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Writing About Animals

October 31 and November 1, 2023, Tuesday and Wednesday, 9:00 a.m. to noon (two sessions)


“The first symbols were animals,” wrote art critic John Berger. How and why do we write about non-human animals, and how might we write about them in new ways? Through discussion, short readings, and writing exercises, we will explore varying approaches to writing about other species in our time of mass extinction and global warming. From experimenting with persona poems to ‘braided essays,’ you will acquire craft techniques for using research, observation, memory, and imagination to tell stories about not just the natural world, but our own animal selves. No experience necessary. Students will leave with seeds for future ideas, as well as peer and instructor feedback on one longer piece.

This class is a part of Portland Book Festival 2023. Portland Book Festival passes sold separately. For more information about Portland Book Festival, visit pdxbookfest.org.

Access Program
We want our writing classes and Delves to be accessible to everyone, regardless of income and background. We understand that our tuition structure can present obstacles for some people. Our Access Program offers writing class and Delve tuitions at a reduced rate.Most writing classes have at least one access spot available.

Please apply here for access rate tuition. Contact Susan Moore at susan@literary-arts.org if you have questions.


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Erica Berry

ERICA BERRY is a writer based in her hometown of Portland, Oregon. She has an MFA from the University of Minnesota, where she was a College of Liberal Arts Fellow. Her writing has appeared in The Guardian, The New York Times Magazine, The Yale Review, Outside Magazine, Catapult, The Atlantic, Guernica, and elsewhere. Winner of the Steinberg Essay Prize and the Kurt Brown Prize in Nonfiction, she has received fellowships and funding from the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, Tin House, the Ucross Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board, and the Institute for Journalism and Natural Resources. A former Writer-in-Residence with the National Writers Series in Traverse City, Michigan, she is currently a Writer-in-the-Schools with Literary Arts in Portland. Wolfish is her first book.
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