5 Thursdays, April 6 – May 4, 7-9:30pm Berkeley
$275 members/$295 non-members
Testimonials for Ben
“I still have that navy blue hardback journal that my mom gave me for Christmas when I was ten,” says instructor Ben Jackson. “After writing my first few entries, I was hooked. Years later, when I started writing a long sequence poem about my twin brother, I mined through journal entries all the way back to early adolescence in order to understand the recurring themes in our relationship.
“For the first four weeks of this class we’ll complete daily journal entries as well as in-class writing exercises. Both of these activities will help you begin to generate new ideas for your writing, in any genre. You can also start to investigate the recurring themes that will almost certainly begin to appear in your journal with surprising regularity. Then we’ll devote the last week to brainstorming creative pieces that could possibly grow out of the journal entries.
“During class we’ll talk about the importance of personal reflection and present moment attention in order to keep your entries rich and lively. I’ll also invite you to explore how journal writing impacts your other writing pursuits. In some instances, I may encourage you to tailor your entries to get to the heart of your memoir, poetry, or fiction writing. Before we think about writing any creative pieces from our journal entries, we’ll read and discuss poems, personal essays, and journal entries in which other writers, such as Virginia Woolf, John Steinbeck, and Elizabeth Bishop, explore their own personal lives.”
Ben Jackson has taught creative writing to students from the second grade up to the college level. His writing has appeared in New England Review, Southern Review, Hudson Review, Iowa Review, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere. His awards include the 2015 Robinson Jeffers Tor House Prize for Poetry as well as residencies from Vermont Studio Center, Jentel Artist Residency Program, and Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts. A graduate of the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers, he is the director of The Writing Salon.