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Writing the Senses and Beyond for MWPA
June 4 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm$75 – $135
A Cross-Genre Writing Workshop
Level: All Levels
Our knowledge and experience of the world come to us first through our senses, and they are thus the means by which we navigate much of reality, identify danger and the promise of reward, and form the memories through which our identities take shape. But translating our sensory experience into language can be daunting, and in some cases, feels nearly impossible—how to capture something as elusive as a nearly-forgotten scent, or as complex as Guernica, or as distinctive as a beloved’s voice? Writers who channel the senses effectively are able to inhabit their characters and scenes more richly, and in turn able to bring readers more fully into their stories and poems. In this course, we’ll take on the challenges of each of the five senses, exploring the work of authors who are virtuosos of imagery, sound, touch, scent, and taste. But we’ll also look, listen, smell, touch, and taste. We will be reading examples of sensory-rich writing from Annie Proulx, Lia Purpura, Jesmyn Ward, Ralph Ellison, Pitchaya Sudbanthad, Pablo Neruda, and Valeria Luiselli, among others.
We’ll do exercises that give you the opportunity to dive into the complexity and power of each sense, but also go beyond into the realm of synesthesia, where the senses are no longer firmly delineated, and examine how the senses can help you approach character, point of view, theme, and style anew. Writers of fiction, nonfiction, children’s books and poetry are all welcome