I write to find out what I have to say.......Charles Wright

Writing may be the highest, most penetrating form of art there is, so simple… and so demanding.

And it may be the most accessible form of expression. You can trust that it is already in you…somewhere. You just need to find it by doing it.

This is a class for people who seriously want to find it, who perhaps have read something fantastic and thought, “Could I do this?”  This is how you—artists and creative people of any kind (including readers)—find out.

The emphasis will be on the up-front creative aspect of writing, on discovering for yourself how you write, with a focus on beginnings and explorations and getting a process going.The class will combine thought experiments with on-your-feet exercises to provoke your imagination.It won’t be simply about expressing your current self but about getting out beyond that to a wider self. As Joyce Carol Oates said, “One of the great things about writing is that you get to live more than one life.”

There will be assignments that provoke, that play with voice, narrative, and mood. We’ll look at what your obligation to actual fact might be. (Hint: it’s pretty limited.)

One of the main aims of the workshop will be to open up a kind of spaciousness in ourselves into which the strangeness and wonder of life can enter. We’re all so conditioned to busy-ness that it might not occur to work by doing nothing, but that’s where the best stuff is waiting.

We will also pay appropriate attention to craft and clarity. (A corollary to Charles Wright’s statement above is, I edit to find out what I wrote.)

What might you expect to leave with at the end of such a week? A real sense that you can actually write something that leaves you feeling wider and deeper than you thought you were, and a sense of beginning that you can follow out.

Who should attend? Burgeoning writers, of course, and also imaginative readers, people looking to explore other worlds, inner and outer, people who want to find things out. The reward will be your very own universe to play with and the only qualification is the thought, Maybe I could…

Admission will be based on a free-form letter of 1 to 2 pages (less is more) that has gone through at least 2 drafts, one that begins with why you think you might want to write and goes from there. Email, preferably in Word format, to registrar@mainemedia.edu

 

Instructors

Sean Kernan

Sean published his first poem when he was 16, and he decided that if it was that easy he’d just go ahead and be a writer. Then he somehow deflected into theater and photography. But he always maintained some kind of writing practice throughout.

In college he worked as a reporter for the New Haven Register and a bureau assistant for the New York Times. Later he produced a series of articles and interviews on photography and a number of columns on the problems of creativity in the workplace for Communication Arts Magazine.

He also became a pioneering teacher well known for investigating creativity in various disciplines, and based on this work he authored Looking Into the Light. At this point he is nearly finished with one novel, The Invisible Library, and nearly begun another, Old Age, Sickness, and Death: A Comedy. And he has written any number of forewords, afterwords and introductions.

He has published two monographs of photographs, The Secret Books (with Jorge Luis Borges) and Among Trees, (introduction by Anthony Doerr), and has just produced a film, Crow Stories, about life on the Crow Reservation.

He has taught and lectured at Parsons School of Design, Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Maine Media Workshops and Santa Fe Workshops, University of Texas, and Yale Medical School. He has exhibited internationally and won numerous awards, including Center’s 2010 Teacher of the Year and an honorary doctorate from Art Center College of Design.

You can read a short collection of his work, Sean Kernan: the Incomplete Workshere. His website is www.seankernan.com. 

 

Course Dates

Jul 23 to Jul 29

Tuition

$1195

Class Size

12