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

  • We regret the passing, on April 11, 2024, of the distinguished Romanian author and critic Dan Cristea, who served as the editor in chief of the Luceafărul de Dimineață cultural monthly. In addition to being an alum of the 1985 Fall Residency, Cristea received his PhD in Comparative Literature at the University of Iowa.

  • Our congratulations to 1986 Fall Residency writer Kwame Dawes, who has been named the new poet laureate of Jamaica.

  • Congratulations to our colleagues Jennifer Croft and Aron Aji, who are among those serving as judges for the National Book Awards this year, in their case in the category of translated literature.

  • Ranjit Hoskote’s speech at the 2024 Goa Literary Festival addresses the current situation in Gaza.

  • In NY Times, Bina Shah worries about the state of Pakistani—and American—democracy.

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