This class will focus on how we can use an investigation and exploration of the wider world as a springboard for writing nuanced and resonant personal narratives. How do we situate our stories in larger social, political, and cultural spheres? How might we use research, journalism, or lyric association to show the connections held within our own stories? Students will have weekly readings from authors such as Eula Biss, Zadie Smith, and Lidia Yuknavitch while completing writing assignments that model the various strategies of approaching a narrative. By the end of this course, students will have greater fluency with blending various types of nonfiction and a more thorough understanding of the possibilities for opening up their personal narratives.
Thomas Mira y Lopez is the author of The Book of Resting Places (Counterpoint Press, 2017). His work has appeared in The American Scholar, The Georgia Review, and Kenyon Review Online among other places and he has received fellowships from Colgate University and the MacDowell Colony. He's an editor of Territory, a literary project about maps, and a lecturer at the Cleveland Institute of Art.