2022 HS Creative Writing Workshop

Of the many reasons we turn to creative writing, one of the most compelling is the prospect for discovery—of new insights, new points of view, new pleasures. Much of the best writing doesn’t end where it begins, but wriggles and wrests instead, such that writers and readers are challenged to see things as they might not have before. Creative writing makes use of imagination, memory, and critical reflection, each of which can help us to discover what our words might finally express. Put another way, creative writing gives us the ability to take something we perceive to be well understood and to illuminate it by presenting it, with our own particulars, in an unfamiliar way. In this one-week creative writing workshop, we will take a look at short selections from writers such as Brian Blanchfield, Chen Chen, Samantha Irby, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Kay Ryan, Nafissa Thompson-Spires, Natasha Trethewey, and Tennessee Williams. In group discussions, we will work to identify some of the central questions posed by the readings, and we will consider the tools these writers use in exploring the complexities of their subject matter. Finally, in conjunction with our readings, we will complete several writing exercises that will give us the opportunity to investigate some of our own burning questions through poetry, personal essays, and short stories.