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VIDEO: This class will take place via video-conferencing (Zoom).
All Levels | In an effort to better understand the personal essay, we will study classic and contemporary pieces and investigate uses of voice, characterization, description, humor, and structure in our own work. This course will include substantial discussion about the different types of personal essay, including contemplative, travel, and lyric essays, as well as others. We will have a robust workshop and a generative exercise each week. Students will leave with a polished personal essay of up to 20 pages and extensive feedback from classmates and the instructor. Authors we will look at include: James Baldwin, Scott Russell Sanders, Richard Rodriguez, Joan Didion, and Lia Purpura.
The teacher of this course will be adapting curriculum to offer an online option should preventative measures against coronavirus, such as social distancing, prevent the class from being in-person. We are in uncertain times, but want to make the experience accessible and worthwhile, and are planning for that in advance!
Beth Slattery moved to Seattle after eighteen years of teaching creative writing and literature at Indiana University East. Since her relocation, she has been writing and editing. Beth is currently working on a collection of personal essays about her mid-life marriage to a Zimbabwean, a move from the Midwest to the Pacific Northwest, and a reluctant acceptance of the call to adventure. Her most recent publications appear in Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies and Southern Women’s Review. Beth’s recent editing work includes being a “beta” reader for an author with a multi-book publishing contract, content and copy editing of a personal essay collection, and providing comprehensive editing services on an edited academic volume that was later published by Oxford University Press. She has an M.A. in fiction writing from Miami University and an M.F.A. in creative nonfiction from the University of Southern Maine—Stonecoast.