Natasha Trethewey & the Existential Wound

with Putsata Reang

Genres: Nonfiction, Reading, Memoir, Essay


Open to all levels

1 Session

Start Date: March 9, 2024
End Date: March 9, 2024
Day of Week: Saturday
Time: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm PT
Capacity: 21 seats
Member Price: $178.20
General Price: $198.00

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We all have them, what former U.S. Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Natasha Trethewey calls the "existential wound"—that place inside each of us that resists healing. A wound suggests conflict; conflict is foundational for plot; plot is the engine every compelling story needs. In this class, we'll examine key excerpts from Tretheway's memoir Memorial Drive as both a portal into our own existential wounds and a propulsive thematic arrow moving us toward the hurt as we dive into a series of writing exercises designed to unearth the central question and/or central tension of our personal narratives.


  • This class includes:
    • Craft Discussion: teachers and students explore essential elements of the craft.
    • Reading: class engages in close study of one or more works.
    • Generative Writing: students create new work during class or from assignments.
  • Work outside of class: 2-3 hours of writing or reading outside of class.


  • December 4: Scholarship Donation Day 
  • December 5: Member registration opens at 10:30 am PT
  • December 12: General registration opens at 10:30 am PT
  • December 18: Last day of Early Bird pricing
Putsata Reang

Putsata Reang

Putsata Reang is a journalist and author of the debut memoir, Ma and Me, (FSG/MCD May 2022). She has helped train reporters across the globe in conflict and post-conflict nations including Cambodia, Afghanistan, Thailand and Bangladesh, and her writing has appeared in publications including the New York TimesThe Seattle-Times, the San Jose Mercury NewsMs., and the Guardian, as well as anthologized in essay collections highlighting women's and Khmer voices. Putsata is an alum of writers residencies at Hedgebrook, Mineral School, and Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, as well as the Jack Straw Writing Fellowship program. She has received grants from Washington State Artist Trust and the Alicia Patterson Journalism Fellowship. 

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.

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