Our most powerful stories can be the most brutal to write, leaving us frustrated, traumatized, and stuck. What gets in the way? How can we push forward without damaging our mental and physical health? In this 8-week nonfiction class online through Catapult, we’ll build a craft toolbox for unlocking urgent stories that have so far resisted telling.
"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 3rd Annual Literary Bacchanal on the patio at Tucson Hop Shop.
In this six-week class, writers explore what it means to write “crazy,” from the quiet stutterings of mental illness to the way violence echos in us. Beginning with an overview of how physiological trauma and shame interact with our writing, this class will explore personal exposure, self-characterization, wild syntax, and the danger of melodrama.
Stories of illness can be hard to write and even harder to read—and yet these stories are essential to our understanding of what it means to be human. In this 10-week online workshop through Creative Nonfiction, writers will craft nonfiction narratives that explore the experience of illness.
What stories does a body have to tell? In this 3-hour workshop at Teton County Library, we’ll use the powerful 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, and writing to prompts that help us excavate and illuminate the stories we contain.
There are many ways the world speaks to us, and oracle cards are one of them. In this 2-hour evening workshop, join me at The Ninth House to write where your attention is requested.
How do we best tell our stories of illness? In this private 12-hour class in downtown Seattle, writers will consider how different revision strategies can showcase, enrich, or tighten the stories they have to tell. Writers will workshop an essay of their own, provide feedback to peers, and discuss Lauren Slater's Prozac Diary.
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.