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Off Campus Writers' Workshop - OCWW

Tonya Coats - Blatantly Not Blatant: A Study of Quiet Protest in Essays

  • August 15, 2024
  • 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM



In times of protest, struggles, and pain, we are often drawn to write about our experiences. But many are uneasy sharing these uncomfortable pronouncements.

In her book, Intimations, a collection of six essays written during the pandemic lockdown, Zadie Smith does just that.

Tonya Coats will lead workshop participants in an examination of two of those essays, Peonies, and Intimations. We will explore how Zadie Smith writes beautifully as an observer, an interloper, but doesn’t make us feel overwhelmed by her opinions – even though her opinions are present. We will delve into these poignant essays and piece out the ideas that she uses to build her work.

Whether you are a seasoned writer or a beginner, this workshop promises to be a safe and supportive space to explore your craft.

Zadie Smith is the daughter of a Jamaican mother and British father, born in England. She is known for her treatment of race, religion, and cultural identity and for her novels’ eccentric characters, savvy humor, and snappy dialogue. She gained the attention of the literary world with the publication of her first novel, White Teeth, in 2000. Since then she has published four more novels, a collection of short stories and many essays. A winner of multiple literary awards, she is also a tenured professor at NYU.


Dr. Tonya CoatsOCWW's Hybrid Director is a native Chicagoan and semi-retired Family Physician. She has completed two novels available for publication that she is adapting to screenplays. Her poetry has placed 1 st in the Social Science category of the 2021 Poets & Patrons of Chicagoland contest.  She has placed essays in the New York Times, Riverteeth Journal and Memoir Magazine, to name a few.

HOSTED BY: Sam Farler

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