The Art of the Personal Essay
"What makes essays last," Susan Sontag posits, "is less their argument than the display of a complex mind and a distinctive prose voice." In this class, we'll talk about the basics of personal essay writing and look at traditional and innovative forms. As we read work by essayists such as Roxane Gay, Hanif Abdurraqib, and Toni Jensen, we’ll discuss the techniques they use to create a lasting impression. Students will engage in writing exercises and work on their own essays. Everyone will have the opportunity to share.
Kate Carmody is a recipient of a CINTAS Foundations grant supporting artists born in Cuba or of Cuban descent. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Potomac Review, Essay Daily, No Contact, Los Angeles Review, The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, and Lunch Ticket, among others. She received her MFA from Antioch University in Los Angeles. While pursuing her MFA in creative nonfiction, she worked as a blogger, assistant blog editor, and the assistant lead editor for the youth spotlight series at Lunch Ticket. In addition to teaching at Hugo House, she teaches writing through the Loft Literary Center, Austin Bat Cave, and Antioch’s Continuing Education Program. In 2012, she received the Facing History and Ourselves Margot Stern Strom Teaching Award and in 2017, was selected by Facing History and Ourselves to participate in a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant-funded study to assess if peer-led professional development can improve teachers’ instruction of literacy standards. She lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband and dog. The three of them are in a band called Dadafacer.