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"The journey of recovery is the Hero’s Journey,” says instructor Alison Luterman. “We search for something outside ourselves, or we are chased by our own demons and run to escape. We go to Hell; we come back from Hell with some wisdom to offer the tribe. It is no accident that so many wonderful memoirs, Lit by Mary Karr, Another Bullshit Night in Suck City by Nick Flynn, Wild by Cheryl Strayed, and everything by Anne Lamott, deal with this messy, ridiculous, heartbreaking, rich process.”

In this 5-week class we’ll read excerpts from some of the memoirs listed above. We’ll examine the connections between creativity and addiction, and look at how different artists grapple with the challenges of being a sensitive person in a bewildering world. Students will write the first draft of their own recovery story, including descent, turning point(s), death, and rebirth. We’ll all pay extra attention to the need for humor and grace in the telling of difficult stories.



    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. Sunday, October 29, 7:00pm-9:30pm
  2. Sunday, November 5, 7:00pm-9:30pm
  3. Sunday, November 19, 7:00pm-9:30pm
  4. Sunday, December 3, 7:00pm-9:30pm
  5. Sunday, December 10, 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


Sunday, October 29, 2017 @ 7:00 pm
Sunday, December 10, 2017 @ 9:30 pm
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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.

Refund Policy

There is a cancellation fee of 15% included in each registration. The Writing Salon will not issue a refund if a cancellation occurs within 48 hours of the class start time.

The Writing Salon cannot provide refunds, transfer payments, or offer makeup sessions for classes a student might miss, for any reason.

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