The problems of modern illness are the craft problems of illness narratives. In this 2-day workshop at Hugo House in downtown Seattle, we’ll use published illness writing as our launching pad for exploring how to successfully manage the chronology, scope, and language of modern illness experiences.
There is a great temptation to airbrush ourselves on the page, and yet this leaves us not only less trustworthy on the page, but less interesting. In this nonfiction seminar, students will explore how the contradictions in their personalities—the gaps between dirty laundry and grace—are the most interesting space. Hosted by the University of Arizona Poetry Center in Tucson.
"If you can't talk about something, you can't think about something," writer Eula Biss told Krista Tippett. Join me in April as alumni of my classes-- writers of sex, illness, and trauma-- read together for the 2nd Annual Literary Bacchanal on the patio at Tucson Hop Shop.
What stories does a body have to tell? In this two-day workshop, we’ll use the anthology Beautiful Flesh: A Body of Essays to unlock the stories folded into our limbs and organs, considering how different forms and voices allow us to make meaning from our corporeal histories. On January 14, we'll share our work at a public reading in Tucson Hop Shop's sunny beer garden: a body we have written together.
After nearly five years, 27 issues, hundreds of articles, and more than 4,000 pages, Edible Baja Arizona editor Megan Kimble is stepping down. Join me in the beer garden of Tucson Hop Shop on November 28 to honor Megan's visionary work with a reading of some of her favorite pieces from the magazine (including Kati's "The Sustenance of Democracy").
Join Kati and co-contributor Sarah Viren as they help launch Beautiful Flesh: A Body of Essays at Tucson's Antigone Books. Culled from some of the nation's best literary journals, each essay in the anthology explores a different body part.
Conference Presentation: The Other Side of Fire: Toward An Embodied Pedagogy for Trauma Writing (Iowa City, IA)
Writing can be healing. But writing can also re-traumatize, making it difficult to tell the stories that make us who we are. In this workshop at The Examined Life Conference in Iowa City, IA, participants will explore how what an embodied, trauma-sensitive pedagogy has to offer the creative writing workshop.
Examined Life Pre-Conference Workshop: The Telling Itself: Managing the Narrative Structures of Illness (Iowa City, IA)
In this Examined Life Conference one-day workshop at the Carver College of Medicine, we’ll use published illness writing as our launching pad for exploring how to successfully manage the chronology and scope of modern illness experiences on the page.
Whether you think it contributes to the breakdown of sexual morals or is just a tool for sexual release, everyone seems to have an opinion about pornography. But rarely do we see nonfiction writers engaging the subject through rich memoir or thoughtful essaying. In this weekend intensive, we’ll read some of the rare literary works on the subject, identifying the craft challenges and social barriers to writing about porn well, and generating lots of our own material.
Join Kati as she reads alongside her students from the class "Disorienting the Essay" at the University of Arizona Poetry Center's Spring Classes and Workshop Reading.
Join editor Ander Monson, Kati Standefer, and other local contributors as they send Essay Daily's first anthology off into the world.
In a sex-negative culture, it can feel unsafe to share essays about sex in workshop-- but it's never been more important to write and publish these stories. NSFW (Not Safe For Workshop) is a sex-positive space to receive ongoing feedback about your work.
Join Kati at the University of Arizona MFA Program's yearly Alumni WIP-- an event that honors the poetry and prose Works-in-Progress of badass local alumni.
CANCELLED DUE TO LOW ENROLLMENT. “Everyone who is born holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and the kingdom of the sick,” writes Susan Sontag. In this six-week class, writers will craft personal nonfiction narratives that explore the experience of illness or injury.
Listen to Kati and other contributors read from the essays they contributed to How We Speak To One Another, which explores the essay as conversation, giving context to a genre and deepening the flexibility and vitality of its many forms.
Join Kati and other contributors to How We Speak To One Another: An Essay Daily Reader at Tucson Festival of Books to discuss the essay as a multifaceted literary genre. More information forthcoming.
"If you can't talk about something, you can't think about something," writer Eula Biss told Krista Tippett. Join me in late February, as alumni of my classes-- writers of sex, illness, and trauma-- read together for the first time on the patio at Tucson Hop Shop.
Come say hi as I sign copies of the anthology How We Speak To One Another at Coffee House Press's AWP booth!
How do we make meaning from our sexual experiences? What do our personal stories have to offer the world, and what is the best way to share them? In this bawdy, smart, & introspective seven-week class, participants will craft a personal essay about an aspect of their sexual experience. Beyond simply telling the narrative of what happened, we will work to build strong connective tissue between individual sexual stories and the larger questions about sex with which our culture is grappling.
What is the best way to tell a given story? How can we press form to enlarge, deepen or propel the stories we tell? In this introductory prose course, we’ll read across the creative nonfiction spectrum, exploring how the same story might be told in different ways. Through in-class writing, lively conversation, and independent revision, participants in this class will excavate, chisel, and transform their own stories, dynamically seeking the form their personal narratives want to take. THIS CLASS IS CURRENTLY FULL. Join the waitlist through the University of Arizona Poetry Center.
Join me on Saturday, November 19 for the University of Arizona's FORCE SlutWalk march! I will be delivering the keynote at Cafe Passe at the end of the march, helping to open the SpeakOut portion of the evening.
SlutWalk is a fight against the prevalent victim-blaming, rape-culture, and street harassment that targets all kinds of people, especially people of color, queer communities, and sex workers. In using the word slut, we are not dehumanizing ourselves, but rather humanizing a label, showing the wide variety people slut pertains to, whether embraced or prescribed to by the outside world.
How have our bodies been silenced--in medical offices, in our private lives, and on the page? And what might it look like to embrace our sexualities wholeheartedly? Join writer, sexologist, and Narrative Medicine professor Kati Standefer for a short reading and interactive conversation about sex positivity and negativity, how she teaches sex writing, and her work training medical students to respond to the stories patients tell about their bodies.
On October 28, join Kati and fellow Tucson writers Francisco Cantu and Ela Harrison as they read from their Best American Essays 2016 contributions at Exo Roast Co.'s Southern Arizona Workspace in downtown Tucson.
Writing can be healing. But writing can also re-traumatize a person, making it difficult to tell the stories that so often make us who we are. In this seven-week class, writers will gain an understanding of how the physiological processes of trauma interact with a writing practice, and consider how writers handle craft challenges like the fragmentation of memory, engaging dramatic material without melodrama, elevating a deeply personal story into a universal inquiry, and owning on the page our complicated, contradictory selves.
Join Kati and Managing Editor of The Iowa Review Lynne Nugent for a celebration of Best American Essays 2016 (ed. Jonathan Franzen) as part of Iowa City's 2016 Festival of the Book. The anthology includes Kati's 2015 Iowa Review Award-winning essay "In Praise of Contempt," and Lynne's work was named Notable. Kati and Lynne will read at 4pm at the Iowa City Senior Center downtown.
Join Kati as she reads at The Mill alongside other Examined Life Conference 2016 attendees.
Drawing on the lessons of my ongoing work with community-level writers, I’ll explore how the problems of modern illness become the craft problems of illness narratives, and how I help students break out of these ruts by teaching chronology, scope, framing, and to widen the narrative lens. Together, we'll discuss ways to avoid student re-traumatization, and explore how a supportive community can help writers see past doctors and medical technology to identify the real hero of their illness narratives: themselves.
How do we write sex? And if we don't, why not? In this five-week nonfiction workshop, participants will consider the role of the sex scene in storytelling, explore the relationship between sensuality and lyricism, discuss the politics and ethics of writing sex, engage with current sex research, and write out of the unique terrain of their own bodies.
What keeps us from writing sex? And why is it important to do it anyway? In this three hour Friday evening workshop, we'll unpack the sexual culture we live in, exploring terms like sex positivity and sex negativity, considering the ways we censor ourselves and others, and beginning to pen our own stories of sex and sexuality.
In The Hero With A Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell explores the idea that all important myths from around the world share a fundamental structure-- the Hero's Journey. Over the course of six weeks, this nonfiction workshop will use the stages of the Hero's Journey as inspiration for writing prompts in and out of class, keeping an eye on where stories of illness diverge from the expected narrative arc, while providing a space for participants' ongoing personal writing projects.
Come have a brew and listen to Kati read from her essay "Animalis: References For a Body, one winter" at Fourth Genre/ Under the Gum Tree's 2016 AWP reading at Bonaventure Brewing in downtown Los Angeles. This reading is open to the public.
Listen to Kati and other University of Arizona MFA alumni read from their works-in-progress in a restored Sonoran row house.
In this seven-week workshop, participants will craft a personal essay about an aspect of their sexual experience, building a strong connective tissue between their individual sexual stories and the larger questions about sex our culture grapples with.