For the first time in over a decade, the Clark College Writing Workshop is set to take place this spring. Workshop topics led by faculty include the inner workings of fiction, nonfiction and poetry, with readings from local authors. Running May 14 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m in the Penguin Union Building, the theme of this year’s workshop is “Writing as Community Practice.”
Jesse Morse, Clark faculty member and the event’s co-coordinator with his wife, Jennifer Denrow, said the workshop’s theme comes from the desire to open up a space where students and community members can come together and share in the creative writing process.
“After you finish at Clark, you can be someone that writes books or writes poems and gets your stuff published,” Morse said. “Just understanding that writing is something community based, and something that occurs out in the world outside of the classroom.”
A writing professor at Clark since 2007, Meredith Kirkwood plans to discuss the tools involved in writing poetry for a loved one, or to enhance an occasion.
“I see students learn to express their experiences and learn about the flexibility of language through poetry,” Kirkwood said. “It’s a form that allows you to kind of push the boundaries of language and what’s sort of acceptable, and that helps in any kind of writing to recognize the kind of language that you’re using and the options that you have.”
Clark student Rose Hogeweide said this is her first time attending the event, having enrolled at Clark last fall to finish her direct transfer associate’s. With an interest in poetry and creative nonfiction, Hogeweide said she anticipates experimenting with her writing in the group setting.
“Very excited to be in the same room as other people who love to write,” Hogeweide said. “It just feels like such a beautiful community experience during this time when so many of us are craving community.”
Students and members of the community are welcome to join the free event for as many of the workshops as they can, and are encouraged to register in advance. Lunch is free for participants, including a variety of meat, plant-based and gluten-free options.