In this course, we will engage in creative nonfiction with an eye to its shapeshifting possibilities. We will read a lyric essay, a braided historic essay, a traditional essay, a hermit crab essay, and a couple of straight-up memoirs. All this, in addition to writing our own prose! By examining the possibility of styles that the CNF genre presents, we will empower ourselves as readers and writers. Students who take this course will also engage in a couple of craft essays and four writing assignments. Each week will present a new opportunity to submit work and receive feedback from your instructor. The only requirement is to come ready to engage in new forms. Together we will broaden our perspective on “true stories well told.”
Deborah Jackson Taffa’s debut book, Whiskey Tender, has received advanced praise from the following outlets: Zibby Mag “Most Anticipated Book,” San Francisco Chronicle “New Book to Cozy Up With,” Publishers Weekly “Memoirs & Biographies: Top 10," The Millions “Most Anticipated,” and Electric Lit “Books by Women of Color to Read." With fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts in Prose (2024), PEN America, MacDowell, Rona Jaffe, and the NY State Summer Writer’s Institute, Taffa received her MFA from the NWP at the University of Iowa. A member of the Yuma Nation and Laguna Pueblo, she is the director of the MFA CW program at the Institute of American Indian Arts and splits her time between Saint Louis, MO, and Santa Fe, NM.