24PearlStreet Workshops and Events

Seema Reza Breaking Open the World: Writing Fearless Memoir Non-Fiction May 10 to May 14, 2021 Number of Participants: 12 Price: $500 Format: 1 Week Asynchronous Workshop


In this class we will write daily, building on a single topic that embodies a part of our memoir. We will experiment with form, timeline, point of view, and pacing to write lyrical memoir that is fresh, honest, and innovative. Each day students will be given writing prompts designed to get words on the page and generate new points of entry into story. We’ll read writing by Ben Okri, Jeanette Winterson, Patricia Smith, and Melissa Febos among others. Additional readings will be offered, but the focus of this course will be getting words on the page. In addition to form and craft, we will discuss approaches to editing, maintaining a writing practice, and address the barriers to truth-telling and the limitations of memory. Students will leave this class with several connected pieces of writing in progress—the start of a memoir. Poet and memoirist Seema Reza will guide writers in an approach to writing memoir that goes beyond the confines of chronology and focuses instead on theme and voice. Learn techniques and to help you develop your clearest and most authentic voice and discover the story beneath your story.

OPTIONAL LIVE ELEMENTS: 25 minute “write ins” from 12-12:25 pm EST via zoom Mon-Thurs.



Seema Reza is the author of the books A Constellation of Half-Lives and When the World Breaks Open. She is the CEO of Community Building Art Works, a non-profit organization that brings workshops led by professional artists to service members, veterans, and clinicians, and is featured in the 2018 HBO documentary We Are Not Done Yet. Her writing has been widely anthologized and has appeared in the Washington Post, McSweeney’s, The LA Review, LitHub, and Electric Literature among others. Case studies from her work with military populations have appeared in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Related Diseases in Combat Veterans.







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