Widening the Personal Narrative in Nonfiction
This workshop is part of our Memoir & Creative Nonfiction Week.
How can one most effectively see themselves through the lens of a song, or a movie, or a rapidly fading memory? Widening the personal narrative is a way to get writers invested in the personal and lyrical aspects of nonfiction work by placing themselves at the center of their stories. Find ways to anchor your experiences in the world around you and the things you already consume, giving the stakes of the work a higher possibility. We’ll read both poetry and prose to find ways to ground ourselves in the vitality of our stories.
Hanif Abdurraqib is a poet, essayist, and cultural critic from Columbus, Ohio. He is the author of The Crown Ain't Worth Much (Button Poetry/Exploding Pinecone Press, 2016), nominated for a Hurston-Wright Legacy Award and They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us (Two Dollar Radio, 2017), named a best book of 2017 by NPR, Pitchfork, Oprah Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, Slate, Esquire, GQ, and Publisher's Weekly, among others. He is a Callaloo Creative Writing Fellow, a poetry editor at Muzzle Magazine, and a member of the poetry collective Echo Hotel with poet/essayist Eve Ewing. Abdurraqib has multiple forthcoming books including a biography on A Tribe Called Quest titled Go Ahead In The Rain (University of Texas Press, February 2019), the new collection of poems A Fortune For Your Disaster (Tin House, 2019) and a history of Black performance in the United States titled They Don't Dance No Mo' (Random House, 2020).