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Persona, Archetypes, & Exposure: Writing the Complicated Self (Tucson)

  • University of Arizona Poetry Center 1508 East Helen Street Tucson, AZ, 85719 United States (map)

4 Tuesdays from 6pm-8pm: April 3, 10, 17, 24


There is a great temptation to airbrush ourselves on the page, to fill in the pockmarks of our flaws, 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. If in each work we build a persona for ourselves, here we intentionally heighten its texture. Drawing on essays by nonfiction writers like Leslie Jamison, Rian Malan, Lidia Yuknavitch, and Lauren Slater, we will enter the playground of the best and worst of ourselves, discussing how to resist both victimhood and self-flagellation, essaying emotional truths, and using age-old archetypes as a way to explore our gorgeous, contradictory selves.

This class registers through the University of Arizona Poetry Center. Though it is currently sold out, you can add your name to the waitlist by e-mailing rdranta[at]