Writing Culture: Experiments with the Letter

03/16/2019 - 9:00am
Grade levels:
All Grade Levels, Professional Development, Higher ed
Content areas:
All Content Areas
letter writing
Lewis and Clark Graduate School
Northwest Writing Institute

Date and Time: Saturdays, March 16 and April 20, 2019, 9 a.m.- 5 p.m, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
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.”
In this workshop, participants will explore the culture of letter-writing. We’ll study the incendiary “letters” written by James Baldwin and Ta-Nehisi Coates and find inspiration in missives by Lydia Davis, Rainer Maria Rilke and Leslie Marmon Silko.
Together, we will challenge ourselves to write thirty letters in thirty days during the month of April. Participants will be provided with a letter-writing kit from Egg Press, as well as daily prompts throughout the month.
Through writing, reading and discussion, we’ll explore the ways letter-writing can strengthen our writing practices, sharpen our skills of observation, and enrich our 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.
Northwest Writing Institute classes are offered to teachers, counselors, parents, veterans, and all community members interested in the power of stories to help us understand and practice human connections for the good of all.

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.