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Introductory/Intermediate. Open to any writer, regardless of sex or gender expression, this course will explore how women have used poetry to reclaim self and power after trauma. Focusing on the work of Adrienne Rich, June Jordan, Louise Erdrich, and Sharon Olds, among others, this course will analyze how poetry has provided an outlet and avenue for social justice, particularly in situations where such justice is denied. After discussing these works, we will create and workshop our own poetry.
Sarah Thaller has a PhD in literature and has taught writing, literature, and comics for nearly a decade. Her critical work appears in Study and Scrutiny: Research in YA Literature, Critical Comics: Teaching Comics Through Multiple Lenses, Graphic Novels for Children and Young Adults, and Diasporic Consciousness. She worked as a reviewer for several publications including The Sacramento Bee, The California Aggie, and Bang! Magazine. She has published several short stories and a novel. Originally from San Diego, Sarah has worked her way up the coast, gathering stories, experiences, and inspiration.
Teaching Philosophy: I believe that writing demands exposure, practice, experimentation, and a true willingness to be vulnerable and open-hearted. To grow as a writer, one must be willing to read and listen to other work and allow oneself to be inspired and challenged. I continually reinforce that there is no such thing as a perfect writer, but continued practice and daring to experiment with new mediums/methodologies/styles will allow each of us to grow in unique ways. To share our writing with other people is to allow them a glimpse into our personal truth. I am sensitive to the vulnerability of this experience and am careful to establish a climate of honesty, compassion, and support. Through sharing our work and allowing ourselves to be open to critique and suggestion, students grow tremendously. This is dependent on my own ability to foster a safe environment and also to position myself as a scholar of writing rather than an expert. We share the journey.
Authors I Return to: As a literature scholar, finding new authors is a source of great pleasure for me. But, there are definitely some writers for whom my love will never waver. These include, but are not limited to: Neil Gaiman, Kurt Vonnegut, Louise Erdrich, June Jordan, Allen Ginsberg, Roald Dahl, and Adrienne Rich.