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Off Campus Writers' Workshop - OCWW

Just Added: Ellen Bass - From Detail to Discovery

  • May 14, 2020
  • 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
  • Remote


Registration is closed


Tolstoy said, “Art is transferring feeling from one heart to another." And E.L. Doctorow said, "Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader--not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon." That is our job description. But how do we go about this work of transferring feeling? How do we write poems and stories that make the reader feel wet? Fortunately, one of the main ways is very concrete. We create an emotional impact through vivid detail, precise description, metaphor and image. By observing, we see more. By describing what we see, we understand more, we feel more. We discover something we didn't know before. And that process of seeing, understanding, feeling and epiphany then takes place in the reader as well. In this workshop we'll look at successful examples in poetry and prose and learn (and try out) practical strategies for including these elements in our own writing.

Poet and educator Ellen Bass is a Chacellor of the Academy of American Poets. Her most recent book of poetry, Indigo, was published by Copper Canyon Press in 2020. Previous books include Like a Beggar, a finalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize, the Publishers Triangle Award, The Lambda Literary Award, and the Northern California Book Award; The Human Line; and Mules of Love, which won The Lambda Literary Award. Bass has also written works of nonfiction, including, with Laura Davis, the Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors or Child Sexual Abuse, which has sold over a million copies and has been translated into twelve languages. The New Yorker has published ten of Bass’s poems throughout the years, and tow have been chosen for the New Yorker podcast. She teaches in the MFA program at Pacific University and lives in Santa Cruz, California.

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