Personal Essay: Lyric & Alternative Forms
Experiment with the personal essay format.
In this class, we read and write personal essays in alternative forms, that is, forms that stray from the familiar, chronological story arc of beginning, middle, and end. Each week, we look at a different style of lyric essay, such as braided essays, collage essays, and hermit crab essays. We discuss how fragments, juxtaposition, white space, and poetic language all inform and amplify meaning. We generate work using a variety of prompts and exercises intended to shake loose exciting and innovative works of creative nonfiction. With these experimental forms, you often find a new approach to your stories, allowing for more specificity, authenticity, and surprise in personal writing.
Meet Your Instructor: Kate Devine
“I adore personal essays and the possibilities that lyric forms can hold, especially for writers who have a story, but aren’t sure how best to tell it. When chronology feels like it’s lacking, patterns can unlock narrative magic. Careful noticing, vivid detail, and unlikely connections create meaningful, exciting work.”
Kate Devine is a writer and teacher. Her work has been featured in New York Magazine‘s The Cut, Entropy, and other literary magazines. She is the founder of Mood Barre, a digital barre and Pilates studio offering classes that are both physically compelling and intentionally mood-setting. She is especially interested in how movement can lead us into more creative states of mind. She has an MFA in creative nonfiction writing from Sarah Lawrence College, where she also served as assistant nonfiction editor for LUMINA literary journal. She is from coastal New Jersey and currently calls Catskill, New York home. She enjoys swimming in the ocean, hiking in the mountains, and long meandering conversations. You can learn more about her at www.katemdevine.com.
Project Write Now offers no refunds or credits once registered, except in the unfortunate case a class or event is cancelled. We reserve the right to change instructors if necessary. We reserve the right to cancel, postpone, or reschedule any class, workshop, or event because of low enrollment or other unforeseen circumstances. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 908.675.0467 for more information.