“Writing begins in the dark, in not-knowing,” says instructor Heather June Gibbons. “It begins with a leap of faith. We feel like we don’t know what we’re doing, or what 'it' might become, but we keep writing—because writing is a practice—and, eventually, what seemed formless takes shape and what seemed silly, or strange, reveals itself to be profound and startling.”
But how to begin? “Often we have to make nonsense before we make sense,” says Heather. “When we allow ourselves to not know, to play and romp and even run amok, to release instead of control, to write fast and get messy, not only do we have fun and surprise ourselves, we find our true material—the good, raw stuff from which the very best stories and poems are made.”
So, leave your judgment and your inner critic at the door, and come play, experiment, and free-write in a fun and supportive environment. Over the course of five weeks, you will engage in writing exercises using visual art, objects, memory, direct sensory observation, language play, associative leaps, word collage, and other prompts and nudges to dig in and discover material that surprises, inspires, and compels you to keep writing.
“Although there will be opportunities to share our writing in class, we will not be giving and receiving critical feedback,” says Heather. “Instead, we will focus on practicing and nurturing the generative stage of creative work. We’ll learn to listen to and trust our instincts, develop focus and concentration, and find fresh sources of inspiration.”
Heather June Gibbons is the author of the poetry collection Her Mouth as Souvenir, winner of the 2017 Agha Shahid Ali Poetry Prize. She is also the author of two chapbooks, Sore Songs and Flyover, and her poems appear widely in literary journals. She received an MFA in Poetry from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was a Callen Graduate Scholar, and she has been the recipient of fellowships and awards from the Academy of American Poets, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. An award-winning instructor who has taught at a number of universities, she teaches creative writing at San Francisco State University, and in the community.
- Wednesday, July 10, 7:00pm-9:30pm
- Wednesday, July 17, 7:00pm-9:30pm
- Wednesday, July 24, 7:00pm-9:30pm
- Wednesday, July 31, 7:00pm-9:30pm
- Wednesday, August 7, 7:00pm-9:30pm