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The Other Side of Fire: Writing the Trauma Essay (Tucson, AZ)


  • Kore Press 325 W. 2nd Street, Room 201 Tucson, Arizona United States of America (map)

7 Tuesdays from 6:00pm-8:30pm : March 12, 19 [SKIP 26], April 2, 9, 16, 23, 30.

Writing can be healing. But writing can also re-traumatize, making it difficult to tell the stories that shape us. In this workshop, writers gain an understanding of how the physiological processes of trauma interact with a writing practice. Drawing on published essays about sexual and domestic violence, and writing to surprising, innovative prompts, we'll explore craft challenges specific to trauma, including fragmentation of memory, the temptation of melodrama, elevating a personal story into a universal inquiry, and the beauty of owning on the page our complicated, contradictory selves.

This class is not a support group. Nor is it intended to take the place of mental healthcare. But for those who have already begun to resolve physiological traumas, it will offer a stable, supportive environment to begin writing the stories that, well told, have so much to offer society. This class caps at twelve participants. 

Writers will be invited to purchase Bessel van der Kolk's trauma bible The Body Keeps The Score and participate in light body-grounding practices. Writers should also plan to complete weekly readings and writing prompts, and will have the opportunity to receive supportive feedback from the group on one of their original essays if desired.

Kati has studied trauma independently since her sexual assault in 2007, and completed more than 30 hours of trauma sensitivity training at the Arizona Trauma Institute.

Cost: $350 (Early Bird Discount: $320, expires 12/31)

Payment plans available. A non-refundable deposit of half the total cost is required to hold your space; please talk to Kati if this makes the class inaccessible to you. If nine slots fill, two scholarship opportunities at $200 will open up. Please e-mail me to be on this waiting list: kestandefer[at]gmail[dot]com.

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