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Chaos into Form: Writing the Personal Essay

  • Writing Salon Berkeley, CA usa (map)

“Personal essay takes the messy unfiltered stuff of life and molds it into something of beauty, meaning, wisdom, and hopefully, a great story,” says instructor Gila Lyons. “It is no small task, but wrangling the blur of life into something crystalline reinforces Isak Dinesen’s famous words, ‘All sorrows can be bourne if you put them in a story.’ And I would add, all joys, confusions, and ponderings as well.”

In this course we’ll read and talk about a diverse array of personal essays by some of the greats, including Langston Hughes, Jo Anne Beard, Annie Dillard, Sherman Alexie, Alexander Chee, and more. Class will be comprised of generative writing exercises and workshops in which we’ll cover such elements as character development, dialogue, plot, humor, and self-revelation. Come see why this innovative form is enjoying such a renaissance for beginning and advanced writers alike!

  1. Saturday, May 12, 2:00pm-4:30pm
  2. Saturday, May 19, 2:00pm-4:30pm
  3. Saturday, June 2, 2:00pm-4:30pm
  4. Saturday, June 9, 2:00pm-4:30pm
  5. Saturday, June 16, 2:00pm-4:30pm