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Style of Water, Style of Fire: 

How to Craft Artful Sentences CANCELED

Dates: 4 Wednesdays, April 8 - May 6 (No class 4/15)
Time: 7-9 pm 
Instructor: David Roderick 
Ages: Adult 
Genre: Fiction and Poetry
Price: $245

When we talk about a writer’s style, we’re really talking about how that writer deploys craft elements such as voice, rhythm, and tone, in a distinct and memorable way. That’s why Blake sounds so different from Baldwin, why Paley differs from Proust. Our writing style is the DNA of our thinking—the way we express our unique thoughts in writing.


This course begins with the premise that imitating other writers is a time-tested pursuit that will help you forge your own authentic style. We will read and imitate work by writers such as Lydia Davis, Junot Diaz, Layli Long Soldier, Grace Paley, Walt Whitman, and John Edgar Wideman, among others.


We’ll get down and dirty with the sentences of these master writers—and yours too. Expect a 50/50 split between careful reading and sharing your new work in a loose (and fun!) format.

Music of the Mind

David Roderick wrote the poetry column State Lines for the San Francisco Chronicle from 2017-2019. His first book of poems, Blue Colonial, won the APR/Honickman Prize and was published by Copper Canyon Press in 2006. The Pitt Poetry Series published his second collection, The Americans, in 2014. David’s writing has been awarded a Wallace Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University, the Amy Lowell Traveling Scholarship, and the Campbell Corner Poetry Prize. He has taught creative writing and literature classes at Stanford, the University of San Francisco, San Francisco State University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and most recently at the MFA Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he was an Associate Professor in Creative Writing.

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