Writing Illness and the Body (with Dennis James Sweeney)
Writing is often seen as a practice that originates in the mind. But we use our entire selves to write! Illness, disability, and other facts of our bodies affect our writing in more ways than we can name. This course will examine both how to write about the body, encouraging students to delve into instances when corporeality might enter our work; and how to write with our bodies, engaging practices in which we write with awareness of our embodied selves. Students’ work need not focus on an illness or disability. This class will ask every student to write as a physical person, considering these questions and more: How does moving, touching, and sensing inform our writing? What happens when we write from physical vulnerabilities? Do unexpected moments arise when we pay attention to the complicated fact of our (or our characters’) bodies?
About the Instructor:
DENNIS JAMES SWEENEY's writing has appeared in Crazyhorse, Five Points, Ninth Letter, The Southern Review, and Witness, among others. He is a Small Press Editor of Entropy, the recipient of an MFA from Oregon State University, and a recent Fulbright fellow in Malta. He is the author of three chapbooks: Poems About Moss, THREATS, and What They Took Away. Find him online at www.dennisjamessweeney.com
WHEN: Saturday, September 28 (1 - 4pm)
WHERE: Williamsburg MA