Childhood from the perspective of an adult writer can seem like "another country," a strange land where our powers, responsibilities and perceptions were vastly different. And yet it is the place we all come from. And while the lens through which we viewed the world as children may have seemed innocent and magical, our sensibilities were always vulnerable to the hard truths of encroaching adulthood.

In this class, we will examine techniques and voices crafted by celebrated writers of poetry and prose such as Sandra Cisneros, Seamus Heaney, and Ray Bradbury. How did they use imagination and memory to regain a foothold in childhood’s not-so-distant realm, conjuring its wonder, joy, and pain? Whether working in poetry, prose, or creative nonfiction, can we apply similar voices and techniques to our own unique material? Let’s bring the world and experience of childhood to vibrant life again through our creative work.

This class is open to all writers of poetry and prose, including new and returning Writers Studio students. Each week, students write a two-page exercise based on the week's model. Then, during a two-hour, live Google Meet session, students present their work and receive feedback from their fellow classmates and from the teacher. The last fifteen minutes of the class are spent reading and discussing the following week’s model, using the Writers Studio method of analyzing persona and narrative technique. The Google Meet sessions are not recorded.


Writers Studio Tucson Director

Philip Ivory

Philip Ivory is Director of The Writers Studio Tucson, where he also teaches. His classes have included Writers in Seclusion and Online Writing About Childhood. Philip earned a BA in English from Columbia University and studied literature at Cambridge University in the UK. His short fiction has been published in Menacing Hedge, Two Cities Review, Ghost Parachute, The Airgonaut, and Literally Stories, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. His eerie novelette, "The Yellow Man," was a winner of Bewildering Stories’ 2016 Mariner Awards. His essay, “Sgt. Pepper at 50: What Can Writers Learn?” appeared in The Bookends Review. He maintains a blog at Philip lives in Tucson with his cats, Apollo and Luna, and is currently workshopping a novel about the dreams, darkness, and danger of childhood.

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