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“Who would you communicate with if you could reach across time and space?” asks instructor Kerry Muir. “A child yet to be born, a beloved friend, a parent now gone? Our prose takes on a strikingly intimate quality when we write with a specific recipient in mind—either with an eye towards instructing that person, as an expression of gratitude, or as a way to resolve unfinished business.”
Mary Louise Parker refers to her memoir Dear Mr. You as “a collection of thank-you notes” to the men in her life—among them her father, her first love, and the orderly who delivered her baby. Ta-Nehisi Coates began writing Between the World and Me as a letter to his teenage son to help him navigate a world fraught with racial injustice, and ended up weaving personal story, American history, and even facts and figures into a lyrical, compelling book-length narrative.
In this workshop, participants will explore the rich possibilities of the letter writing-form, engaging in a series of in-class writing exercises and optional take-home assignments to get them generating their own missives, which then may become essays, a longer chapbook, or the opening chapter of a memoir. For guidance, we’ll read selections from Coates and Parker, as well as short passages from Karl Ove Knausgaard’s Autumn.
Beginning, intermediate and experienced writers are all welcome -- anyone can write a letter!
- Saturday, February 22, 10:30am-1:00pm
- Saturday, February 29, 10:30am-1:00pm
- Saturday, March 07, 10:30am-1:00pm
- Saturday, March 14, 10:30am-1:00pm
- Saturday, March 21, 10:30am-1:00pm
Kerry's enthusiasm was contagious and she encouraged each student, while helping them see how to improve their work. She created a friendly and supportive atmosphere through group discussion, and suggested further readings.
The concept [of the class] proved to be very freeing for me, esp. when dealing with difficult personal matters. It allowed the subject to be dealt with from enough of a distance to be accessible. It opened things up in general and soon the prompt was less necessary as I started writing on a specific topic. And that is what Kerry told us to feel free to do. She is a brilliant teacher. For me, she gave me everything I needed; structure and freedom to go beyond. I can't wait for my next class with her.