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The lyric essay is a form of creative nonfiction that borrows lyrical devices from poetry and narrative techniques from fiction. If you are a poet intrigued by the essay form or an aspiring essayist who wants to infuse your prose with fresh possibilities, this short course is for you.

The course will meet Wednesdays for four online sessions starting 11 August and running through 1 September from 20:00 – 21:00 Amsterdam time. If you can’t make it to one or more online sessions, it’s not a problem. Each week you’ll receive a video recording of the class as well as handouts. Class size is 6-12 people.

Note: If you are currently enrolled in one of our 6 or 8-week core workshops, don’t forget to use your members’ discount code when you register to receive 25% off.

In this course, we’ll cover the fundamentals of the lyric essay, including non-linear structures, associative thinking and attention to sound. Specific forms of the lyric essay we’ll be looking at include nature writing, the hermit crab essay and flash memoir. The first three weeks, we’ll take a deep dive into one or more sample essays and you’ll have the opportunity to write an exercise using the techniques discussed in class. You’ll receive feedback from the teacher and fellow students. In the final class, we’ll discuss revision and publishing.

The course is taught by Karen Kao. Karen is the author of the novel The Dancing Girl and the Turtle, a work of historical fiction set in 1930s Shanghai. She also writes lyric essays which have been published in The Common (US), Nunum (Canada) and The Shanghai Literary Review (China). Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, the VERA and Best of the Net.

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