D137-138, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1
Essays offer freedom to ponder ideas that needn’t be proven. If that’s what we want to happen in classrooms, can we view teaching as essaying? What risks and opportunities arise when we wander down uncertain paths with our students, just as we do with the written word? This panel of women writers and teachers shares perspectives on essaying in higher education settings and shelters, where part of the discovery is often personal revelation—which can be particularly complicated for women.
Panel members: Angela Palm, Gail Griffin, Caitlin McGill, Jennine Capó Crucet, Patrice Gopo
Youth workshop at the Karma Birdhouse in Burlington, Vermont.
In this workshop, we will explore the work of the Beat Poets, who emerged from the literary counterculture of the1950s and included Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and William S. Burroughs. Quoting Plato, Allen Ginsberg once said of the Beat Poets, “When the mode of the music changes, the walls of the city shake.” In this workshop, we’ll learn about the midcentury counterculture Beat Poets and how they shook the city walls of their generation, influenced poetry and music, and impacted decades of American culture. We’ll practice some of their techniques, including Ginsberg’s “first thought, best thought,” Burroughs’ cut ups, and a rejection of traditional meter and form. We’ll write new poems that capture the Beat Generation’s spirit and aim to view life in America in a new way.
Bread Loaf Craft Class - for conference attendees only.
This craft class explores how research about the places, times, and events that often linger as mere backdrop in personal narratives can expand our writing in important ways. We’ll look at works by Carvell Wallace and Helen McDonald, where reviewing personal experience in the context of an old book, a hawk, and another writer’s life cue deeper meanings in the their stories. Writers will practice expanding an event in their own lives by widening its scope beyond the self to see what new layers of understanding are revealed.
Angela will appear at the Indiana Book Awards banquet as a finalist for the Emerging Author Award, to be announced that evening. Authors will participate in Q&A and book signings before the banquet. Tickets are available here with discounts for book clubs.
Enroll ($55 nonmember, $50 member)
Memory, Mapping, and Meaning
What do we discover about our memories when we dig for information about where they happened? What impact do changing landscape and history have on how we write about memories? This craft course is a kind of archaeological excavation of our most poignant images of our homelands. It explores the nature of episodic memory and offers writers tools with which to build upon and deepen fleeting snapshots of experience in pursuit of greater meaning. We’ll mine place-based memory—memory rooted strongly in its location in place and time—layering what we remember through writing prompts, research, and theory. We’ll see that documenting change over time can lend itself to critical analysis of economics, environmental change, class, conflict, and more. As we uncover information about our place-based memories, we’ll explore opportunities to add elements of critical analysis to memoir.
Angela will give a lecture and reading, followed by Q&A and book signing.
Steve Woodward, Paul Lisicky, Belle Boggs, and Angela Palm All too often, memoir falls into a familiar, conventional pattern of confession and redemption. But how do you tell a personal story when life doesn’t conform to that shape? And how can a writer with a variety of interests incorporate those subjects into a personal narrative? Three Graywolf Press nonfiction authors discuss their approaches to writing about life—and subjects as disparate as infertility, nature, friendship, science, grief, and art—in personal and intimate detail.