Rachel Jamison Webster - The Inner Argument

  • February 27, 2020
  • 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Winnetka Community House, 620 Lincoln Ave., Winnetka, IL

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We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, but of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry," wrote poet William Butler Yeats.

What does creative non-fiction have to learn from the inward seeking that is poetry? This talk will explore how we may include associative, poetic logic in creative non-fiction. We will look at works of creative non-fiction that are neither performative conversations with the reader nor entirely interior arguments, but, rather, genuine quests that involve the reader in the author’s experiences of uncertainty and change. We will examine the use of conversation in essays, and will explore how including others' voices can help create an echo of metaphor that traces the author's inner life.

Rachel Jamison Webster is the author of the unpublished memoir, Did You See the Sky, several chapters of which have been published as essays in outlets including Tin HousePoetry, Drunken BoatThe Baltimore Review and The Columbia Review. She recently received a Kaplan Fellowship from Northwestern to write her second book of Creative Non-fiction, tentatively titled, Before and Behind Us in Time. Rachel’s book, Mary is a River (Kelsey Books 2018), was a finalist for the National Poetry Series in 2014. She is also the author of September (TriQuarterly 2013); the cross-genre volume, The Endless Unbegun (Twelve Winters 2015); and two chapbooks, The Blue Grotto and Hazel & The Mirror (Dancing Girl Press 2009, 2015). Rachel lives in Evanston, where she is an associate professor of Creative Writing at Northwestern University.  

Rachel will accept up to fifteen poetry and creative non-fiction manuscripts for critique. Please see manuscript guidelines on our website: ocww.info.  

9-9:30 Registration and Socializing

9:30-12 Program


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620 Lincoln Ave., Winnetka, IL 60093

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