Memory can be a tricky thing, and when you're writing memoir, memory can either set your writing on fire or douse it in self-doubt. In this four-week, workshop-based class, we'll explore the science of memory, its strengths and weaknesses, the ways it helps us make sense of our lives and the ways it complicates our feelings. We'll use what we learn as an opportunity to retool our memories as writing prompts, setting the foundation to see ourselves as the protagonists of our own lives.
The goal of this class is to bring together the implicit power of memory and the basic elements of storytelling to create strong, deeply moving memoir that tells the story of our personal challenges and triumphs. We will read and discuss selected readings, generate new work, and share reflections and process insight from our writing time together. This interactive weekly workshop features exercises in memory-mining, exploratory free-writing, and reflection-based revision that will bring you that much closer to telling a story that matters: Your story.
Sheree L. Greer is a text-based artist and educator living in Tampa, Florida. In 2014, she founded The Kitchen Table Literary Arts Center to showcase and support the work of Black women and women of color writers and is the author of two novels, Let the Lover Be and A Return to Arms, a short story collection, Once and Future Lovers, and a student writing guide, Stop Writing Wack Essays. Her work has been published in First Bloom Anthology, LezTalk Anthology, VerySmartBrothas, Autostraddle, The Windy City Times, Bleed Literary Journal, and the Windy City Queer Anthology: Dispatches from the Third Coast. Sheree has received a Union League of Chicago Civic Arts Foundation award, earned her MFA at Columbia College Chicago, and is a VONA/VOICES alum, Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice grantee, Yaddo fellow, and Ragdale Artist House Rubin Fellow. Her essay, "Bars" published in Fourth Genre Magazine, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and notably named in Best American Essays 2019, and her latest essay, "None of this is Bullshit" was published at The Rumpus and featured in "Memoir Mondays."
Throughout this difficult year, I've been interacting in online group settings often. Sometimes when the video ends and I close my computer, I feel more alone than ever. But with this class, my experience was different. Every week, class would end and I would still feel connected. And throughout the week leading up to class, I didn't feel alone in my writing. I felt like there were ten or so other students and our amazing teacher, Sheree, cheering me on and waiting for us to gather again in community. It was safe and sacred. That safety was 100% created by the tone Sheree set for our time together.
Now that Sheree found a way to “unblock” my case of writer’s block, I am writing more, feel energized and can trust myself to let it all out creatively. Wow, what a gift! Thank you to Sheree!!
Sheree is so knowledgeable and one of the most supportive and encouraging teachers I have ever encountered. It was a joy to be a part of her class and I will be looking out for future classes she is offering.