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  • Seminar
  • BPL - Mattapan Branch
  • Adult (18+)

Writing Family Stories Against Silence

No Longer Enrolling

  • $0.00 Non-Member
  • $0.00 Member

Class Description

Have you ever asked an elder to tell the story of "how it was" only to hear some version of "that was then, this is now, why do you want to know?" There are many reasons for the silences that surround our ancestral stories. Wars, forced migration, cultural differences, and the need to safeguard secrets are just some of the things that compel our elders to keep their peace about their personal histories and, by extension, our own. While keeping silent about painful events is certainly our ancestors' right, it's the job of the writer to break silences that keep us from healing. In this class we will imagine our way into family members' lives: into our mother's shoes as she makes the tough decisions that gave us a fighting chance at a good life--into our grandfather's mind as he crossed a border at great personal cost to protect his family. We will read excerpts from the work of Jamaica Kincaid and watch a clips from TV shows/movies about intergenerational silence and students will come away from this generator with first pages in whatever form they choose (prose poem, short fiction, speculative essay, etc.) and a new way to imagine their origins.

Families welcome. Coffee and snacks provided. Teens are welcome to attend with an older relative. We will provide simple activities to keep young children occupied.

Who Should Register?

Write Down the Street has a special focus on making the creative writing workshop more accessible to those who have been underrepresented in it due to cost, racism, immigration status, language access, lack of access to transportation, and other barriers. We believe that these voices must be spotlighted with the range and fullness they deserve.

These programs are offered tuition-free thanks to the support of generous donors who are committed to our mission of ensuring all voices are heard.

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.