Winter registration starts soon! Registration opens for members on Dec. 5 and for the general public on Dec. 12.

Natasha Trethewey & the Existential Wound

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: 10:00am - 4:00pm PT
Capacity: 20 seats
Member Price: $178.20
General Price: $198.00

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. 

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 5 students are enrolled within 10 days before the class start date. If for any reason Hugo House needs to cancel a class, students can choose between a full credit or full refund.

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