Writing the Forbidden

Jennifer Tseng's picture
Jennifer Tseng
May 2 to May 6, 2016
Tuition Cost: 
Class Size: 
1-Week Intensive

SPRING DISCOUNT: Use code SPRING16 at registration checkout to get 10% off tuition for this course.

In this one-week intensive you will work to produce a piece of forbidden writing, using the form of your choice. What’s forbidden to one writer may not be forbidden to another. Some feel forbidden to write about emotions (i.e. anger, happiness etc.) or circumstances (i.e. trauma, ecstasy, poverty, wealth, sexuality, aging, mental illness, family secrets etc.); some feel forbidden to write about people different than themselves; for others, certain forms are forbidden. Whatever your forbidden territory is, I encourage you to visit it with curiosity and attention. We will proceed as a group of risk-takers together, none of us traveling to precisely the same place, but all of us keeping one another company on the journey. I will emphasize intuitive methods and ask you to cleave to what makes your secret heart beat faster. Daily readings, prompts, and exercises will be provided. At the end of the week, you will receive a detailed, written response to your work. Poets and prose writers welcome.

Academic Year: 


Jennifer Tseng’s novel Mayumi and the Sea of Happiness was shortlisted for the PEN American Robert W. Bingham Award for Debut Fiction and for the New England Book Award. Her first poetry collection, The Man with My Face won the Asian American Writers’ Workshop’s National Manuscript Competition and a PEN American Open Book Award; her second collection Red Flower, White Flower, featuring Chinese translations by Mengying Han and Aaron Crippen won the Marick Press Poetry Prize. Her most recent collections, Not so dear Jenny and The Passion of Woo and Isolde, won the Bateau Press Book Poetry Chapbook Contest and the Rose Metal Press Short Short Chapbook Contest respectively. This spring, she'll be the 2018 Distinguished Visiting Writer at Oregon State University - Cascades.