Feeling stuck? Some memoirists borrow from other genres when the steam runs out. Some write from another perspective, in another tense, even into another genre. This class will explore, through various memoir excerpts, the ways in which writers have raised the genre to new heights. We will also explore, through poetry and fiction, techniques memoirists can use to enrich narrative nonfiction. We will discuss how order and narrative distance can be adjusted to produce stronger sentences and deeper insight into the human condition. This class will be a combination of generative exercises, discussion, and traditional workshops.
Garrard Conley is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir Boy Erased, which has been translated in over a dozen languages and is now a major motion picture. Conley is also a creator and producer of the podcast UnErased, which explores the history of conversion therapy in America. His work can be found in The New York Times, TIME, VICE, CNN, BuzzFeed, Them, Virginia Quarterly Review, and The Huffington Post, among other places.