The Personal Essay

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The Personal Essay

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There are infinite variations of the "personal essay," which makes the format both exciting and daunting. The essay might be a mix of personal anecdotes with bigger sociopolitical commentary, and the essay's structure might mimic, or enhance, the overall point the author is trying to make. The essay could be linear, non-linear, fragmented, or infused with dialogue and scene-setting that almost make them sound like short stories. We'll look at examples by James Baldwin, Richard Rodriguez, Jonathan Lethem, Joan Didion, and others to help us craft our own personal essays. This workshop is designed for writers who already have completed drafts, as well as writers just getting started. 

  • Instructor: Yurina Ko

  • Length of workshop: 4 Weeks

  • Date: Wednesdays, Nov. 7, 14, 28, and Dec. 5 (no class Nov. 21)

  • Time: 7 - 9 pm

  • Location: Humanities Tennessee, 807 Main St. Suite B, 37206
    Nashville, TN 37206

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About the Instructor: Yurina Ko is a writer, editor, and writing instructor who moved to Nashville in 2017 after ten years of living in NYC. She received her BA in philosophy from Barnard College and MFA in fiction from Columbia University, where she taught undergraduate writing. She also worked in book publishing in both editorial and publicity departments. Her writing has appeared in The New Inquiry, among others. To learn more, visit