Workshops

Poetry with Paul Muldoon, 2014

FICTION with JENNIFER CLEMENT

Our fiction master class is open to those working on fiction of any length, from short stories to novels and all forms in between. Participants should be prepared to send one submission in advance by email and to distribute further work, either by hard copy or as email attachments, once in Tepoztlán. Individual submissions should not exceed 20 pages in total; the week should allow for at least three.

A cover letter to the group is generally welcome and will help orient your readers with respect to your goals for the workshop, the issues on which you would especially appreciate responses and the nature of your project. Those working on a novel should include a synopsis with their first submission.

CULTURAL JOURNALISM & THE ESSAY with JONATHAN LEVI

Equal parts opinion and knowledge, the best cultural journalism is a cocktail that educates as it inebriates. Through explorations and interviews in the village and nearby Cuernavaca, members of Jonathan Levi’s workshop will develop an essay or piece that draws on the rich past and vital present of Mexico, culminating in an extended piece of publishable cultural reportage. Daily workshops, special all-group performances and presentations, and meetings with leading artists and local figures, will provide depth and context for individual writing projects. Draft work will be presented by mid-week to allow time for feedback and revision. Projects for this workshop may be interviews, essays, articles or blogs intended for either print or online audiences. A final one-on-one meeting with each participant will focus intensely on language.

Writers in languages other than English are welcome to apply, but classes require fluent conversational English. Previous journalistic experience highly desirable but not required.

“Jonathan laid out the tools of the trade and, like an impeccable coach, got us writing at dizzying speed. He fine-tuned our work day by day until we each had a piece that could be published.” ~ Gobi Stromberg, Cuernavaca, Mexico

 

MEMOIR with ALISON WEARING

Alison Wearing’s memoir workshop will focus on the unique joys and challenges of chronicling one’s life on the page. In addition to focused one-to-one sessions (in which guidance and feedback on specific projects will be offered), participants should also expect lively talks and discussions about what makes a memoir sing, writing a personal story in such a way that it has broader resonance, the dangers (and delights) of writing about one’s own family, the line between truth and fiction (if such a line exists) and the unique challenges of travel memoirs, as well as a broad romp through some of the finest memoirs of our time with an aim to understanding why they work so well.

While there will be ample time available for writing and daily exercises will be offered, participants are also invited to consider this a time of inspiration and broadening perspectives and are free to tailor their experience and output to suit their particular situation.

“It’s not that Alison simply holds a mirror to reflect what you need to see within yourself and your writing; rather, it is as if she holds a body of water of immeasurable depth that allows you to go as deep as you must to find out who you really are and what you want to say.”
~ Carolyn Agis, Brooklyn, New York

 

POETRY with OWEN SHEERS (in English)

The poetry master class is a close-reading workshop that includes discussion of existing texts by other poets as part of the process. A brief assignment will be given in advance by email and further prompts will be given throughout the week for new poems to be exchanged each day. Each participant will receive a one-to-one tutorial at which either prior work or new poems written during the week can be discussed. The workshop aims to develop and challenge participants’ understanding and use of form, lyricism, imagery and narrative with a view to creating penetrative, honest poems in which the personal resonates in the universal.

POETRY with BEN CLARK (en español)

Haremos lo posible por encontrar, tanto en grupo como de forma individual, nuestra propia voz poética. También hablaremos (bastante) de los aspectos formales de la composición poética. Trabajaremos sobre poemas ya “terminados” que cada poeta presentará por correo electrónico un mes antes de encontrarnos en Tepoztlán. Durante el transcurso del taller habrá encargos y ejercicios que los participantes presentarán al día siguiente. Nuestra forma de trabajar será en grupo, aunque habrá una primera sesión individual con el profesor al inicio, y otro al final. Aprovecharemos que nos encontramos en un ambiente prácticamente bilingüe (inglés/español) para explorar la aventura de la traducción poética, una disciplina complicada, divertida y fascinante, especialidad del profesor. No es necesario saber inglés para participar en el taller.

SPECIAL PROJECTS with MAGDA BOGIN

Magda Bogin’s master class riffs on the lines between fiction, memoir, non-fiction and other forms of writing that for one reason or another defy easy classification. Her workshop welcomes participants writing in either English, Spanish or both or whose work explores border-crossing in any of its forms. Past participants have included native speakers of English who live or were raised in Mexico, Latinos from the US and an array of “others” with existential or personal reasons for language choices that may even vary over time or within a given work.

2014 Faculty & Director: Alison Wearing, Jonathan Levi, Magda Bogin, and Paul Muldoon