$132.00 USD

Wednesdays: March 18 & 25, April 1 & 8 2020: 6-8pm

Registration for this class opens December 6, 2019.

Meetings will be in the Poetry Center Alumni Room 205. 

There’s a sense some of us have that our writing could be more than an art form but a way of life. This is actually confirmed by the tradition of the essay, where Montaigne begins by asking himself, “What do I know?” and that spirit of radical self-inquiry extends to the present day, with Megan Boyle kicking off Liveblog nearly 500 years later as such a project: “A FUNCTIONAL THING THAT WILL HOPEFULLY HELP ME FEEL MORE LIKE IMPROVING MYSELF.” Reversing the old cliché of the “struggling artist,” this course attempts to put forward a method for writing, essays in particular, that serves the dual purpose of helping us to be better on the page and off.

Since we’ll be approaching this as daily practice, the only requirement is that we show up with some sort of regular writing discipline, or at least a strong commitment to starting one. Some of the techniques we can expect to cover: making the ordinary extraordinary (Defamiliarization), accepting inner conflict (Negative Capability), taking control over our life story (Rescripting), putting ourselves in other people’s shoes (Magic If). In addition, students can expect to come away with a daily regimen for making these habits of mind, and some understanding of the latest research on writing and well-being. Along the way, we’ll be acquiring a host of literary models, and a few people in our lives to call “our readers.” If Zen master Suzuki is any indication, with any luck we’ll end off better than we started. “Each of you is perfect just the way you are,” he says. “And you can use a little improvement.”

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