Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Creative Nonfiction Writing

ENGL 135.301
Tuesday 1:30–4:30

Memory is mysterious; we can’t always remember; we often remember wrong; narrative time gets jumbled. And yet many of the best stories ever written erupt from remembered moments, considered “truths,” writers who wrangle episodes into place. In this creative nonfiction workshop we will be thinking about what it means to tell our personal stories and how that telling gets done. We’ll be reading some of the writers who do this best. Paul Lisicky. Heidi Julavits. Joan Wickersham. Mary-Louise Parker. Sallie Tisdale. Students should be prepared to reflect and discuss, take snapshots, and find stories inside music. Two long projects—a memoir and a long letter—will be required, as will a number of small pieces and in-class assignments. Students will also have the opportunity to meet and talk with the great Paul Lisicky.