Nonfiction and the Archaeology of Memory: Discovering Your Inner Indiana Jones
This workshop will explore the art and craft of creative nonfiction. We will apprentice ourselves to published work as well as to our own lives, exploring the building blocks of nonfiction. Armed with this knowledge, we will apply new techniques to our own essays, which may take the form of memoirs, personal essays, lyric essays, natural history, or journalism.
Our writing exercises will help us engage in the work and play of writing. Among other exercises, we’ll try our hands at becoming “archaeologists of memory,” using fragments of history—postcards, photographs, and other ephemera—as triggering points for our own work. As we workshop and revise together, we will grow into the habit of reading as writers, writing voraciously, being “one on whom nothing is lost,” and becoming wise and generous editors of our own and others’ work.
Joni Tevis is the author of the critically acclaimed The Wet Collection: A Field Guide to Iridescence and Memory (Milkweed Editions, 2007), a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award. Her writing has appeared in Orion, Oxford American, Shenandoah, Conjunctions, AGNI, The Bellingham Review, North Dakota Quarterly, Barrelhouse, and elsewhere. In 2006, she was awarded a Minnesota State Arts Board Grant. She teaches literature and creative writing at Furman University and lives in Greenville, South Carolina. She is at work on a new book of nonfiction about ghost towns, tourist traps, and atomic dread.