Memoir Four Ways [Sophia Shalmiyev]
The dates for this class have been updated from the print catalog.
What is it about the genre of memoir that we find so thrilling, so intriguing and yet, so oft scandalized and difficult to accept as the legitimate sister to fiction in the literary cannon? How many ways can memoir be written and can we call it something else? In this generative workshop we will explore the many ways writers have told their stories of origin using the forms of prose poetry, lyric essay, autofiction/biographical short story, epistolary novel, and other means to prod, expose, destabilize or cover up their pasts, desires, identities and inheritances. We will read excerpts by CA Conrad, Eileen Myles, Grace Paley, Chris Kraus, Kathy Acker, Renata Adler, Mary Ruefle, Michelle Tea and James Baldwin as grist for our mill in the first part of the class. Students will use the latter part of the workshop to mirror and steal some of the techniques that appeal to them most, then share their writing for a final discussion. Absolutely all writers are welcome, in any stage of your process.