This workshop-style class is an introduction to the pleasures of the writing nonfiction. Students will read in a wide variety of subgenres, forms, and traditions (including memoir, criticism, lyrical and hermit-crab essays, and travel- and food-writing) and respond creatively with their own work. They will also learn how to mine their experiences and memories, do family-based historical research, generate brand-new material, discuss published and unpublished nonfiction in a critical way, and access the creative, playful side of their psyche that so many people leave dormant. We will talk about the craft of nonfiction and do periodic in-class exercises. No writing experience is necessary, but students must be willing to participate, revise their work, take risks, and be generous with themselves and others.
This course will incorporate a mix of synchronous and asynchronous components.