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Off Campus Writers' Workshop - OCWW

Kelly McMasters - Food and Memory

  • November 09, 2023
  • 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM



Food is a writer’s magic wand for accessing sensory memory. From Proust’s famously transportive madeleines to Yiyun Li’s nostalgic Orange Crush, food can function on a writer’s page as a way to explore politics, nature, labor, gender, the body, community, faith, family, and more. Through short readings, generative exercises, and observation, we’ll work together to use food as a lens to build our worlds.

Kelly McMasters is an essayist, professor, and former bookshop owner. She is the author of The Leaving Season: A Memoir in Essays (W.W. Norton, 2023) and co-editor of the ABA bestselling Wanting: Women Writing About Desire (Catapult, 2023). Her first book, Welcome to Shirley: A Memoir from an Atomic Town, was listed as one of Oprah's top five summer memoirs and is the basis for the documentary film “The Atomic States of America,” a 2012 Sundance selection. The anthology she co-edited with Margot Kahn, This Is the Place: Women Writing About Home (Seal Press, 2017), was a New York Times Editor’s Choice. Her essays, reviews, and articles have appeared in The New York Times, The AtlanticThe Paris Review DailyLiterary HubThe American Scholar, River Teeth: A Journal of Narrative NonfictionTin House, and more. Her writing has been supported by the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Katharine Bakeless Nason scholarship to the Bread Loaf Environmental Writers' Conference. She is an Associate Professor of English and Director of Publishing Studies at Hofstra University in NY. 

Kelly will accept up to five manuscripts on a first come first served basis. Please see the Manuscript scroll down on our website for more information.

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