Anthony Doerr’s favorite travel book is D.H. Lawrence’s Sea and Sardinia. According to Doerr, Lawrence “never stops paying attention, and in his prose everything—sunlight, a steamship, a vegetable market—becomes ecstatic.” He might’ve been talking about the writing of Mark Twain or Elizabeth Bishop or Cheryl Strayed—the explicit subject may be travel and/or place, but the real journey in great travel writing is always deeply personal. In this multi-genre, generative, month-long workshop, we’ll read favorite travel books in a variety of genres and present new writing which may take the form of creative nonfiction, fiction, or poetry. We’ll critique as fellow travelers, in search of the ecstatic.
Michael White was educated at the University of Missouri and the University of Utah, where he received his PhD in English and Creative Writing in 1993. His poetry books are The Island, Palma Cathedral (winner of the Colorado Prize), Re-entry (winner of the Vassar Miller Prize), and Vermeer in Hell (winner of the Lexi Rudnitsky Editors’ Prize). His memoir, Travels in Vermeer, was longlisted for the 2015 National Book Award. He has published poetry and prose in The Paris Review, The New Republic, The Kenyon Review, The Best American Poetry, and elsewhere. White is currently chair of the Department of Creative Writing at UNCW.