Investigate the richness of “stuff” as both material possessions and emotional backstory.

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Playing on poet William Carlos Williams’ famous line, “No ideas but in things” this interactive writing workshop will investigate 

the richness of “stuff” as both material possessions and emotional backstory. Inspired by resonant objects we find, inherit or collect, we will write personal-based narrative examining the connections between what we hold onto, what we lose, what we think we need and who we think we are.

Each day we will focus on different categories of stuff as ideas for both topic and structure: one day for photos, home movies, and documentary film; one for maps; one for letters and diaries; two days for sensory souvenirs that evoke smell, taste and sound. Short readings, viewings and writing prompts will awaken and excavate memory, helping us to explore the connections between personal story and concrete detail. We will replace the old “show don’t tell” writing chestnut by creating work rich with sensory description and metaphor that shows and tells. Writers of memoir, essay, autobiographical poetry and fiction, food and travel stories, family and oral history, and journalism all welcome.

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Instructor: Faith Adiele

Faith Adiele is author of two memoirs, Meeting Faith: The Thai Forest Journals of a Black Buddhist Nun, which won the PEN Open Book Award and routinely appears on travel…