Open to essayists, memoirists, biographers, literary journalists and writers of witness, this master class will probe the spaces between what we call the personal and what we call the cultural, the social, the geographical, the sexual, the familial, the institutional, the emotional, and the political. Acknowledging that structure is both the key to this genre and its hardest aspect to master, participants will explore issues of craft and ethics in relation to a genre that oscillates explicitly between self and world; private and public.
Our motion will be away from a navel-gazing posture to an outward-looking stance so that the self is a baseline for learning more about your subject, yourself, and the surrounding world. Most importantly, we will tackle the formal challenge of structuring texts so that form and content poetically align.
Potential themes include captivity and immigration narratives, concepts of the more-than human realm, notions of wilderness, threatened communities, personal ruminations on race, identity, atrocity, illness, exile, social and environmental justice, and feminism—musings that critique, confront, engage, and comment on circumstances of the actual world.
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