Sundress Academy for the Arts Presents “Inviting Imaginings: Short Forms and Historical Materials”: A Writers’ Workshop

The Sundress Academy for the Arts is excited to present “Inviting Imaginings: Short Forms and Historical Materials” a workshop led by Holly Wendt on November 10, 2021, from 6-7:30PM EST. This event will be held over Zoom. Participants can access the event at tiny.utk.edu/sundress (password: safta).

In this workshop, participants will generate new work through the exploration of provided historical materials. While most creative writing conversations about the use of historical materials focus on the novel or book-length nonfiction, the specific aim of this workshop is to decouple the idea of historical source material from the potentially alienating weight of research. With a particular aim of making working with historical ephemera (advertisements, article snippets, journal entries, map fragments, photographs, and daguerreotypes) accessible to anyone, the “Inviting Imaginings” workshop centers curiosity and possibility, rather than authority and definitiveness. These positions of possibility lend themselves well to short forms, such as poems, micro-essays, and flash fiction, and to work that blurs genre lines. Speculation and hybridity are most welcome.

The workshop will begin by providing a framework of openness and inquiry, drawing from examples by writers such as Natasha Tretheway, Pip Williams, Dorsey Craft, Melissa Range, and Ross Gay. The workshop will also guide participants to free, accessible archives and repositories for finding materials for inspiration after the workshop is over.

In the generative portion of the workshop, we’ll seek tensions visible and invisible in the provided prompts, as well as opportunities for invention, play, and experimentation. The workshop will conclude with time for volunteers to share a favorite passage from their newly drafted work or simply discuss their particular approach or entry-point.

While there is no fee for this workshop, those who are able and appreciative can make direct donations to Holly via Venmo @HollyM-Wendt or PayPal at holly.wendt@gmail.com

Holly M. Wendt is Associate Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing at Lebanon Valley College. Holly is a recipient of a Robert and Charlotte Baron Fellowship for Creative and Performing Artists from the American Antiquarian Society and fellowships from the Jentel Foundation and Hambidge Center. Their writing has appeared in Shenandoah, Four Way Review, Barrelhouse, Memorious, Gulf Stream, and elsewhere. Learn more at hollymwendt.com or @hmwendt.

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