Writing the Addict: A Multi-Genre Workshop in the Representation of Addiction
In this six-week online course, participants consider the ways that addiction has been written about in poetry, memoir, and fiction, then borrow premises and strategies to launch their own work. The first week looks at a number of angles on addiction. Weeks two through five trace an arc: early experiences, deeper involvement, bottoming out, getting out. We’ll see instances of tolerance, withdrawal, relapse, craving. We’ll look at a few examples that deal specifically with various steps of Twelve-Step recovery. In each section, participants will be asked to write their own accounts, based on the craft or the content (or both) of the samples under consideration. The sixth and final week will look at methods of revision, consolidation, and publication. Workshop critique guidelines will establish methods of manuscript analysis. Each participant will receive at least one extensive analysis from the instructor. By the end of the sessions, participants will have an overview of addiction as it’s appeared in prose and poetry, along with several drafts-in-progress (of prose or poetry), one or more of which might lead completed, publishable work. [Models for course work will derive from some of the following sources: Ann Marlowe, D. Watkins, Kim Addonizio, Charles Bukowski, Solomon Jones, Mary Gaitskill, Robert Bingham, Emily Carter, Raymond Carver, Jeet Thayil, William S. Burroughs, and others.]