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Foundations of Creative Nonfiction

Mondays, 8 weeks
Sep 20
Nov 8
6 - 8 PM Central
AM Ringwalt
Online via Zoom
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"What will you remember? What did you forget?"
- Bhanu Kapil

In Foundations of Creative Nonfiction, we will examine the shapes that memory takes on the page. We will craft our own autobiographical voices, drawing from both our lived experiences and our subjectivities—recognizing our limits and, still, the ways we seek to relate to the world. We will consider pace, place, and the act of rendering the people we know in writing. Together, we will read and discuss essays by authors including Marguerite Duras, Teju Cole, Alexander Chee, and Kate Zambreno, considering a diverse array of literary forms to hone our prose.

This 8-week course will cover the fundamentals, with prompts and assigned readings offered between classes to keep the learning experience brisk and engaging. We’ll explore the ways in which techniques of narrative craft can be harnessed to impose order, or shape compelling stories out of real-life material. We’ll read examples of creative nonfiction including personal essays, narrative reportage, memoir excerpts, and flash creative nonfiction, and we’ll draft new works of our own. This class seeks to include those who identify as new to creative nonfiction as well as those who are looking for a fresh approach to the genre.

AM Ringwalt is a multimodal writer and musician whose work appears in Jacket2, Music & Literature, Black Warrior Review and Bennington Review. Ringwalt holds an MFA in Poetry from the University of Notre Dame, where she received the 2019 Sparks Prize. "The Wheel," her hybrid memoir, was published by Spuyten Duyvil. "What Floods," a book-length poem, is forthcoming from Inside the Castle. "Summer Angel" is out now via Dear Life Records.

What Our Students Say

AM Ringwalt is a caring and attentive instructor, with a great eye for the type of poetry we want to write and we want to feel. It's a pleasure knowing her as a person and an even greater one studying with her as a teacher.

AM Ringwalt really opened my eyes to the beauty of literature. The poem I wrote in her workshop really showed me how greatly I’m influenced by people and environment. I’m trying to learn how to write better and hearing AM quote some of my words really made me happy. Thanks for the encouraging words.

I loved taking class with AM. She brought insight while at the same time acknowledged and valued the insights of classroom participants as equal to her own. The pacing of the class was great and it never dragged or rushes.

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