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Facing down an awkward conversation over turkey with your long lost cousin? Haunted by the gaps in your grandmother’s stories? Want to write into your family stories, but feel stuck at the foot of your family tree? During this holiday season, we’ll gather to find new ways to tell family stories, fill in the gaps in our ancestral narratives, and play with the voices of those who’ve come before us.

“Beginning from the fragments we do have of ancestral stories, we’ll embark on what it means to bring creative license to these stories and make them cohere,” says instructor Alison Luterman. “In each of our three class sessions, we’ll model our work on a different contemporary writer who writes about his/her ancestry. Participants can focus on genetic or non-genetic ancestors, if they choose, and are welcome to consider their own stories as ancestors of future generations.

This course is appropriate for those with lots of experience in writing and for those with very little experience—the purpose of the course is to make contact with the narratives that give us meaning by telling us who we are and where we come from.”



    Alison Luterman is the author of four books of poetry, including In the Time of Great Fires and Desire Zoo, and an e-book of personal essays, Feral City. Her work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, The Sun, Rattle, The Atlanta Review, Catamaran, and many other journals and anthologies. She also writes song lyrics, plays, and is interested in hybrid forms. She has been teaching at the Writing Salon for over twenty years, and has also taught through Poets in the Schools, at New College, at Esalen and Omega Institutes and at workshops and conferences around the country. To learn more, you can visit www.alisonluterman.net.

  1. Tuesday, November 28, 7:00pm-9:30pm
  2. Tuesday, December 5, 7:00pm-9:30pm
  3. Tuesday, December 12, 7:00pm-9:30pm


Wednesday, November 29, 2017 @ 3:00 am PST
Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 5:30 am PST
Event Category:


2121 Bonar St, Studio D, 2nd Fl
Berkeley, CA United States
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Cancellation Policy

10 days or more before the start date for a class, the registrant will receive a credit minus a 10% fee OR a refund minus a 20% fee.

3-9 days before the start date for a class, the registrant will receive a credit minus a 20% fee OR a refund minus a 30% fee.

2 days or less before the start date for a class, the registrant will not receive a credit or a refund.

The Writing Salon cannot offer refunds, credits, or makeup sessions for classes a student might miss.

In the event of an emergency, we may consider a refund or credit, whether partial or full. We review these requests on a case-by-case basis, and we ask that you notify us as near as possible to the start date for the class.

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