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Fail Better: A Workshop in Generative Writing 

Dates: 6 Tuesdays, January 9 - February 13 
Time: 7 - 9 pm 
Instructor: Tess Taylor
Ages: Adult 
Maximum Enrollment: 9
Genre: Fiction/Poetry/Nonfiction 
Price: $355 

Love writing and want to express yourself, but feel intimidated by the blank page? Have a project in mind that you just can’t find your way into? Struggling to find time to write? Or just want to try something new? In this course, we’ll focus on the excitement of getting started as we try a variety of generative strategies for opening and deepening our writing. 


This class will have some imitation projects, and offer generative reading. We’ll try a combination of structured imitation, as well as new postures and practices of writing, to simulate our imaginations. 

We'll leave time open to discuss work, but this is specifically not a workshop focused on critique or revision. Instead, we’ll focus on getting messy together—experimenting with prompts from a variety of genres, as well as using the visual, the somatic, and other modes of the body and mind. You’ll come away with a new understanding of your own writing process, experiments you can use moving forward, and brand-new starts that you can draw from and revise on your own time. This course is a great fit for writers from all genres and levels of experience—the purpose is to generate your own momentum!

Music of the Mind

Tess Taylor grew up in El Cerrito and attended Berkeley High School, and after 15 years on the East Coast came back to El Cerrito, where she lives and writes. The San Francisco Chronicle called her first book, The Forage House, “stunning” and it was a finalist for The Believer Poetry Award. Her second book, Work & Days, was called “our moment’s Georgic” by critic Stephen Burt and was named one of the 10 best books of poetry of 2016 by the New York Times. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, Boston Review, Harvard Review, The Times Literary Supplement, and other places. Taylor chairs the poetry committee of the National Book Critics Circle and is currently the on-air poetry reviewer for NPR’s All Things Considered. This year, Taylor received a Distinguished Fulbright US Scholar Award and spent the spring of 2017 teaching and writing at the Seamus Heaney Poetry Centre at Queen’s University Belfast.


More about Tess:

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