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“For a long time I felt like a misfit with my writing,” says instructor Rob Williams. “I kept blurring genres and playing with form. My personal essays were made up of short, lyrical fragments, sometimes with diary entries or cooking recipes woven throughout. I didn’t realize until a few years ago that there was a name for this form (the lyric essay), as well as many other writers who were exploring its rich terrain.”
In this 5-week class, we'll immerse ourselves in this exciting form of creative nonfiction. 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 short drafts 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.
Rob Williams teaches Creative Writing and English at Skyline College and has led writing workshops at San Diego Writers Ink on flash fiction and creative nonfiction. His essays and fiction have appeared in Maisonneuve Magazine, Versal, 400 Words, San Diego Citybeat Magazine and various anthologies including I Do/I Don’t and Foolish Hearts. He is the co-editor of the Lambda Literary Award-nominated anthology From Boys to Men: Gay Men Write About Growing Up and has received writing fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center and Fishtrap. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University and worked as a Poetry Reader for W. W. Norton in New York City.
- Wednesday, April 10, 7:00pm-9:30pm
- Wednesday, April 17, 7:00pm-9:30pm
- Wednesday, April 24, 7:00pm-9:30pm
- Wednesday, May 1, 7:00pm-9:30pm
- Wednesday, May 8, 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.