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Chekhov and Woolf challenged realism and introduced a new, “modern” structure that is ordered associatively, following mood or waves of consciousness: the all-middle story and the lyrical essay. Grace Paley mastered this form, and many contemporary essayists now use it as a matter of course. We’ll analyze these kinds of stories and essays to learn how this structure works and then practice it. We’ll workshop the stories or essays with this structure that you generated or revised during the class. Required: John D’Agata, The Next American Essay.
Mary Lane Potter is the author of A Woman of Salt: A Novel (2001 Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection) and Strangers and Sojourners: Stories from the Lowcountry. She was awarded a Washington State Arts Commission/Artist Trust Fellowship and MacDowell and Hedgebrook residencies.
Potter’s nonfiction has appeared in River Teeth, Witness, Tiferet, Spiritus, SUFI Journal, Leaping Clear, Feminist Studies in Religion, SIGNS, Women’s Studies Quarterly, Minerva Rising, Hevria, and others. She’s currently completing a book of essays on the body/spirit tangle.