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2023 Classes


The Art of Memoir: Finding your form

memoir| Jenny Rose Lara

We all have stories to tell. But how do we tell them? Sometimes it is a matter of finding the right container. In this generative workshop, we will play with containers for our creative writing: we’ll borrow from forms both familiar and odd, such as lists, letters, found notes, or instructions. We’ll read examples of wonderfully experimental essays for inspiration, and then we’ll write our own. 

Tiny Beautiful Things: Nonfiction & the micro essay

creative nonfiction | Jenny Rose Lara

Very short (500-1000 words) essays can hold great power in their economy of language and style. In this generative workshop, we’ll read some gorgeous examples of tiny essays, vignettes, and prose poems, and then we’ll write. 





cross genre | Kate Gray

In the theater, the stage offers the scene as soon as the curtain rises. Prose writers don’t have the option of physical sets and props. We have to build an entire framework for a story within the first paragraphs of any piece, but how? In this generative workshop, we will explore “description-in-action,” or how to build the context for the characters’ movement through time and space, not as stagnant observation, but as interaction between the characters and their environment.

Writing Your Heart Out

cross genre | Kate Gray

This workshop will open a space for you to write the stories/poems/essays stored in your heart. The tools you’ll learn will help your brain open to your creative spirit. This generative and reflective workshop will include guided meditation, writing in response to prompts, and laughter. You’ll receive specific attention to what is shining brightly in your writing through the Gateless Method. The power of this workshop will come from inside you and the community of writers in the room. You’ll honor your tender and brave heart in your stories and poems. No experience necessary.




Writing Our Landscapes: Tanka & Haibun

In this outdoor class, we’ll experiment with two Japanese writing traditions that can support us in noticing the small secrets that we might otherwise overlook in this big, abundant landscape. Tanka–a short poetic form–and haibun–a mix of prose and poetry–can help us both describe places we’re encountering for the first time and find new surprises in familiar places. As we try on these forms, we’ll write about our inner landscapes, too, and how those relate to our understanding of what we’re witnessing here in the woods of Pilgrim Firs. No prior experience with writing is required. The class will be entirely outdoors, so please dress appropriately.

Writing Our Many Selves: Persona Poems

What can trying on the voice of another person, being, or place help us to reveal about ourselves and our perspectives? In this class, we’ll experiment with persona poems–poems in which the writer speaks through the voice of another character–to try to tap into truths that we might not yet be able to express through our everyday voices. We’ll practice writing in voices strikingly different from our own–historical figures, mythological beings, literary characters, non-human creatures. We’ll also discover what happens when we write through voices that more closely resemble our “real” selves but that we might not typically share with the wider world. No prior experience with poetry is required.




Beginning A Song

songwriting | Elian Carbone

We will explore a handful of ways of beginning a song. Song titles, lyrical concepts, melody, chord progressions, grooves & riffs, form & function are all grist for the mill. We will put each one under the microscope and discover the synergy that lives at their intersections while paying special attention to developing forward motion in our arrangements.

Tinkering in the Woodshed

songwriting | Elian Carbone

Alternate bass notes, chord extensions, chord substitution, modulation, voice-leading, chromaticism, modal interchange, odd meters, prosody, word painting, the list goes on! We will discover a variety of theoretical concepts found in popular music to help refine our own songs in process.




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