Thu, May 14 at 8 p.m. | 75 minutes
| Before each session we read a piece of writing and discuss, then Amanda will lead generative writing exercises.
Olios: Drop-in classes led by professors
“We tell ourselves stories in order to live…We live entirely, especially if we are writers, by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate images, by the ‘ideas’ with which we have learned to freeze the shifting phantasmagoria which is our actual experience.”--Joan Didion, “The White Album”
In "Transcribing the Self," Sue Rainford asks: "What is the role of the literary arts when the self is at its most porous? At moments of corporeal and emotional transition, how does writing entwine itself with acts of recovery and transformation?”
Joan Didion wrote "The White Album" during such a time, when she "began to doubt the premises of all the stories [she] had ever told [her]self." In this 75-minute Zoom session, we will discuss this influential collage essay and engage in timed writing prompts. By the end of the class, participants will have valuable material and momentum toward completing their own collage essay.
To live is to, consciously and unconsciously, negotiate uncertainty. Doing this is, variously: explorative, exhilarating, inconvenient, discomfiting, terrifying, and transformative. A provocative manifesto for writing about oneself, one's experience, one's history: Stand up to your inner authoritarian. Realism is unreliable. Memory is a convincing dreamstate. Alternative facts are not always malignant. Embrace uncertainty: uncover new truths by mixing modes, forms, and genres.
This writing workshop will explore hybrid forms of writing about the self. This is a creative nonfiction writing workshop that asks you to fill in the blanks with fiction; to capsize your reportage in a poem; to tell stories about yourself and your people in the truest way possible: by blurring boundaries to better capture the “shifting phantasmagoria…[of] our actual experience.”
Amanda received an MFA in Fiction from The New School's graduate writing program and was a recipient of a 2017 Jerome Foundation Emerging Artists Award. She taught "From Page to Podcast: Writing Audio Fiction," in 2018 and 2019 and currently teaches creative and professional writing to undergraduate and graduate students at Pace University and North Central College.
Zoom link will be sent upon signup.
Before each session we read a piece of writing and discuss, then Amanda will lead generative writing exercises.