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Courting Complexity: Braided Compositions


  • Iowa Writers' House 332 East Davenport Street Iowa City, IA, 52245 United States (map)

When:  Friday, November 1st, 6:00pm-7:30pm

Saturday, November 2nd, 9:30am-3:30pm (Lunch break at noon)

Sunday, November 3rd, 9:30am-3:30pm (Lunch break at noon)

Where:  Iowa Writers' House, 332 East Davenport St

Cost: $265

ABOUT THE WORKSHOP

Whether an essay, story, or poem, more than a single strand is likely to become involved in its making.  And there we are at the heart of things since “involved” means “turned,” “wrapped,” and “twisted,” all akin to “braided.” Braiding means handling more than one thing at a time: plot and subplot, text and subtext, theme and illustration, all of which may lead you off track. There is no right answer, no single way, but the combination, interweaving, or braiding, of two or more things and their supporting ideas and illustrations leads to something like texture, which you usually want to find in a finished text. 

With a variety of writing exercises in and out of session, and a little one-on-one time with your instructor, our weekend will test the possibilities of “braiding” your work, in whatever genre.  Depending on the number of students, each participant will receive a short meeting with the instructor to discuss their own work one-on-one. A chief problem with writing is getting started, and a fresh approach can help with that. Starting fresh with material generated Friday evening and Saturday morning, you should leave this workshop with one or more compositions, probably unfinished but well underway, as well as the knowledge on how to implement braiding techniques into existing stories and make them even more engaging to the reader. 

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ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR

A former editor of The Iowa Review and on the founding faculty of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program, which he also directed, Hamilton has a long and varied history in the writing community of Iowa City.  His new collection of essays, A Certain Arc, will appear from Ice Cube Press this fall. You may also find him on Iowa City’s literary walk.


INSTRUCTOR INSPIRATION STATEMENT

“Braided” and “lyric” essays are favored forms, their almost limitless possibilities more or less subsuming the earlier metaphor. And they are metaphors, which is to say, approaches, not solutions. “A metaphor will take you so far but no farther”; that’s Robert Frost speaking. The trick is to discover how far.


REGISTER FOR WORKSHOP


Everyone has a story to tell. If you are financially unable to attend this workshop, scholarships are available through our generous partners and donors. Apply here:

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All course information is sent to participants upon registering, including confirmation of workshop times, location, and materials.

OUR WORKSHOP CANCELLATION POLICY CAN BE FOUND HERE:

 http://www.iowawritershouse.org/cancellation-policy