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2022 Classes


Context as Metaphor—Connecting the Exterior with the Interior

creative nonfiction| Rebecca Mabanglo-Mayor

Historic events. Musical genres. Movies and plays. Location and environment. All these details can propel the memoirist into discovering the underlying metaphors that form an essay. In this course, authors will have the opportunity to explore key events in their lives shaped by the world around them at the same time. From there, authors can practice connecting what they perceived then with what they are experiencing now to create a deeply revealing essay. 

Braided Memoir – The Strands We Weave

creative nonfiction | Rebecca Mabanglo-Mayor

We can often describe our lives as a mix of past, present, and future: things we experienced, things we hold now, and things we hope for. Braided essays provide writers an opportunity to take an image from each part of our lives and weave them together thematically. This course will provide prompts designed to find and link images, experiences, and hopes into a single essay, a slice of the underlying metaphors that often reflect, impact, and create our uniqueness. 




What's in a Word?

cross genre | Kate Gray

In this workshop, we will play with the letters in words. What happens when we make art out of the marks on a page, the TT of letters, the amazing S? We'll use cut-up words and cut up more. We'll use glue, tape, pens, and magazine scraps. After forming new forms, we'll write, and see how manipulating symbols changes how and what we think.

Shape Writing

cross genre | Kate Gray

One of the gifts of poetry is the use of blank space, the ability to enhance meaning through the placement of text and space on a page. Why not use this technique with fiction or memoir? We'll look at erasure as an art form, concrete poetry, and try our own. By literally manipulating the shape of our writing, we can learn a great deal about the pacing and development of the story. Please bring a piece of writing you may want to cut up and arrange differently on a page.




Wander and Wonder: Writing in the Woods

This class, held outdoors in the woods of Pilgrim Firs, will guide you in practicing skills associated with shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing—a gentle, meditative approach to being with nature. The class will include several invitations to explore your senses and your relationship with nature, time for written reflection, and opportunities to share your writing. You'll learn approaches to writing and to being with nature that you can use every day to foster relaxation, connection, and wonder. No prior experience with writing is required. All forest bathing and writing prompts may be practiced seated, standing, or walking/rolling. The class will be entirely outdoors, so please dress appropriately.

Serious Play: Surrealist Writing Games

Surrealist games are practices for circumventing our rational, reasoning mind to unlock subconscious or seemingly irrational forms of creativity. By using play, surprise, and chance, we'll write in ways that tap into our dreams, imagination and our intuition—the extraordinary spaces that help us move through challenging times. No prior experience with writing is required. Some of our writing will be done individually, and some will include collaboration with the rest of the group. Expect a lot of laughter, delight, and mystery as we break through conventional thought and behavior to deeper truths.




Songwriter's Toolshed

songwriting | Elian Carbone

We will explore the many elements of music such as tone, style, listening, space, dynamics, melody, rhythm, harmony, articulation and phrasing by inciting the senses in the context of experiential activities, theory, games, writing prompts, singing and movement. 

Having Something to Say

songwriting | Elian Carbone

We all have something to say, something to share...but how do we create a ripe environment which supports the cultivation of precisely the language we seek for self-expression? Perhaps the "answer" lies in the questions we ask ourselves. Where do you locate yourself? What guides your decision making? What themes often show up in your songs and why? Or perhaps the "answer" lies in the tension that exists between the contradictions of our lives. Ever felt sad, yet relieved? What's that about? The questions, prompts and song examples offered in this class will work to further diversify our lyrical sensibilities. 




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