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Kathy Garlick: Reading for Writers – Improving Craft through Close Reading

5 Sundays, August 20 – September 24 (skip September 3), 7-9:30pm  San Francisco
$275 members/$295 non-members

“Reading the works we love, we’ve all had the experience of picking up the writer’s voice in our heads—its cadences and rhythms, its diction and texture,” instructor Kathy Garlick says. “We walk around in the world with this reverberant ‘other voice’ filling our minds. You may wonder, as I do, how is that possible? How have I become almost ventriloquized by that? I think it’s because of our deep sensitivity to language and its living, breathing, meaning-making power.”

In this class, we’ll read the work of prose writers and poets, deriving joy from the reading experience while also learning, in our study of craft, how the writers plant sensations in us, how they are able to move us. During class and in short reading assignments for homework, we’ll explore the lyrical prose of Michael Ondaatje, the narrative poetry of Philip Levine, glorious setting in the work of James Wright, character development in Alice Munro’s stories, and genre-blending in Claudia Rankine’s work. Among others!

In response to the readings, we’ll experiment with what we’re learning by way of in-class writing exercises and in working on our own writing projects. Kathy says, “At the end of the five weeks, you will walk away with brand-new tools and strategies as a reader and writer, and you will have established a powerful voice in your own writing—a voice which transmits itself to and transforms other readers.”

Kathy Garlick’s poetry and prose have appeared in Art and Ideas, Fourteen Hills, Field, and other publications. Her chapbook of poems, The Listening World, was published by Momotombo Press at St. Mary’s College. Kathy currently teaches creative writing and academic writing at University of San Francisco and creative writing and literature in the English Master’s program at Holy Names University.


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