winter of 2024, & his first short story collection, Comedy, will be published later in 2024. Svalina was a founding editor of Octopus Books & has led writing workshops in universities, libraries, community spaces, & in prison. Since 2014 he has run a dream delivery service, traveling around the country to write & deliver dreams to subscribers. With the Dream Delivery Service, he has worked with the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art, the Poetry Foundation, & the University of Arizona Poetry Center, & has been featured on NPR's Morning Edition & the BBC World News. 

Most classes are offered at a general and member tuition rates based on instruction hours, with Hugo House members receiving a 10% discount on classes fewer than six sessions.

Early bird discounts are available during the first two weeks of registration and apply to both general and member tuition rates.

To help provide financial accessibility to our class offerings, some classes each quarter are offered with a sliding-scale tuition model, allowing students to pay what they can for the class. For these classes, tuition increments starting at $5 and going up to 125% of the standard pricing will be listed on the page.

Hugo House will only process refund requests that are submitted 5 business days or more before the class start date. To request a refund, log in to your account, go to “My Account,” select the “Orders” tab on the left-hand side, click the appropriate order, and request a refund for your specific class. Administrative fees apply. Please see our full refund policy here.

Class sessions may be recorded if a session falls on a holiday, or if a student has access needs. Class recordings are not guaranteed.

We do not tolerate racist, sexist, homophobic, ableist, transphobic or any other oppressive behaviors, regardless of who commits them. Please check out our full community guidelines by clicking here. If an instance of community guidelines are violated and not resolved within the classroom, students may let us know by filling out the student incident report.

Classes may be cancelled if less than the minimum number of students are enrolled within ten days before the class start date. If Hugo House needs to cancel a class for any reason, students can choose between receiving a full credit toward future classes or full refund.

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