Write for Your Life: Turning Trauma into Stories (Russia and Armenia, Nov. 2018)

Course Description

Russia and Armenia, Nov. 2018

Research suggests that narrative and expressive writing have powerful healing effects. As writer and University of Iowa professor Charles D’Ambrosio once said, “Instead of sobbing, you write sentences.” In this course, "Write for Your Life: Turning Trauma into Stories", we explored strategies to create vivid, compelling stories (fiction and/or nonfiction) from difficult experiences such as illness, trauma, or disability. We focused on the elements of craft while addressing the challenges of writing from personal suffering. As a community of writers, we examined and discussed published texts, and provided feedback on student work. By the end of the course, participants had produced a significant body of narrative prose.

Happening Now

  • To mark PEN International’s centennial, Words Without Borders has published a sampler of works by writers committed to freedom of expression. Algerian novelist and scholar Med MAGANI is among them.

  • A fall harvest of book reviews coming in: of The Others by Sarah BLAU (translated from the Hebrew by Daniella Zamir); of LO Yi-Chin’s Farewell, translated from the Chinese by Jeremy TIANG; of Véronique TADJO’s In the Company of Men

  • A fascinating interview with IWP’s Senior Advisor, professor Peter Nazareth, retired from UI’s English Department in spring 2021, after nearly five decades of teaching.

  • Word reaches us that poet HU Xudong  胡续冬, who also taught comparative and world literatures at Peking University (Beida), specializing in Latin American literatures, passed away unexpectedly. RIP, Hu Xudong…

  • We note with sadness the passing of Hiroshi SAKAGAMI 坂上 弘, whose long novelistic career garnered him major literary and cultural honors. A former president of the Japan Writers’ Association, he was until his retirement also the director of Keio University Press.

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