The Art of Memoir


The hallmark of the personal essay or memoir is intimacy—the way a writer seems to whisper directly into the reader’s ear, conveying everything from gossip to wisdom. How does the memoirist build a relationship with her reader, establishing herself as a trustworthy companion worth sticking with until the last page? This six-week workshop will explore the art of transforming lived experience into literature. In the first two weeks we’ll read and discuss great personal essays, and in the final four weeks we’ll revise our own work, with a focus on transforming oneself and others into characters, creating a sense of closeness with the reader, uncovering the political dimensions of personal experience, and turning memory fragments into a seamless body of work. (12 hours/All Levels)

Krista Bremer is the author of the memoir A Tender Struggle: Story of a Marriage (formerly titled My Accidental Jihad: A Love Story). Her award-winning essays have appeared in national and international magazines and news outlets including the New York Times Magazine, O: The Oprah Magazine, CNN, MSN, MORE, the Sun Magazine, and the Sunday Times (London). Bremer's work has been featured on National Public Radio, and she has appeared in the PBS series Arab American Stories. Her work has also been translated and reprinted all over the world. She is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, a Pushcart Prize, a North Carolina Arts Fellowship, and a scholarship to the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference. She lives in North Carolina with her husband, Ismail, and their two children and works as associate publisher of the Sun.


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