This class will meet the first Tuesday of the month, 6 sessions. September 5, 2017: Don’t be Afraid of Poetry—You'll learn the insiders secrets to unlocking meaning from a poem's short lines, unpredictable words, and fascinating images. What's more you may even realize you like poetry! October 3, 2017: How to Tell a Story—Unlock the crucial difference between telling a story orally vs. in writing, and pick up those important little tricks to engaging listeners and readers as you tell those stories that mean the most to you. November 7, 2017: Images in Writing—Why do some images stay in your mind for decades while others simply float away into nothingness? Enjoy this cross-cultural romp through writing that has created enduring images to fire imaginations. Enjoy sharing your own appreciation of various written images you’ve encountered throughout your life. February 6, 2018: Is it Humorous? Or Merely Funny?—Are you a raconteur or a rake? A silly-billy or a jokester? Do you deliver the punch line for a joke with aplomb or with an apology? Let’s look at the fiddle-faddle and hootchie-ma-coo of oral and written humor. March 6, 2018: Writing Your Memories: How to do it with Verve—We want to leave behind our hard-won wisdom and precious memories, don’t we? Learn the writer’s tricks that will elevate your ability to say what you want to say and focus on what’s important in your story. April 3, 2018: Circling Back to Poetry: How to Use Poetic Craft in Prose— We will look at inspiring examples of great prose written using poetry’s greatest “tricks” to create enduring stories, characters, and places. (A limited enrollment class)
Experienced and novice writers alike know the wall—the myriad details of life, the fear of not having the precise words, and the fear that the precise words will alter one’s life in unexpected ways. Despite the blocks to creativity, many of us push on in search of ways to relay the unique meanings and experiences we have to convey. This course focuses on specific approaches to break through the wall and hone our creative abilities. Participants will read selected poems, stories, and essays and write both in class and out of class. The instructor will write comments on one piece of each participant’s writing every week. If available, please bring an example of your writing to the first session. (A limited enrollment class)
You may gravitate toward autobiography, memoir, essay or journaling. You may span decades of family lore or focus on your own life and the people who influenced you or the experiences that gave you skills and wisdom. Your purpose may be to reveal challenges you’ve faced, share knowledge and values, or make people laugh. This class provides resources to strengthen your story and encouragement to develop your own storytelling “voice.” Reading recommendations are offered, along with tactics for cultivating memory, working around barriers, and managing the process. Feedback comes from class discussion and in writing via e-mail from the instructor.