To Comfort and Disturb: Writing Emotion with Polly Rosenwaike


Time & Date:
June 26th, 7:00pm — 9:00pm

Austin Bat Cave
1317 S. Congress Ave.

It’s been said that good art’s job is to comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable, which raises interesting questions about the emotional power of narrative. Let’s talk about writing prose—both fiction and nonfiction—designed to stir up strong feelings. What makes for an affecting reading experience? How can we craft work that’s genuinely moving, rather than sentimental or exploitative? How do we channel emotion from our own lives into writing, and how do we imagine the experiences of others in convincing ways? We’ll look at short, emotionally-charged pieces and do some in-class exercises, with an eye toward representing psychological complexity and sharpening expressive language. This class is open to fiction and nonfiction writers of all levels. 

Polly Rosenwaike will be reading at BookPeople on June 25th at 7:00pm.

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About the Instructor:

POLLY ROSENWAIKE has published stories in The O. Henry Prize Stories 2013Glimmer TrainNew England ReviewColorado Review, Iron Horse Literary Review, New Delta Review, and other magazines. She regularly reviews books for the San Francisco Chronicle; her reviews and essays have also appeared in the New York Times Book Review, The Millions, and The Brooklyn Rail. She has taught creative writing to college students at Eastern Michigan University and to elementary and middle school students through Seattle Arts & Lectures’ Writers in the Schools program and Hugo House. Currently, she serves as fiction editor for Michigan Quarterly Review and works as a freelance editor. Polly lives in Ann Arbor with the poet Cody Walker and their two daughters.

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