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Maggie Nelson, author of the acclaimed memoir, The Argonauts, calls the lyric essay a “hybrid account” of living and “an experiment with anecdote and lived theory… that performs a certain insistence: this IS related to that, disparate as these things may seem.”

“In this 5-week class, we'll immerse ourselves in the lyric essay,” says instructor Rob Williams. “We'll read a variety of pieces that fall into this category, looking at how the authors take risks that surprise and move us. In-class writing exercises and optional homework assignments will help us create our own lyric essays. We’ll learn essential tools to gain confidence with this form, such as how to construct images with sensory details, how to weave in excerpts or quotes from historical texts, song lyrics, diary entries, or newspaper headlines, how to use poetic language like alliteration and assonance, and how to experiment with structure and narrative.”

By the end of the course, participants will have created pieces based on the four categories of the lyric essay: the prose poem, the braided essay, the collage essay, and the “Hermit Crab” essay. Writers of all levels are welcome.



No Instructor Specified

  1. Wednesday, September 19, 7:00pm-9:30pm
  2. Wednesday, September 26, 7:00pm-9:30pm
  3. Wednesday, October 3, 7:00pm-9:30pm
  4. Wednesday, October 10, 7:00pm-9:30pm
  5. Wednesday, October 17, 7:00pm-9:30pm
  • Rob is a fun, knowledgeable, and very generous teacher, who provided us with lots of resources, including bringing in, and loaning out, books about writing the lyric essay, and examples of the lyric essay. I would gladly take another class with Rob.

  • I enjoyed the writing exercises in "class" and the workshops. I found Rob's feedback to me and the other writers to be very helpful and a big part of the learning experience.



Thursday, September 20, 2018 @ 2:00 am PDT
Thursday, October 18, 2018 @ 4:30 am PDT
Event Category:


San Francisco
2042 Balboa St.
San Francisco, 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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