Death Riding Shotgun: How Awareness of Our Mortality Impacts Writing



Saturday February 25, 2023
Time: 10 AM -12PM

Location: Mancos Public Library

Description: How does our own mortality inform our creative work? In this workshop, we will read and discuss writing that highlights mortality. As writers and artists, mortality is always present–looking in the window or darting across the road. Does awareness of our eventual death make our work more alive? Are there ways to write about death that aren’t poems or essays about loss and grief? Writing about death is, in essence, writing about life in its most visceral form.

Student Outline: This is an interactive, writing generative workshop. There will be humor and playfulness. Students will take home at least two drafts of poems or personal essays. They will also take home a sense of connection to the broader community of writers, that is, anyone who records their thoughts and observations. Tools for writing will be offered and poems and short essays will be shared. Writing about death is another way of celebrating life.

Needed Materials: Bring a notebook or laptop for writing, The library may have some available for use if they are reserved ahead of time. Participants should request this if it is needed.

Age/Experience: No experience required

Safety: If there is a Covid spike, mask-wearing will be encouraged.

Additional Info: Although there is no age or experience requirement, this is not designed for anyone under fifteen.

15 in stock



About The Instructor:

I think about imagination and creativity and its place in our fast-paced world. For me, writing has always been a way of slowing down. The music and the layers of a poem or story are something to savor. My favorite writers (and they change regularly) can be read over and over. I’ve been a therapist, a professor, a waitress, a medical records clerk, and a writer-in-residence. I’ve been a writer as long as I can remember. I strive to write in a way that reflects an emotional truth, if not an actual truth. I am the author of two collections of short fiction, most recently Impossibly Small Spaces (Arlen House/Syracuse University Press, 2018), four collections of poetry; most recently Necessary Silence (Arlen House/Syracuse University Press, 2013), and a collaborative collection with Irish poet and writer Geraldine Mills, The Other Side of Longing (Arlen House/Syracuse University Press 2011). My honors include a Surdna Arts Teaching Fellowship, the Elizabeth Shanley Gerson Lecture at University of Connecticut (with Geraldine Mills), the Hugo House New Works Fiction Award, and Pushcart nominations in both fiction and poetry.