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Writing About Grief via Richard Rodriguez's "Late Victorians"

Aug 21
Aug 21
1 - 3 PM Central
Yurina Yoshikawa
Online via Zoom
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“That discomfort you're feeling is grief” was the headline of a Harvard Business Review article from March 2020, which analyzed our collective grief over the world as we knew it before the spread of COVID-19. Even as we’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel with the vaccine rollouts, many of us are still grappling with grief of many forms, both personal and global. In this one-day class, we'll take a look at how one writer, Richard Rodriguez, processed grief in his essay, “Late Victorians: San Francisco, AIDS, and the Homosexual Stereotype.” This is an essay that I've taught on and off since 2011 in various classrooms, including several Porch classes. Even if you've taken a class with me before, my hope is to shed new light on this essay through what is happening today, and that you'll come away with a renewed sense of how to write about something that feels impossible to write about. We will take a close look at a few sections, in a way suited for those who have already read the text, and those who haven't. PDFs and other materials will be shared via email prior to the class.

Yurina Yoshikawa holds a BA in philosophy from Barnard College and an MFA in fiction from Columbia University, where she taught undergraduate writing. She worked in the book publishing industry in New York City for several years before moving to Nashville with her husband in 2017. Her writing has appeared in The Pinch, The New Inquiry, Hyphen, Chapter 16, and others. She was a 2019-2020 OZ Art Wire Fellow, the winner of the 2020 True Tennessee Stories Contest, and the runner-up in the 2020 Pinch Awards for Fiction. For more information, visit

What Our Students Say

“Yurina is an excellent teacher who put a lot of effort into designing the class for all the students, no matter what their writing level coming to her.”

“Yurina was a remarkably gifted and effective teacher. I loved how she gave us plenty of reading, even with no expectations that we would read it. And she made great use of our time in class as it was a good balance of instruction, free writing and workshop. Yurina rocks.”

“Yurina was an absolute delight. She was a blessing to my writing by making me feel re-invigorated and enthusiastic. I have a lot more confidence in tackling my piece now that I've had the benefit of Yurina's wisdom. Besides having extraordinary qualifications she is a gifted teacher and a kind generous human being. I'm honored to know her.”

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