Writing the Weird: 4 Weeks, 4 Uncanny Creations Generative Zoom Workshop, Starts Thursday, May 2nd, 2024
Begins Thursday, May 2nd, 2024
Class will meet weekly via Zoom on Thursdays, 7:00pm EST - 8:30pm EST
Any questions about this class? Use the Chat Button (lower left) to talk with us.
Led by Dr. Erica Anzalone, author of the award-winning collection, Samsara. Erica holds an MFA in poetry from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a doctorate in English from the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, where she was awarded a Schaeffer fellowship. With over eighteen years of teaching experience at the college level, Erica's work has appeared or is forthcoming in Autofocus Literary Magazine, The Colorado Review, Hotel Amerika, Cream City Review, Juked, Pangyrus, Denver Quarterly, The Literary Review, The Offending Adam, Pleiades, Sentence, UCity Review, and elsewhere.
Learn more about Erica in our Meet the Teaching Artist series.
In this class, writers will learn how to use the technique of defamiliarization to invoke the weird and wonderful, magical, fantastic, uncanny, surreal, and even the supernatural and walk away with at least four new works in progress.
This generative creative writing class will address two common pitfalls: abstraction and cliches. Using Mary Karr’s essay "Sacred Carnality" as a touchstone, students will alchemize abstraction into concrete imagery using the 5 senses: touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing.
Then, we’ll level up by making that imagery strange, transforming clichés into fresh, striking language. Through the technique of defamiliarization, students will evoke the Sixth Sense: that intuitive feeling about the mood, atmosphere, psychology, or emotion of a person or place. We'll invoke the weird and wonderful, magical, fantastic, uncanny, surreal, and even the supernatural. You’ll walk away with at least four new works in progress.
This class is for all levels and genres of writers. Classes will include discussion of readings and generative writing prompts. Students will have the opportunity to share their work and receive encouragement in a supportive community. Wherever you are on your journey, you will be inspired to write more and hone your craft.
- Use defamiliarization to combat cliche and create striking language that holds readers spellbound
- Use the five senses as an antidote to abstraction to “show, not tell” and create an embodied experience
- Generate at least 4 new pieces of writing through in-class prompts and receive encouraging feedback in a supportive community
COURSE OUTLINE & READINGS:
WEEK 1: ANGELS: “Sticks” by George Saunders, “Angels” by Russell Edson, “Three Angels” by David Ulin, “Sacred Carnality” by Mary Karr
WEEK 2: GHOSTS: “Tarot for the Bardo” by Erica Anzalone, “Haint Blue” by Siarra Freeman, “Broken Alphabet” by Tracy Seid, “Zoom Shiva” by Dan Liebelson, “The Widower’s Wife Takes Him to This Year’s Death Gala” by Todd Dillard, “Make It Strange” by Matthew Zapruder, from his book Why Poetry
WEEK 3: BEASTS: “Wolf Parts” by Matt Bell. Other readings TBA
WEEK 4: MONSTERS: “Murder Mermaids Make Mistakes” by Sandra Schmul Long, “Ursus Frankenstein” by Rich Larson. Other readings TBA
“Thank you, Erica, for a fabulous class! I've learned so much about the writing process and relished the texts. Each class has helped awaken long-slumbering skills of analysis and muscles of creativity that I haven't exercised in some time. I'm especially grateful for the workshop portion, both for my own piece and for others. I've always been insecure about my writing style, but these classes have really boosted my confidence and filled my well of creativity. The workshop notes I received validated my process and helped magnify the paths to take next. I'm so grateful to Erica and the writing coven that is forming through these classes.” — Kristilyn Ink
“With Erica’s mentorship, I am now attending the MFA program of my choice and have published several of my poems. She saw potential where I did not, and she pushed me out of my comfort zone by encouraging me to write creative non-fiction. She taught me to trust in my own writing and the fact that my stories are valuable on their own. I fell in love with creative non-fiction because of her. Not only did Erica spend an ample amount of time with me (more than she had to!), she provided me with pages of written feedback that helped me revise and assist in the publication process. I am a much stronger, more confident writer since working with Erica, and am successfully pursuing a career in the field of creative writing.” — Kerri Vasilakos (Kerri’s poetry has appeared in Black Moon Magazine, The Ekphrastic Review, The Penman Review, and Crow and Cross Keys)
“Erica helped me with my applications to MFA programs in Creative Writing. With her assistance, I was accepted or waitlisted to every place I applied, and I'm now a student in my top-choice program. Throughout our work together, Erica was empathetic, challenging, and generous. She helped me to present myself with confidence and clarity. Her feedback was always specific and extensive, and I know the advice she gave me was critical to the success of my applications. I'm sure these skills transfer over to her classes together. I can't recommend working with Erica enough! — Lizzie Fox, Writer/Translator
ONLINE COURSE STRUCTURE:
- Instructor: Dr. Erica Anzalone
- Class Starts Thursday, May 2nd, 2024
Course is fully ONLINE and will meet weekly on Thursdays via Zoom at 7:00pm EST - 8:30pm EST
Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this class.
With over eighteen years of teaching experience at the college level, Erica is an expert in creating a supportive and inclusive learning environment students love as one raves, “Erica’s classes have boosted my confidence and filled my well of creativity.”