Writing the Lyric Essay: Online
Emily Dickinson's quote "Tell all the truth, but tell it slant" gave modern essayists a blueprint for interrogating "truth." What is truth? How is truth different from fact? How much creative license is a nonfiction writer allowed to take? Can we 'slant' truth and still call our work nonfiction?
In this creative nonfiction course, authors will learn how to slant the truth––not by altering factual content but by experimenting with form and structure. Lyric essays have sometimes been called a marriage between poetry and prose, between content and form. How does a story's shape change the story's message, tone, truth? Alternatively, how does a story's content influence the shape it will become?
We will look at four types of lyric essays––flash, collage, braided, and hermit crab––learn the characteristics of each, consult the foundational text “Tell It Slant,” read authors who have mastered each form (including authors like Claudia Rankine, Jamaica Kincaid, Rebecca Solnit, Ocean Vuong, John D’Agata, Pearl Abraham, Carmen Maria Machado, Eula Biss, Kristen Arnett, and Esmé Weijun Wang), write our own, and revise at least one essay. Students will come away from this course with four lyric essays and one revised essay, and a deeper understanding of the ways content and form intersect.
*NOTE that while our handy dandy "Schedule" tab states a 6-7pm class time, there are actually no live meetings for this class! Weekly lessons and assignments open each Wednesday. Students will receive an invitation to Wet Ink, our online class platform, before 5pm on the first day of class.
Thanks to the excellent literary citizenship of our donors, scholarships are available for all GrubStreet classes. To apply, click the gray "APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP" button. In order to be considered for a scholarship, you must complete your application at least one week before the start date of a class. Please await our scholarship committee's decision before registering for the class. We cannot hold spots in classes, so the sooner you apply, the better. Scholarships cannot be applied retroactively.
For more more detailed information about GrubStreet scholarships, including how to contribute to scholarship funds for other students, click here.
- Writing Homework
- Generate New Work
- Class Discussion
- Craft Lessons
- Personal Essay