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“I’ve only ever wanted to write about what it feels like to be alive, and it turns out being alive is always about being in a body.” - Leslie Jamison

“The best writing is physical, visceral, makes us feel that we are living a story rather than reading one on the page,” says instructor Alison Luterman. "As Anton Chekhov said, 'Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.'"

In this 3-week class, we'll read and discuss the greats who write about the body, including Roxane Gay, Judith Ortiz Cofer, and Alexander Chee. Through generative writing exercises we'll sharpen our ability to write with all five senses, and invigorate our stories by rendering the body on the page. We’ll explore what it's like to live in bodies that experience sickness, health, gender, race, class, disability, desire, and more. By learning to write with, through, and about the body, we will imbue our work with the extra sense of reality that distinguishes a great story from an unforgettable one that gets “under the skin.”



    Alison Luterman has been shamelessly telling tales from her own life ever since she could grip a sweaty pencil. She has published essays in The Sun, Modern Love, L.A. Review, Radiance, Response, The East Bay Express, The Boston Phoenix and Salon. She has also written an e-book of essays entitled Feral City, about midlife domestication, remarriage, and second chances (available from SheBooks). Alison is also the author of three books of poetry: The Largest Possible LifeSee How We Almost Fly, and Desire Zoo. Last but not least, she writes plays, including Saying Kaddish With My Sister, Glitter and Spew, and a musical, The Chain.

  1. Tuesday, November 27, 7:00pm-9:30pm
  2. Tuesday, December 4, 7:00pm-9:30pm
  3. Tuesday, December 11, 7:00pm-9:30pm
  • Alison is exactly what I was looking for in a writing teacher. She made the classroom environment very “safe” for us as writers and readers. She gave us very solid, specific, yet kind, feedback. She encouraged everyone to participate, by being present and interested when others were talking.”

  • Alison’s teaching style is a delight. She is informal and warm. She guides the group very well and presents a variety of opportunities for expression that certainly helped me grow. I am also touched by the intimacy that the group developed over time…thanks to Alison’s gentle, but firm guidance.

    Naneen Karraker
  • Alison led the classes skillfully. She quickly established safety in the group, presented interesting and inspiring articles by other writers, and gently facilitated group discussions (encouraging us to listen without judgement and making sure each person had an opportunity to speak). She also generously shared her knowledge as a writer and gave kind and helpful (and sometimes challenging) feedback about our personal writing. I highly recommend her classes to any writer, both experienced and new.

    Kaye Cleave


Wednesday, November 28, 2018 @ 3:00 am
Wednesday, December 12, 2018 @ 5:30 am
Event Category:


2121 Bonar St, Studio D, 2nd Fl
Berkeley, CA United States
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Registration Deadline

Registration closes 24 hours before the start time for a class.

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 provide refunds, transfer payments, or offer makeup sessions for classes a student might miss, for any reason.

Due to extraordinary circumstances related to COVID-19, we are open to addressing cancellations on a case-by-case basis.

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