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“Personal essay takes the messy unfiltered stuff of life and molds it into something of beauty, meaning, wisdom, and hopefully, a great story,” says instructor Gila Lyons. “It is no small task, but wrangling the blur of life into something crystalline reinforces Isak Dinesen’s famous words, ‘All sorrows can be bourne if you put them in a story.’ And I would add, all joys, confusions, and ponderings as well.”
In this course we’ll read and talk about a diverse array of personal essays by some of the greats, including Jo Anne Beard, Sherman Alexie, Leonard Michaels, and Joy Harjo. Class will be comprised of generative writing exercises and workshops in which we’ll cover such elements as character development, dialogue, plot, humor, and self-revelation. Come see why this innovative form is enjoying such a renaissance for beginning and advanced writers alike!
Gila Lyons‘ work has appeared in Salon, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29, Vox, The Huffington Post, GOOD Magazine, The Rumpus, The Morning News, Ploughshares, Brevity, and other publications, and has been shared and reviewed at New York Magazine, Longreads, Vela, and anthologized in books and collections. She holds an MFA in literary nonfiction from Columbia University, teaches writing and literature, and is at work on a memoir about seeking a natural cure for anxiety and panic disorder but falling prey to the underbelly of the alternative health movement. Links to published work can be found at www.gilalyons.com. Find her on Facebook and Twitter.
- Saturday, October 20, 2:00pm-4:30pm
- Saturday, October 27, 2:00pm-4:30pm
- Saturday, November 3, 2:00pm-4:30pm
- Saturday, November 10, 2:00pm-4:30pm
- Saturday, November 17, 2:00pm-4:30pm
Gila is a talented teacher, very encouraging and effective and thoughtful. The freewrites and pair & shares, the readings and discussions were all lively and interesting and helpful.
I really liked that the class was centered on reading, writing, and
discussing the readings and each other's writing, with minimal
lecturing. This approach really works for me. All of the writing
exercises were helpful, and I liked that they were connected to the
readings we had just done. The teacher was great and I appreciated her positivity and questions that showed active listening/reading.