“To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.” –Mary Oliver
This class will support participants in developing a practice of multi-sensory external and internal observation in order to write with awareness, power, and precision across genres. In a four-hour class, we’ll talk about creative observation as a skill and a practice, read short texts (poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction) based in creative observation, and get out of the virtual classroom to try out exercises meant to help you wake up to the creative potential in your experience of your immediate environment. Together we’ll look at some case studies of ways writers use observation practices to sustain creativity, and we’ll think through ways of integrating the practice of creative observation into our routines. Participants will leave with a single, short observation-based piece. This is a class for anyone wanting to connect or reconnect with foundational creative writing practices and get in touch with the beauty and strangeness that underlies everyday experience.
NB: This class will be taught on Zoom and capped at 15. Link will be sent to email you use to register at the time of registration and again the day before the class. Please make sure to read our course policies page regarding workshop conduct and logistics before registering for any class at HVWC. Scholarship information will be available for this class on May 1, and applications are due on May 15, 2023.
Jessica E. Johnson writes poetry and nonfiction. She’s the author of the book-length poem Metabolics and the chapbook In Absolutes We Seek Each Other, winner of the DIAGRAM chapbook contest and an Oregon Book Award finalist. Her poems, essays, and reviews have appeared in The Paris Review, Tin House, The New Republic, Poetry Northwest, River Teeth, DIAGRAM, and Sixth Finch, among many others, and she’s a contributor to the anthology Cascadia Field Guide: Art, Ecology, Poetry. A former biology student, she teaches poetry, creative nonfiction, and environmental literature in Portland, Oregon and co-hosts the Constellation Reading Series.
Event Location and Ticket Information
Date: Saturday, October 28, 2023
Times: 12:30 pm - 4:30 pm
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Presenter: Hudson Valley Writers Center
Presenter Phone: 9143325953
Presenter Website: https://www.writerscenter.org/calendar/observation/