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 is the director of the MFA CW program at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM. Winner of the PEN Jean Stein Grant, her memoir WHISKEY TENDER is forthcoming from HarperCollins Harper in 2023. A recipient of fellowships from MacDowell, Hedgebrook, Tin House, Public Space, Rona Jaffe, and the University of Iowa in Iowa City where she earned her MFA degree in Creative Writing, she is a citizen of the Quechan (Yuma) Nation and Laguna Pueblo. Her work can be found in the Boston Review, LARB, A Public Space, Salon, and elsewhere.