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Each of us has a literary DNA, the writing voice which is distinctly our own. The personal essay may be the best form to discover that voice. This workshop is designed for those who don’t think of themselves as writers and who know that they are. Readings and writing exercises will help them find those voices which we all need to hear.
In this generative online workshop, we'll use maps and lists to locate and explore significant spaces in our lives and generate poems that touch on keystone experiences, buried fears, significant memories, and create space for growth. We'll look at how other writers have used the process of mapping to locate and trace their place in the world and create memorable works of personal experience and imagination.
The best poems give off a sense of effortlessness, but we know that great poetry takes time and revision. This workshop covers specific strategies for revising at the level of word, line, and whole poem. Work by Ocean Vuong, Anne Sexton, and others will illustrate enjambment, concrete images, and other elements that make poetry sing. Participants will generate new work but should bring drafts of three different poems to practice some of these strategies.
No subject is more central to the current political and moral climate of this country, and to Texas in particular, than immigration. Why immigrants come, what they face, and how they fare here are issues explored in many recent novels. In this class, we will discuss three examples that depict immigration to the USA from China, India, and Haiti. Each discussion-based class will explore one novel, including some lecture, but mostly focus on the conversation.