Master Class – When nonfiction writers set their narratives in the past, the primary concern is generally the actions of the historical characters they are writing about. But a close second—in service, really, to the first—must be the physical world these people inhabited: the rooms where they ate and drank and slept; the streets they walked; the fields and factories where they worked. Sometimes place can tell us as much about people as words and deeds.
In this master class we will consider how writers have treated place in a variety of nonfiction works, as well as in several works of fiction. But our primary text will be the streets. The class will involve fieldwork in one of the best places on earth for this sort of exploration-New York City. In addition to gumshoeing on the Lower East Side, we will visit the Municipal Archives to study maps and photographs. At the end of the four-session class, students will choose a specific location/building and write a brief, compelling narrative about it.
See the Writing MFA Program page for all course information and requirements.