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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Water Gap Retreat: Creative Writing with Anita Skeen (REVISED)

(From the Water Gap Retreat Website)

That Place Called Memory: Revisiting and Writing about Childhood

Jeanette Walls, in her memoir The Glass Castle, opens a window on her childhoodand gives us all a peek at what is was like to grow up in her particular family, in particular places, at particular times. We all have memories – some wonderful, some heartbreaking, some confusing, some fractured – of the children we used to be and the environments that led us to become who we are today. In this workshop we will go back and revisit some of those memories: we will recall the scratchy nap of the old navy sofa; the pond-water smell of Rascal, the beagle; the taste of homemade ice cream dripping from the dasher; the low wail of the train whistle as it called through the mountain night. We will resurrect the images, conversations, and objects that are a significant part of our past. "My mother is smiling as she looks up from reading The Yearling aloud to a pigtailed little girl," writes Lois Lowry in an essay. "I can join them any time. The place is called Memory."

In the age of flash fiction, sudden fiction and the snapshot poem, Anita Skeen will help you concentrate on creating small but moving and effective pieces of writing. She’ll introduce you to the lyric poem and lyric essay, prose poem and ten-minute play, to assist you in finding the best medium to express your individual circumstances. Bring photographs, letters, diaries, newspaper clippings or poems that might help you. Writers in all genres and at all levels are welcome..

After yoga, breakfast, and a morning class with Anita, the weekend workshop will end with Sunday lunch. You’ll leave for home with the tools to shape your memories into vivid writing.

Workshop Fee:
$310 per person, double/triple
$360 per person, single

See the Water Gap Retreat Website for reservations.