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  • Seminar
  • In-Person: Seaport
  • Adult (18+)

Octavia Butler: Archetypes, Portals, and Resurrection

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Apply for Scholarship
  • $170.00 Non-Member
  • $150.00 Member

Class Description

Saturday, July 20, 2024. This is the first entry date recorded by the main character, Lauren Olamina, in Octavia Butler’s futurist novel, Parable of the Sower.

It is apropos that we writers use this prophetic, once-in-a-lifetime date as a portal to dive deep into the dark & psychic writing of Octavia Butler. This day-long session will include the interrogation of the novels Parable of the Sower, Dawn, Wildseed, as well as spotlights on other writings within her library. Writers will come with 2-3 questions based on each reading to generate discussion. Questions can be theme-based, craft-focused, writing process, or any curious musings you might wish to explore with other Butler devotees within this day-long cohort. (It’s not a requirement to read the books to attend!)

The instructor will also share some of the jewels unearthed from a research excursion conducted within the Butler archives located in the Huntington Library. Writing sessions will offer an exploration of themes within the Butler texts including ancestral cartographies, spiritual archetypes, and the elements of what Fanon coined “shadow zones.” Writers can use these sessions as an entryway to explore any thematic intersections within their own writings.

The day will also include viewing of a few video clips of Butler’s wisdom, discussions of her life path, and becoming acquainted with contemporary authors and artists influenced by her work. This session is meant to be an honoring and celebration of Octavia Butler who was (and is still) a prophetic literary pathfinder.

Scholarships Format/Location

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 detailed information about GrubStreet scholarships, including how to contribute to scholarship funds for other students, click here.

This class will take place in-person at our Center for Creative Writing in Boston's Seaport neighborhood.


Covid-19 Update:

GrubStreet's space will be mask-optional when Boston's Covid-19 Community Level is low or medium. When the Covid-19 Community Level is high, our space will require masks. Please check GrubStreet's Covid-19 page for the latest info on masking and Community Levels before visiting in person.


Space Accessibility:

Our space is ADA accessible with automatic door openers, ADA-compliant restrooms, desk and table spacing, braille signage, and elevator. Our classrooms can be equipped with ALS for hard of hearing individuals. We cannot guarantee a scent-free environment. For more accessibility requests, please contact our Operations team at [email protected] or (617) 695-0075.