The Topography of Memory in Memoir & Creative Nonfiction 2-Day Zoom Intensive, Wednesdays, November 29th & December 6th, 2023
Class Meets Wednesdays, 11/29 & 12/6, 2023
The class will meet twice on Wednesday nights via Zoom, 7PM - 9PM EST
Open to All writers!
Any questions about this class? Use the Chat Button (lower left) to talk with us.
Taught by Blaise Allysen Kearsley, a Black-biracial writer and teacher based in Brooklyn. Her writing has appeared in Catapult, Longreads, the Boston Globe, Electric Literature's The Nervous Breakdown, Elle, Midnight Breakfast, The Weeklings, and in the anthologies Mortified: Real Words. Real People. Real Pathetic, Nonwhite and Woman, and Cringe: Teenage Diaries, Journals, Notes, Letters, Poems, And Abandoned Rock Operas. Blaise is a contributing editor at Vestal Review, the oldest flash fiction journal on the planet.
Memory is fluid, faulty, and fallible. How is our writing both hindered and enhanced by the limitations of memory? How can we navigate the gaps in our recall? What do we do when the memories are vague or elusive?
How does memory function in the brain? Where does it live in the body? How do we navigate the ways the limitations of memory hinder our writing? What insights into the writing craft might memory gaps provide?
We'll explore these questions through discussion and writing exercises.
We'll look at new approaches and sharpen existing tools for excavating long- and short-term memories, unearthing core narratives, and important secondary events. What are the brain-encoded stories we need to tell?
We'll read excerpts of work by Wendy Fontaine, Kiese Laymon, Danzy Senna, Jo Ann Beard, Lynda Barry, and more. The instructor provides all reading material.
- Understand the fallibility of memory in order to work with it on the page.
- Investigate how memory works in your own life.
- Consider theories of brain science as it pertains to memory.
- Actively engage in writing and reading that enhances your growth.
- Find the stories living inside you.
- Day 1: Different Kinds of Memory, The Layers of Recall, + The Perspective of Time
- Day 2: Memory as Structure + Form
"Blaise's class made me a stronger writer. It was the hardest workshop I've ever done, but also one of the most important." — Jennifer Stewart
"I've taken several workshops over the years, all over the country, and this was by far the best. Blaise is a goddamn treasure." — Anonymous
"I feel so inspired, enriched, encouraged, and empowered in my writing practice. I've been sitting at my desk since we all logged off just feeling how full of gratitude my heart is—for you, the workshop, and the entire group." — Adaeze Elechi
"Blaise was really able to build a community on Zoom. This is an incredibly difficult thing to do, and she made it seem so easy." — Anonymous
"I love that the readings center BIPOC, women, and LGBTQ voices. That has been an important and edifying element." —Kimberly Balsam
"I genuinely looked forward to each week. The advice you gave sent me back out into the world with confidence and purpose." — Anonymous
"You treat every question with such a genuine desire to give the best possible answer. For someone like me, that means the world."— Anonymous
"Thank you for creating this generous space for us to try new things and be vulnerable, for the insightful feedback, and for leading us through the last 8 weeks. I'm really grateful." — Alex Fendrich
"I love the readings we do, and especially that they so often feature writers of color. The written feedback from you is always so helpful and in-depth. The prompts helped me to develop a lot of content. I always look forward to workshop nights -- it's a safe space to share."
"I felt so often in college that I was writing against these very confident men who were forthcoming about the problems within my work and style. Working in your group has been restorative and has allowed me to trust myself without fear of being torn apart."
"Working with Blaise has made me a more confident writer. She's helped me to see my writing as a larger work, and creates a safe, inclusive, encouraging space to share and connect with other writers."
"Blaise is such a skilled reader and editor, and her notes are always valuable. She offers wonderful perspectives, and assembles groups of writers with keen perspectives of their own."
"I really loved the class. You treat every question with such a genuine desire to give the best possible answer and it made me happy every time. I admire that you focus on building people up. For someone like me, that means the world."
"During quarantine I had to show up for myself and others who counted on me, even when I felt like all I wanted to do was hide under my couch. Being part of this creative group of writers saved me."
ONLINE COURSE STRUCTURE:
This class meets weekly via Zoom. Come prepared for a super fun class with live interaction on Zoom each week and plenty of writing, reading, and talking!
- Instructor: Blaise Allysen Kearsley
- Class Meets Wednesdays, November 29th & December 6th, 2023
- The class will meet twice on Wednesday nights via Zoom, 7PM - 9PM EST
Instructor Blaise Allysen Kearsley is a Black-biracial writer and teacher based in Brooklyn. She comes from a long line of teachers, builders, visual artists, and writers. Her writing has appeared in Longreads, the Boston Globe, Electric Literature's The Nervous Breakdown, Elle, Midnight Breakfast, The Weeklings, and in the anthologies Mortified: Real Words. Real People. Real Pathetic. (Simon Spotlight Entertainment) and Cringe: Teenage Diaries, Journals, Notes, Letters, Poems, And Abandoned Rock Operas (Crown Archetype). She has essays forthcoming in Catapult and the anthology Nonwhite and Woman in February 2022. She is the creator/producer/host of the How I Learned storytelling series and has performed at The Moth, Literary Death Match, Risk, and The Liar Show. Blaise is a contributing editor at Vestal Review, the oldest flash fiction journal on the planet. Learn more about Blaise here.