Artifacts tell a story all on their own: a colorful, hand-stitched quilt threadbare from use; a tincture bottle that once contained citrus and lavender cologne; a strip of wallpaper on a weathered board. Memory is like artifact—it's human-made, holds within it a story, and requires careful excavation to uncover links to our history and culture, the influences that form our identity. But excavating memory isn't always easy. Sometimes we simply can't recover it. Other times, it's there but in fragments that tell only a partial story. As writers, we constantly need new ways to excavate memory so that we can tell our stories with all the artistry, craft, and imagination available to us.
During this generative writing weekend, we'll play with new ways to uncover the artifacts of memory to tell our stories. We'll also broaden our idea of the forms memoir can take. We'll experiment with using imagination (fiction) to write about events outside memory. We'll see how even brief memories (flash) can be as revealing as an entire book. And we'll look at using forms (poetry) to relate life experiences. By the end of the weekend, participants will take home new writing, new ideas, and new ways to approach how we write the stories of our lives.