In a playful exploration of diaristic writing across poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, this six-week course will test the relationship between ourselves and the voices we create on the page. We’ll learn about confession and omission—the things we share and the things we keep secret. We’ll consider audience—how a personal voice might shift in anticipation of its reader. And we’ll ask: are diaries, journals, and other forms of written self-address artifacts of privacy or performance? What distinguishes a journal from a diary, and how might gendered stereotypes play into such classifications?
Together, we’ll read from texts including Rilke’s The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge (trans. Burton Pike), Nathanaël’s Je Nathanäel, Bernadette Mayer's Milkweed Smithereens, and Sarah Manguso’s Ongoingness: The End of a Diary. Participants will keep a diary of some regularity (with daily or weekly entries), ultimately using their diaries as source material for creative works of their own. Each class meeting will contain time for group reading, discussion, and writing exercises, with the final gathering devoted to workshop.
AM Ringwalt is a writer and musician whose work appears in Jacket2, Music & Literature, and Black Warrior Review. Called "rich with emotion" by Pitchfork, "Summer Angel" is out now on Dear Life Records. "The Wheel," her hybrid memoir, was published by Spuyten Duyvil. "What Floods" is forthcoming from Inside the Castle.
"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."