Where I’m From: Writing the Landscape of Home
In this six-week writing workshop, we will write into and through our concepts and frameworks for home as well as our personal relationships to the places that have been home to us. We will celebrate their complexity: beauty, difficulty, their physical attributes, their histories (laudable and problematic). We will consider how they have shaped the people who know them intimately, including ourselves. We will explore other places as foils, juxtaposed against our homelands. We will consider the homelands of our ancestors and how all the places of our people are carried within us.
In our course, participants will read and discuss selections from nonfiction writers whose work centers on place. We will partake in both in and out of class generative writing exercises, and as we progress in the course, participants’ writing will become raw material for the class with each student having the opportunity to bring in a draft and receive feedback from both the instructor and fellow students in a workshop setting. Together, we will ask questions about home and homelands, refine our ideas about how to best shape setting on the page, and consider the way shaping place in writing invites the reader further into the story.
Six Mondays, 6-8 p.m.*
June 19, June 26, July 10, July 17, July 24, July 31
(July 10 class will be held from 7-9 p.m.)
At the Southern Arizona Workspace (or SAWS, the space behind EXO on 6th and 7th)
Cost: $190-240, Sliding Scale (The sliding scale is here to accommodate those for whom the higher end is a stretch. However, these classes are part of how I make my livelihood so please pay what you are able)
This class will be capped at 12 participants so register soon to reserve your spot.
While most people think of film when they hear documentary, writers have long been documentarians of their time. They draw not only from their own experiences but also from the culture, people, and places that concern and interest them in order to investigate, curate, and create meaning. In this six-week nonfiction writing course, we will think about and practice what it means to document. We will read journalistic pieces, essays, prose poetry, and hybrids of these by authors committed to documenting, analyzing, and reflecting on the times they live in—authors like Joan Didion, James Baldwin, Lauren Redniss, Maggie Nelson, Sarah Stillman, Claudia Rankine, and others.
All nonfiction writing is rooted in the self because the “I”—or eye—decides the angles explored, the questions asked, the lenses used, the information included or discarded, the subject matter and voices included. Our backgrounds, identities, and areas of interest and expertise determine what and how we write. Rather than strive for neutrality—which is itself a construct rooted in who has power, authority, airtime in a culture—we will acknowledge and address the subjective in documentary writing, engaging the more challenging work of situating the self. We will become documentarians: practicing research and reporting methods and embarking on “gonzo” missions, and experiments of documentation in different forms, to generate writing. We will explore the ways in which research, interviews, and external source material can enliven our work by adding context. Students will generate writing and workshop one piece generated during the course.
Cost: $192, SOLD OUT
Words from Students: