Memory to Memoir

Memory to Memoir

Lacy M. Johnson
Week 3: June 25 to June 30
Time: 9am-12pm
Tuition: $600
Discipline: Non-Fiction/Memoir
Open to All
Registration Open
Registration Open: 4 places available
On-site Housing Full
Workshop Description 

"Memoir is, for better and often for worse, the genre of our times," Sven Birkerts writes in The Art of Time in Memoir. The best memoirs don't simply relate the events of a writer's life from start to finish, but instead dramatize a journey of the mind, using a writer's personal experience as a lens through which to bring some aspect of human experience into focus. But memory is an unreliable thing, and often runs aground before our stories do. We'll tackle this challenge, as well as the challenges of navigating other people's memories (which may differ in important ways from our own), and how to overcome the fear many of us encounter when we commit to telling our own stories.

Students should bring ten copies of an essay or excerpt of a memoir to the first class gathering on Sunday night (twenty pages maximum, double spaced, twelve-point font). Bring something that you want to understand better, that you know has potential but you're too close to see how large or what kind.


LACY M. JOHNSON is a Houston-based writer, curator, professor, activist, and is author of The Other Side (Tin House, 2014), Trespasses (University of Iowa Press, 2012), and The Reckonings (forthcoming from Scribner). She is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Rice University in Houston, and teaches creative nonfiction in Sierra Nevada College's low-residency MFA program. She lives in Houston with her husband and two children.