Grieving the Quotidian: Writing about Things We Lose 4-Week Online Class, Starts Monday, March 13th, 2023
Begins Monday, March 13th, 2023
Class will use our online class platform, Wet Ink, and also have a welcome Zoom meeting on Monday (3/13/23) from 11AM - 12PM CST
**If you've taken this course with Jill before, she will be teaching all new essays for this session..**
Any questions about this class? Use the Chat Button (lower left) to talk with us.
Taught by Jill Talbot, author of The Way We Weren’t: A Memoir and Loaded: Women and Addiction. Jill wrote “The Last Year,” a year-long column that appeared online in The Paris Review. Her work has been recognized four times in The Best American Essays.
“Grief is a thing that we are encouraged to ‘let go of,’ to ‘move on from,’ and we are told specifically how this should be done,” writes Cheryl Strayed in her essay, “The Love of My Life.” In both her essay and her memoir, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, she recounts the loss of her mother and her response to it.
Other writers of grief memoirs detail losses of husbands, partners, fathers, brothers, uncles, and parents, such as Lily Danciger’s Negative Space, Edwidge Danticat’s Brother, I’m Dying, Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking, Mark Doty’s Heaven’s Coast, Vince Granata’s Everything If Fine, Helen McDonald’s H is for Hawk, Sarah Perry’s After the Eclipse, Mark Slouka’s Nobody’s Son, and Jesmyn Ward’s The Men We Reaped.
Writing about grief is most often associated with losing people in our lives, yet we also experience and carry other kinds of grief. The grief of the quotidian. The loss of things.
Toward the end of “The Love of My Life,” Strayed stands on the bank of a river: “I lost my mother’s wedding ring and I understood that I was not going to get it back, that it would be yet another piece of my mother that I would not have for all the days of my life, and I understood that I could not bear this truth, but that I would have to.”
How do we bear the truths of such loss? Even as children, we navigate this kind of grief. A favorite stuffed animal. A ball. A bracelet. And after enough years, we come to recognize this kind of loss as a refrain. We lose the everyday—after the everyday has become everything. A letter. A necklace. A ring. A bike. A photograph. A childhood home.
In this 4-week course, you’ll read essays about the losses of objects, spaces, and even former selves, and you’ll draft one writing experiment each week and receive weekly feedback from me.
At the close of the course, all students will submit the writing experiment they're most proud of from the course to the class website to showcase how we’ve transformed the everyday into everything. Join us!
- You'll have four solid drafts of new essays
- Receive weekly feedback from the instructor
- How to show readers the significance of the simple.
TAKE THIS CLASS IF:
- You're finding the constraints of your current writing practice too limiting.
- You want exposure to a range of new approaches to bring to your writing practice.
- You want an expanded sense of what is possible in your work.
- "Jill has a specific way of teaching a workshop that I find more conducive to learning new ways of thinking about the essay than any other workshop I've been in. I'm always blown away by how much my essaying improves at the end of a class from her."
- "Jill has done more to expand my understanding of the essay than any I have encountered."
- "This class far, far exceeded my expectations. Jill went far above and beyond with specific, 100% valuable, personalized feedback. I think everything was covered to perfection. Very personalized!"
- "Jill seems to always know just what to say to improve my work and it's always fantastic advice."
"There is so much in this course that I found valuable--I can't pick a 'most'. First, the essays Jill chose were so varied and each was brilliant. Second, Jill's PowerPoints were wonderful, pointing out the craft elements in each essay and how they were utilized so successfully. The weekly assignments encouraging participants to incorporate some of those craft elements into our own drafts provided an extremely effective way to experiment with choices we might not otherwise take."
- "I found the feedback on the writing, the commentary on the assigned readings, and the online discussions particularly valuable. Jill attracted excellent participants who contributed to my knowledge, and Jill’s knowledge and involvement changed my approach to writing."
- Jill's gentle feedback! It's changed how I give feedback, too. I've adopted her approach for giving suggestions and her system for highlighting items (to further explore, expand, create into a new experiment, etc). It's made workshopping more empathetic and respectful -- I'm forever grateful. Can I also add that it gave me permission to try new things ("experiments")? I didn't know I needed that. Thanks, Jill!
ONLINE COURSE STRUCTURE:
This class is entirely asynchronous which means you complete the weekly assignments on your own schedule. There are no set meeting times in order to allow for greater participation; your cohort will consist of writers from across different time zones, which allows for a wonderful diversity of voices.
Along with your weekly deadlines there is plenty of interaction with Jill and your peers within Wet Ink, our dedicated online classroom. Craft materials, lectures, reading assignments, and writing prompts are all available through the online classroom. Students also post work and provide and receive feedback within the online classroom environment.
You can get the work done as you see fit week-to-week, so it is perfect for any schedule. There are discussion questions each week inspired by the assigned readings and topics in the lecture notes. Students are encouraged to take these wherever is most compelling and/or useful for them. Jill engages with these discussions throughout the week and you will receive feedback from all assigned writing activities.
HOW DOES WET INK WORK?
Wet Ink was built and designed specifically for online writing classes. Wet Ink is private, easy to use, and very interactive. You can learn more about the Wet Ink platform by Watching a Class Demo.
Instructor: Jill Talbot
Class will have at least 6 writers
Class starts March 13th, 2023
Course is fully ONLINE; students can work according to their own schedule within weekly deadlines. Once you have enrolled the instructor will send you a link to our online classroom, provided via Wet Ink.
- This class will also meet via Zoom during Week 1 on Monday from 11AM - 12PM CST
Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this class.
Instructor Jill Talbot is the author of The Way We Weren’t: A Memoir (Soft Skull) and Loaded: Women and Addiction (Seal Press), the co-editor of The Art of Friction: Where (Non)Fictions Come Together (U of Texas Press), and the editor of Metawritings: Toward a Theory of Nonfiction (Iowa). Jill wrote “The Last Year,” a year-long column that appeared in The Paris Review. Her writing has been recognized four times in Best American Essays and has appeared in journals such as AGNI, Brevity, Colorado Review, Diagram, Gulf Coast, Hotel Amerika, LitMag, Longreads, The Paris Review Daily, and The Rumpus. Her short story collection, A Distant Town, won The Florida Review’s 2021 Jeanne Leiby Chapbook Award and was published in Spring 2022. She is Associate Professor of Creative Writing and Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of North Texas and is at work on a book of craft essays titled The Essay Form(s) for Columbia University Press.