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Of Ghosts and Dreams: Fiction/Nonfiction Class (In Person at Left Margin LIT) CLOSED

Date: Saturday, February 17 
Time: 10 am - 3 pm (w/one-hour lunch break) 
Instructor: Keenan Norris
Ages: Adult 
Genre: Fiction/Nonfiction
Price: $195

This class is organized by two concepts, ghosts and dreams, and two genre concerns, fiction and non-fiction.


The “ghosts” represent both our raw experiences, still homed within us in the form of memory and what we've learned through reading, studying, and simply seeing the world around us. As storytellers, we are visited by history and our personal experiences, and we metabolize these memories in the narratives that we create, whether in novellas, novels, memoirs, or other creative non-fiction forms. 

The “dreams” represent imagination-based literary experiments we perform with form, with new ideas, different narrative structures, and the voices of our characters.


Students in this class will do two different types of writing prompts, reflection-based prompts and imagination-based prompts, and we will share our work as we go, employing an exploratory, question-based (rather than critique-based) system of feedback to encourage openness and invite creativity.

Keenan Norris.jpg

Keenan Norris is a novelist, essayist and scholar. His latest novel is The Confession of Copeland Cane, the winner of the 2022 Northern California Book Award. His essays have garnered the 2021-22 National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Award in Music, Theater and Performing Arts and the 2021 Folio: Eddie Award. His debut novel Brother and the Dancer received the James D. Houston Award in 2012.

In 2023, Keenan published Chi Boy: Native Sons and Chicago Reckonings, a non-fiction blend of essay, history and memoir, as well as the novella Lustre.

Keenan has served as Lannan Visiting Writer at the Institute of American Indian Arts and Rea Visiting Writer at the University of Virginia. He is coordinator of the Steinbeck Fellows Program at San Jose State University and serves as California guest editor and contributing scholar to the Oxford African-American Studies Center.


In 2013, Keenan edited the seminal Street Lit: Representing the Urban Landscape. His feature pieces and articles have appeared in numerous forums, including the Los Angeles Review of Books, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, TED-ED, Stranger’s Guide, and Alta, while his short fiction has been published in several anthologies of California literature. He is an Associate Professor at San Jose State University.

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