Writing Culture: Exploring the Lost Art of the Letter

10/14/2017 - 9:00am to 10/15/2017 - 5:00pm

Grade levels: All Grade Levels, Professional Development

Content areas: All Content Areas

Topics: writing, literature, culture, english, language arts

What shapes our identities as members of a family, workplace, religious group, or nation? How do we learn the rules for how to act in unfamiliar cultures, and how do we write about that experience?

As Catherine Field once wrote, “A good handwritten letter is a creative act. It is a deliberate act of exposure, a form of vulnerability, because handwriting opens a window on the soul in a way that cyber communication can never do.”

This workshop will explore the culture of letter-writing as an art form from the past, but also examine its relevance as a tool to access the more difficult stories and truths from our lives. From incendiary “letters” written by James Baldwin and Ta-Nehisi Coates to missives by Flannery O’Connor, Rainer Maria Rilke and Emily Dickinson, we’ll explore the letter as an art form that contains the same revelatory capacity as literature itself.

Participants will examine work that delves into issues around racial justice, the environment, and communication in the age of the internet. Through writing, reading and discussion, participants will explore the ways letter-writing can strengthen writing practices, sharpen skills of observation, and enrich classrooms.

Participants will come away from the workshop with inspired perspectives, fresh writing, and new ideas to apply toward lesson plans, classrooms and personal practice.

Course Details & Registration
Date and Time: Saturday-Sunday, October 14-15, 2017, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Instructor: Laura Moulton, MFA
Can be taken for both Graduate Degree Applicable Credit and Graduate Continuing Education Credit
Noncredit: $250, includes 15 CEUs or PDUs. Lewis & Clark Alumni save 20%

Laura Moulton is the founder of Street Books, a bicycle-powered mobile library that serves people who live outside in Portland, Oregon. She has taught writing in public schools, prisons, and teen shelters, and is an adjunct professor at Marylhurst University. Her social art practice projects have involved postal workers, immigrants, prisoners and students. She earned an M.F.A. from Eastern Washington University. For more information, visit lauramoulton.org.