Nine Wednesdays, May 1-June 26, 7-9:30 pm
$365 members/$395 others Berkeley
Testimonials for Alison
This class will help you plunge into the personal themes that make your real life stories uniquely yours. For the first four weeks, instructor Alison Luterman will lead carefully crafted writing exercises designed to elicit the undertones and overtones that give events resonance and elevate anecdotes into the realm of art. The latter weeks will be dedicated to refining and then workshopping the pieces you have begun, bringing them to the next level of craft.
“Every one of us is neck-deep in the middle of our own long and winding stories, stories that, when shared, can help us bridge the gap between ourselves and the rest of the world,” says Alison. “What’s wonderful about finding and honing these stories – about being a writer, in fact, is that…it redeems everything, even the moment of burning shame when you flunked the driving test three times, even the fact that you could never decide what you wanted to be when you grew up. It reminds you that once you were twenty and limber and unafraid to sleep in the cornfield when hitchhiking across France. And, like the smell of fresh coffee or a first kiss, it heightens the senses. We’ll workshop your essays or memoir excerpts from the standpoint of craft, voice, and structure, using the techniques of fiction writing, playwriting, and even poetry to enliven your writing.”
Alison Luterman has been shamelessly telling tales from her own life ever since she could grip a sweaty pencil. She has published essays in The Sun, Radiance, Response, The East Bay Express, and The Boston Phoenix. Her book of poems, The Largest Possible Life, won The Cleveland State University Poetry Prize, and a recent poem, “The Quilts from Gee’s Bend, Alabama,” won the latest Writer’s Digest poetry award. Her play, Saying Kaddish with My Sister will be produced in January of ’08 by the Jewish Ensemble Theatre of Michigan. She has taught poetry to thousands of school children through California Poets in the schools, and is an adjunct creative writing instructor at New College. She also performs improvisational dance, singing, storytelling and poetry through the Wing It! performance ensemble. She has given workshops and readings around the country.