Is the registration fee an obstacle for you to attend this workshop? Fishtrap offers a limited number of scholarships to help with the cost. Contact Program Director Mike Midlo for more information. email@example.com
Making sense of serious illness is not easy. Our lives are altered, normal evaporates, time-lines shrink, and pain—if it arrives—is no longer abstract. We are faced with uncertainty and disruption made more intense by the possibility of having to come to terms with a ‘new self’. One way to cope is to write about it all, to turn illness into story, fate into meaningful experience. This workshop is intended to aid that effort. Over the course of a month we’ll seek heart-felt, personal ways to discuss our experiences with illness, and we’ll work towards finding ways to craft essays/poems/stories that others might want to read or to hear. We’ll discuss both the personal and social aspects of illness. We’ll look at examples of illness writing, and we’ll seek to understand various possibilities and pitfalls in translating bodily experience into sharable words. Ultimately the goal will be to gain some new tools, and to get feedback and support in order to write more creatively and meaningfully about illness.
The course is open to all—those who have struggled with illness, those who have been caregivers, those who are simply interested in the subject of ‘narrative identity.’ Class time will include group discussions and prompted writing.
Jim Dameron is an essayist and poet. He’s had pieces published in The Missouri Review, Agni, the Mid-American Review and many other literary journals. His life was bumping along quite pleasantly until May 15th, 2023 when he got sick. On that day he went from seemingly healthy to totally paralyzed—the result of Guillain Barre Syndrome. He’s much better now and no longer paralyzed but is still trying to make sense of the experience. It has left him with much to ponder, much to learn, and a few things to share.