Personal and Lyric Essays: A Workshop


I’ll be presenting at the Creative Nonfiction Collective’s Annual Conference

Banff, Alberta. Banff Centre for the Arts. Saturday, April 24th, 1:30 – 2:45 pm.

(Open to the public and supported by The Writers’ Union of Canada.)

The personal essay is often identified by its loose and meandering shape and its tolerance, or even requirement, for explicit thought and self-reflection. In contrast, the lyric essay foregrounds structure, with devices such as braided narratives, collage, and juxtaposition; typically, it limits summary reflection. Are these forms really as opposed as they may seem? And why might a writer choose one over the other in the attempt to think on the page? In this workshop we will look at traditional and more experimental essays to discover their distinct and overlapping pleasures and virtues — for writers and for readers.

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