Course Catalog

Experimental Writing for Non-Experimental Writers

What does it mean for writing to be experimental? The great writer Margaret Atwood defines it as writing “that sets up certain rules for itself . . . while subverting the conventions according to which readers have understood what constitutes a proper work of literature.” In making its own rules, a lot of the old rules have to be tossed out, of course, and so this workshop provides a few examples of the most innovative, rule-busting, eclectic works of the postmodern, absurdist, metafictional and transgressive canon. We’ll look at a wild and gutsy array of passages, old and new, that dare to be different. We’ll also generate multi-genre experimental writing of our own through a series of exercises.

Instructor: Porochista Khakpour

Class Type: 1 Session

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Start Date: 11/11/2017

Days of the Week: Saturday

Time: 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Minimum Class Size: 5

Maximum Class Size: 15

$99.00 Member Price:
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$110.00 General Price:

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Porochista Khakpour

Porochista Khakpour was born in Tehran in 1978 and raised in the Greater Los Angeles area. She has been awarded fellowships from the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars, Northwestern University, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, The Ucross Foundation, Djerassi, and Yaddo. Her work has been nominated for several Pushcart Prizes. She is most recently the recipient of a 2012 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Literature Fellowship in Creative Writing (Prose).

Her debut novel Sons and Other Flammable Objects (Grove/Atlantic, 2007) was a New York Times “Editor’s Choice,” Chicago Tribune “Fall’s Best,” and 2007 California Book Award winner. It also made the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing shortlist, the Dylan Thomas Prize long list, the Believer Book Award longlist, and many others. Her second novel, The Last Illusion (Bloomsbury, 2014) was a Kirkus Best Book of 2014, a Buzzfeed Best Fiction Book of 2014, an NPR Best Book of 2014, one of Buzzfeed’s 28 Best Books By Women in 2014, an Electric Literature Best Book of 2014, a Volume1 Brooklyn Favorite Book of 2014, a PopMatters Best Book of 2014, one of Refinery29’s 2015 Books to Read in 2015, and one of Largehearted Boy’s 11 Favorite Novels of 2014. It was also one of Flavorwire’s 15 “Most Anticipated Books of 2014”, io9.com’s “Mind-Blowing Science Fiction and Fantasy Books to Watch Out For in 2015”, The Millions “Most Anticipated” in their “The Great 2014 Book Preview”, Flavorwire’s “50 Excellent Fabulist Novels Everyone Should Read,”, and the Huffington Post’s “30 Books You NEED to Read in 2014.”

Her other writing (essays, features, reviews, cover stories, and columns) have appeared in or are forthcoming in Harper’s, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, and many other magazines and newspapers around the world.

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