Lyric Histories: Using Poetics and Essayistic Thinking to Write about the Past with Corinna Cook
Date(s): Wednesdays, February 24, 2021 - March 10, 2021, 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Phoenix MST
Type(s): Craft Class, Workshop
Genre and Form(s): Creative Nonfiction, Memoir, Poetry, Research
Cost: $109 Regular, $98 Student
About the Class
Our origin stories and histories, often among our most cherished narratives, help us look back in time in order to understand the present. They wrestle with two questions in particular: “where did we come from?” and “how did this come to be?” In essayist Esmé Weijung Wang’s eyes, these lead to the most urgent question of all: “what do we do now? What on earth do we do now?” This is both the mindset and the starting premise of this course on using poetics in community history writing. Participants will learn to engage in creative exploration of a local past of their choice; they will read widely in the field of the literary essay, contrasting lyrical tellings of local histories written by Joni Tevis, William Least Heat-Moon, Sarah de Leeuw, Sonya Bilocerkowycz, and José Orduña; and they will practice leveraging literary precision and intent in writing about their own chosen facets of a local or community history. As a foundation, participants will experiment with an array of research methods designed to bring minute clues from the past into surprising focus. Participants will then explore their findings’ literary dimensions with guided writing prompts and collaborative workshopping sessions.