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In recent years, the lyric essay has surged in popularity among readers and writers. As a form, it exists somewhere between nonfiction and poetry and provides a unique challenge for those who write in those genres. This class will be an introduction to the form and to the inventive writers paving the way for this format.
There will be time in class to brainstorm, create, and begin writing your own lyric essay. Bring your lunch; we will gather in the Commons to network and share experiences. Coffee and water will be provided; there is a refrigerator for your use.
Diana Wilson, in "Laces in the Corset: Structures of Poetry and Prose That Bind the Lyric Essay," writes, "Imagine a warp in time, centuries deep, where writers gather on full-moon nights. Perhaps it surrounds a Concord bar where in the darkest corner sit Henry David Thoreau and Sylvia Plath—she’s on her third vodka-on-the-rocks; he nervously swirls a tall glass of water. Envision them sharing a slow dance beneath a disco ball....Years later their progeny Lyric Essay—half-prose and half-poetry—dresses in loose tunics, wears his hair slightly too long to be considered conventional, and whiles away his days wandering through forests and meadows while contemplating metaphors for life and love."
Instructor: Ana Cristina Alvarez is an MFA graduate from the University of North Carolina—Wilmington and has worked for Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill and Graywolf Press. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Black Warrior Review, The Butter, and Treehouse Magazine.