Online Care Narratives: Writing about Health, Suffering, and Resilience (Drumwright) – Fall 2019


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“The body is not mute, but it is inarticulate; it does not use speech, yet begets it.” —Arthur Frank, The Wounded Storyteller (p. 27)

Our bodies are the fragile yet resilient vessels through which we experience the most impactful moments of our lives, from birth to death and everything in between. Caring for people who are experiencing illness, injury, suffering, or other trauma, and having people care for us when facing these same challenges, can shake us to our cores, move us in ways we never thought possible, and transform how we see ourselves, others, and the world around us.

During this six-week class, we will explore and practice narrative techniques from fiction, poetry, and memoir, including work from writers like David Foster Wallace, Janice Harrington, and Michael Ondaatje, to write about caregiving experiences, including caring for others (as healthcare professionals, parents, family members, friends, and more), caring for ourselves, and receiving care from others. We’ll also learn how to become close readers so we can better understand how one’s narrative choices impact the reader by combining the principles of narrative medicine with The Writers Studio method of persona writing.

This six-week online class is open to people new to The Writers Studio as well as current and former Writers Studio students who are interested in writing fiction, poetry, and nonfiction.