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Summer 2020 Online: Starting the Memoir

June 6-7 and 13-14, 2020
Saturday and Sundays, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (4 class meetings)
online via Zoom

Begin generating the first draft of a memoir or collection of personal essays.

John D’Agata describes memoir as “an agitation of memory,” which suggests memory-based writing as not just the expression of memory but volatile, vital consideration of memory.

Participants will look at elements of craft, including point of view and detail, and examine various writing processes. They’ll also look at examples of prose memoir in which the writer uses the poet’s tools of meditation, dream, and lyricism, and then do their own memory-based writing. At the end of the class, students will set deadlines and be offered resources to help them continue drafting.

Jay Ponteri

Jay Ponteri directed the creative writing program at Marylhurst University from 2008-2018 and is now the program head of PNCA’s Low-Residency Creative Writing program. His book of creative nonfiction Someone Told Me was published in 2021 by Widow+Orphan House. He’s also the author of Darkmouth Inside Me (Future Tense Books, 2014) and Wedlocked (Hawthorne Books, 2013), which received an Oregon Book Award for Creative Nonfiction. Two of Ponteri’s essays, “Listen to this” and “On Navel Gazing” have earned “Notable Mentions” in Best American Essay Anthologies. His work has also appeared in many literary journals: Gaze, Ghost Proposal, Eye-Rhyme, Seattle Review, Forklift, Ohio, Knee-Jerk, Cimarron Review, Tin House, Clackamas Literary Review, While teaching at Marylhurst, Ponteri was twice awarded the Excellence in Teaching & Service Award. In 2007, Ponteri founded Show:Tell, The Workshop for Teen Artist and Writers, now part of summer programming at Portland's Independent Publishing Resource Center (IPRC.org) on whose Resource Council he serves.
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