Some stories don’t follow a straight line, but instead run down many overlapping paths. Tangled and complicated like our actual lives, the braided essay twists together strands into a complex weave bound by reverberations and association. The meandering form allows for digressions and interruptions that are especially useful when writing through difficult or painful material.
In this eight-week course, students will read through contemporary examples of braided essays and discuss their meaning, construction, and mechanics. Though a series of weekly writing exercises and peer workshops, students will be guided through the process of building their own braided essays that incorporate personal narratives, research, criticism, and other material.
This class takes place remotely online via Zoom.
Robin Beth Schaer is the author of the poetry collection Shipbreaking. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ohio Arts Council, Yaddo, MacDowell, and others. Her work has appeared in Tin House, Bomb, The Paris Review, and elsewhere. She has taught writing in New York, New Jersey, and Ohio, and she worked as a deckhand aboard the Tall Ship Bounty, a 180-foot ship lost in Hurricane Sandy.