The Virginia G. Piper
Center for Creative Writing

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Picture of Laocoön and his sons found in the Baths of Trajan, 1506; Sixties / seventies era floral print wallpaper by Dominic Alves
Original image credit: Laocoön and his sons found in the Baths of Trajan, 1506; Sixties / seventies era floral print wallpaper by Dominic Alves

The Body Electric, Memoir-Style with Andrea Avery

Date(s): Tuesdays, October 2 - 23, 2018, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Location:
Piper Writers House, 450 E Tyler Mall, Tempe, AZ 85281 (view map)
Type(s):
Generative Workshop, Seminar, Workshop
Genre and Form(s): Creative Nonfiction, Memoir

Cost: 
$225 Regular, $202 ASU, $175 Student

About the Class

In this course, participants will be invited to "sing the body electric" (thanks, Whitman) ... in memoir. Through in-class exercises, discussions, and group workshop of manuscripts, each participant will attempt to locate his, her, their body's story and history. Through our writing and mentor texts, we will trace how what we think, what we believe, and who we are has grown out of our embodied experiences. George Lakoff and Mark Johnson argue that reason "is not, in any way, a transcendent feature of the universe or of disembodied mind. Instead, it is shaped crucially by the peculiarities of our human bodies, by the remarkable details of the neural structure of our brains, and by the specifics of our everyday functioning in the world.” So, too, is memoir. All kinds of bodies welcome.

Meet Your Instructor

Picture of Andrea Avery

Andrea Avery is the author of Sonata: A Memoir of Pain and the Piano, which describes her experiences growing up as an aspiring pianist even after a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis at age 12. Her writing has been published in Ploughshares, Real Simple, The Oxford American, and The Politics of Women’s Bodies: Sexuality, Appearance, and Behavior. She was the winner of Real Simple’s 2010 essay contest and a finalist in Glamour magazine’s essay contest. She holds a BA in music, an MFA in Creative Writing, and a doctorate in education from Arizona State University. She teaches English at Phoenix Country Day School and is an active volunteer with the Arthritis Foundation.