Writers often find their richest material in their everyday lives. This material is easy to overlook as too pedestrian because it’s hard to see what’s so close to us. The exceptional poet, James Schuyler, revealed his longing for home in writing about his breakfast and Yannis Ritsos revealed his and his fellow prisoners’ anguish in exile in writing about daily life in a prison camp. In this six-week class, we’ll try out different narrative and persona techniques that will enable us to access our own material, finding ways to write about our deepest longings even in the details of our everyday lives. We will discuss and draw from models by such writers as James Schuyler, Yannis Ritsos, Ross Gay, Heidi Julavits, and Jenny Offill.
Each week we will submit exercises and give and receive critiques, including from the teacher. All readings and assignments will be provided in the online classroom, and there will be a weekly one-hour typed chat in which we’ll discuss writing and the assignments. Chat transcripts are always available to students unable to attend. Open to all writers of both poetry and prose (memoir or fiction).