Jacqueline Fitzgerald (she/her) is an educator, coach, and writer who strives to lead through a love ethic and believes in the power of stories to change hearts and minds. Her writing has been published in the Oregonian, The Learning Network of the New York Times, and Beacon Magazine. Currently, she is working on a speculative future novel exploring intergenerational experiences of survival and hope. She also publishes on her blogs, Love Pedagogy and Something Like Adult Life.
This fall, Jacqueline is teaching the Writer of Color Workshop. Here is what she has to say about the class, her teaching style, and her work.
Why do you enjoy teaching this class?
I love how accessible it is for all levels of writers as well as the affinity space that lets folks breathe more easily around sharing anything, writing or otherwise, related to lived experience. The organic and generative nature of the workshop held together by a deep exploration of a shared theme is also a gift for me as for participants as well, I hope. There’s a comforting nature to the class.
How would you describe your teaching style (in five words)?Encouraging, participant-centered, nurturing, welcoming, inclusive.
How is each session structured?
We open with a warm greeting followed by a brief overview of what to expect. We brainstorm around a theme to explore the multiplicity present in a theme. We write three pieces: we unblock, we explore the dualism inherent in the theme, then we write from a choose your own adventure prompt. Writers are invited to share golden lines and longer passages from their pieces in small groups. Support and encouragement is given for writers new to sharing and giving feedback.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
The natural world, the complex and multitudinous inner world, music and photography. I’m especially interested in identity as a construct, existentialism, creativity, transformative justice and love.
What would you want each person to leave with from taking this course?
That they are writers. That writing heals and connects. Having the seeds of new pieces is also a wonderful outcome.
What is keeping you going while sheltering in place?
A daily healing ritual of meditation, morning pages, and movement.
Where will you be teaching/telecommunicating from?
Favorite book? Writers? Literary pieces?
Oh, gosh. Always such a tough question. My must reads for the last several years have been Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Kimmerer, There There by Tommy Orange, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, and Between the World and Me by Ta Nehisi Coates. I’ve probably read and love the most works by Margaret Atwood. The Truth About Stories by Thomas King is another absolute favorite.