The Art of Listening: Writing Your Memoir

with Spencer Reece and Kathryn Hunt

April 6 & 7, 2019

Memoir begins by listening — to voices, warnings, memories, silences, dreams, intuitions, and the pounding of our own hearts. What is the story asking to be told? In this workshop we’ll seek to unearth the urgencies and desires that compel our stories and listen for whatever it is that leads us to write them down. Memoir interrogates the mutable I,—that insistent, mysterious self—attempting to say what happened and what it means to us now. We’ll explore the narrative and reflective voice as a way to move between the past and its implications; read and discuss the work of masters of the genre like James Baldwin and Patti Smith; and talk about structure, pacing, publishing, and the importance of persistence. You’ll generate new work over the course of the weekend, and we’ll send you home with ideas and encouragement to plunge ahead with your project.

Saturday April 6 at 9 am – 4:30 pm
Sunday April 7 at 9 am – 4 pm

To make the most of our time together, the workshop will include recommended reading to complete before class starts, if you wish. You’ll receive PDFs of the selected readings after you’ve registered.

The workshop will be held at Writers’ Workshoppe and Imprint Books
820 Water Street
Port Townsend, Washington

Register by calling Writers’ Workshoppe at 360.379.2617

Reading by Spencer Reece and Kathryn Hunt
April 6 at 7 pm
at Imprint Books, 820 Water Street, Port Townsend

Spencer Reece
Spencer Reece is the author two books of poetry and a memoir. Reece’s debut collection of poetry, The Clerk’s Tale was chosen by Louise Glück for the Bakeless Poetry Prize and adapted into film by actor and director James Franco. His second collection The Road to Emmaus was a longlist nominee for the National Book Award. Reece’s poems explore faith, family, love, and loss in their various forms and are filled with what Glück calls “shimmering intelligence. . . [and] unobtrusive wit;” “half cocktail party, half passion play.” His honors include fellowships and grants from the Guggenheim Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts; an Amy Lowell Poetry Travelling Scholarship; and the Fulbright Foundation, which enabled him to spend two years working on writing project with children in Honduras. Reece attended Wesleyan University, the University of York, the Harvard Divinity School, and Yale Divinity School. He was ordained in the Episcopal Church in 2011 and lives in Madrid. He recently completed a memoir The Little Entrance: Devotions; the book lays out his autobiography in counterpoint to the lives of seven poets and their poetry.

Kathryn Hunt
Kathryn Hunt makes her home on the coast of the Salish Sea. Her poems have appeared in The Sun, Rattle, Radar, Orion, The Writer’s Almanac, The Missouri Review, and Narrative. Her first collection of poems, Long Way Through Ruin, was published by Blue Begonia Press, and she’s recently completed a second collection of poems, You Won’t Find It on a Map, a finalist for the 2017 Idaho Prize from Lost Horse Press. She has published translations of the work Catalan poet Marie-Mercè Marçal (Poetry East) and is the recipient of residencies and awards from PLAYA, Artists Trust, and Ucross. She made documentary films for many years; her film No Place Like Home premiered at the Venice Film Festival, in Italy. She is currently at work on a memoir. She’s worked as a waitress, shipscaler, short-order cook, bookseller, printer, food bank coordinator, filmmaker, and freelance writer. kathrynhunt.net

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