Summer 2018: The Self as Time Traveler: A Generative Workshop in Creative Nonfiction


Summer 2018: The Self as Time Traveler: A Generative Workshop in Creative Nonfiction


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Saturday, June 9, 3:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, June 10, 1:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Class meets at Literary Arts, 925 SW Washington.
Instructor: Cooper Lee Bombardier
For writers at all levels
Limited to 10 students

In this two-day generative creative nonfiction writing workshop, we’ll explore the unique power of the nonfiction narrator to move back and forth through time. We’re faced with a crucial need to discern the proximity of the narrator to the self-of-then that will best serve the aims of our piece. We might find ourselves zooming in to bring the reader directly into visceral experience only to telescope back out to layer in reflection, metaphor, and wisdom, creating for ourselves what author Mary Karr refers to as the “in it voice” and the “looking back voice.” We may choose to merge these voices into a creatively constructed “me,” or alternate between the personas who narrate “the what” and then “the so what.” We’ll look at examples of work that even project forward into a future “what if” that the self-of-then could not yet know.

Creative Nonfiction presents many narrative variables for the writer, but what level of distance might work best for the subject matter you intend to work with? Through interactive activity, discussion, and in-workshop writing experiments, we’ll investigate these questions and more! You’ll come away with some new writing as well as several new tools that will enhance and strengthen your creative nonfiction writing practice.  

Cooper Lee Bombardier is a writer and visual artist based in Portland, Oregon. His work appears in many publications and award-winning anthologies, most recently in The Kenyon Review, CutBank, Nailed Magazine,Original Plumbing, and The Rumpus, as well as the anthology The Remedy–Essays on Queer Health Issues. Cooper’s visual art was recently curated in an exhibition called “Intersectionality” at the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami. He’s taught writing at the University of Portland, Clark College, Portland State University, the Pacific Northwest College of Art, and at various Portland-area high schools as a writer-inresidence through Literary Art’s program Writers in The Schools. Visit him over at

SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE: Scholarships pay for the entire class tuition. All of our writing classes have at least one scholarship position available, made possible by a generous gift from Dennis Steinman. To apply, email Susan Moore, Director of Programs for Writers, at with your name, contact information, and list three classes in order of preference. Please note that preference is not guaranteed. All scholarships are subject to availability.

CLASS LIAISONS: All classes have one liaison position. Liaisons receive free tuition in exchange for light duties before and after each class meeting.