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“Every story takes place somewhere,” says instructor Katharine Harer. “Images in poetry and stories often root us in distinct places. When we write about a place, and weave together our memories and observations, we create meaning beyond a road sign or a pin on a google map. Ocean Beach, Chinatown, the Castro, a Tenderloin alley, a redwood forest – each has its own colors, sounds, smells.”
In this 3-week class, we’ll dig into the rich soil of place, learning how to evoke a specific location using sensory details. We’ll experiment in any genre we choose, doing writing exercises to integrate setting into the plot of a short story, re-create specific places to ground memoir, and evoke landscapes that drive our poetry. We’ll learn from examples by writers such as Jesmyn Ward, Ocean Vuong, Vivian Gornick and Mary Oliver. “Places that have meaning for us become interior landscapes – our grandparents’ house, a baseball field, our first apartment – as writers we take these place memories and breathe life into them on the page,” Katharine says.
Students will come away from the class with a number of “starter” pieces in the genre(s) of their choice. Participants will be encouraged to share their in-process pieces with the group and will have the opportunity to receive light feedback. This class is open to students at all levels of writing.
About The Writing Salon's Online Zoom Classes
You will be able to participate in live class meetings via Zoom videoconference. To attend classes, you'll need a phone, tablet or computer and access to the internet. You can participate in the class from wherever you'd like, whether on your living room couch or in your office. Before your class meets, you'll receive an email from The Writing Salon with more information about Zoom and your remote class. If you have any questions about remote learning, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at email@example.com.
Katharine Harer loves teaching creative writing. She has worked with hundreds, maybe thousands, of students in her over thirty-year career as a community college writing teacher at Skyline College and as a private workshop instructor. Katharine has published seven collections of poetry, the most recent, Deconfliction, in 2020, and a full-length volume of poems, Jazz & Other Hot Subjects, in 2016. Her poetry and nonfiction have been published widely in literary journals, newspapers, magazines, and anthologies. Her travel essay Delle Donne appeared in Best Women’s Travel Writing 2016 and a personal essay, Blue Flags & Painted Crosses, is forthcoming from Sonora Review in Tucson.
- Live Zoom Meeting: Saturday, July 22, 10:30am-1:00pm
- Live Zoom Meeting: Saturday, July 29, 10:30am-1:00pm
- Live Zoom Meeting: Saturday, August 05, 10:30am-1:00pm
I found Katharine's teaching style empathetic and helpful. She was always about improving, no matter what level we were at.
I think Katharine is a great teacher. She gives everyone respectful, individual attention. She lets everyone have their own opinion and encourages us to listen to each other with the same empathy.