Since 1997, I’ve spent the better part of my professional career delivering programs to youth; I not only write, but I also often perform my writing in public. I’ve received grants from the MN State Arts Board and COMPAS; and I was involved in the Loft Mentor Series for Creative Non-Fiction and the Playwright Center Many Voices Fellowship Program. Stories are all around us waiting to be discovered. I want to challenge students to find meaning within their own world.
Chasing Down Our Memories Through Writing (Artful Aging)
Our memory is not always reliable but, as writers, our job is to tell a good story. During this workshop, we’ll go on a literary scavenger hunt, chasing down our memories and using the five senses to breathe life into our story. If we’re lucky, we will not only ground ourselves and our readers in our world, but we’ll also unlock the clue to figuring out: So what? Why does this memory matter? Come ready to jump right into writing. Participantswill write one poem and a short piece of creative non-fiction. Each daywill include writing prompts (avenues through which people can unlock their creativity), a group writing exercise (to model the writing process), and a main writing exercise (which provides participants with the opportunity to write something on their own). All classes will include time to write, share, and ask questions.
Crash Course in Creating Theater
Theater and performance can be a powerful way to tell stories in an engaging format. Using the question, “What are the things you wish to leave behind for younger generations?” to guide us, we will use our bodies, voices, and imaginations to create an original performance piece. Participants will play theater games, do improv, learn about creating characters, and get a taste of the creation, rehearsal, and performance process involved in creating theater.
Students can find their voices in poetry, prose, flash fiction, speculative fiction, and perhaps other forms that probably exist but whose names I’m not aware of as of yet.We will read works from other writers to get inspiration. We will write, get peer feedback and practice revision. At the end of each residency, we will celebrate our success as well as validate the voices of students by staging an informal reading. I can tweak lesson plans to fit the specific needs of each class. Some themes I’m interested in exploring with students include memory, humor, discovering our own voices and, in general, having fun. I’m also available to do workshops specifically around Hmong literature, writing and identity.