September 8, October 13, November 10,
& December 8, 2017
1:30 – 3:30 pm
Monthly drop-in sessions led by Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew focus on different aspects of writing spiritual memoir: themes that commonly arise, craft techniques, challenges and joys of the writing process, and practices for opening our work to the spirit’s movement. Sessions include writing exercises, examples from leading and emerging writers, lecture, and small group conversation. To support individual writers and writing groups in the ever-deepening practice of writing spiritual memoir, time is included for participant questions.
September: Courage and Truth-telling
“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth,” Audre Lorde wrote, “and that is not speaking.” Memoir writing is essentially truth-telling. We’ll learn techniques to facilitate courageous honesty on the page—and in life.
Mystical experiences confound us. We’ll explore literary tricks that help us receive, integrate, recreate, and see the broader context of these encounters with the Ultimate Other.
November: Holy Sexuality
We’ll venture into the realm of sexuality—desire, identity, energy, relationship, pain, pleasure—as a holy, life-giving source. What do sexual experiences teach us about divine movement? How can we write these with gentleness, honesty, and reverence?
December: The World Boiled Down to a Drop
Zora Neale Hurston wrote of one character, “She was the world and the heavens boiled down to a drop.” We’ll explore the holographic nature of memoir: Our small stories contain big truths. How can we reconstitute memories on the page so they hold both the vast universe and our beloved particulars?
Writing instructor and spiritual director Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew is the author of Writing the Sacred Journey: The Art and Practice of Spiritual Memoir; the forthcoming Living Revision: A Writer’s Craft as Spiritual Practice; and many other books, essays, and short memoirs. Her work most often explores intersections between spiritual growth and the creative process.