Instructor: Michael D. Burke
Date & Time: Saturday, June 2 | 10:30 AM to 1:30 PM
Location: Belfast Free Library
Maximum Attendees: 12
Fee: Member: $45 | Nonmember: $100
Registration Closes: May 28
The essay is a form of exploration (from the French, “essai,” to try or test), and as the name implies, the personal essay is a specific type of exploration. While the default expectation is that the Personal Essay concerns itself only with the self—the writer—it also takes as its subject the world at large and the ways in which the writer views that world, understands the bits and pieces of it. Only through this approach can the writer’s personal world can become universal to the reader.
In this workshop, participants will review examples of the form, then be given writing prompts to spur ideas and drafts. The class will consider the resulting drafts together and provide helpful observations. Participants will then discuss writing occasions for future essays.
Participants will be expected to write during the session and to share what they’ve written, although if the subject matter is too intense, one may decline.
Michael Burke has taught at Colby College since 1987, where he is Professor of English and Creative Writing, and Director of their Creative Writing Program. His nonfiction has appeared in the Boston Globe, The New York Times, Down East, Yankee, Islands, Outside, and other national and international publications, and he is the author of an adventure/memoir, The Same River Twice (University of Arizona Press). He received an MFA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in Creative Writing, and a BA in Philosophy from the University of California, Berkeley. He lives in Wilton with his wife, the fiction writer Patricia O’Donnell.
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