What We Talk about When We Talk about Food:
A Sensory Workshop
Dates: 4 Wednesdays, Feb. 13 - Mar. 6
Time: 7 pm - 9 pm
Instructor: Faith Adiele
Genre: Food Writing
Poet Adrienne Su says, “When we talk about food, we’re talking about culture, whether the topic is bouillabaisse, tandoori chicken, or macaroni and cheese;” even the lowliest dish can illuminate a “larger truth about humanity.”
Not only do food conversations cross borders and history, but the current frenzy of food blogging and food performance (celebrity chefs, popup restaurants, food television) has helped create what Ruth Reichl has proclaimed “the golden age of food writing.” This vibrant genre has changed to meet our increasingly sophisticated and international palates, with food comics/graphic novels; cookbooks blending recipes, family stories, photographs and cultural history; food adventure travelogues; memoirs that use a particular food as the organizing principle; and micro-histories investigating the history of foods with the power to start wars.
As Proust’s famous madeleine illustrates, much of our emotional memory is held captive in the senses. This 4-week workshop will use sensory prompts, generative exercises, and short readings to access body memory and pull story ideas and texture from our eating and cooking experiences. Writers of all literary genres interested in exploring the sensory and cultural potential of food in their writing are welcome.
Faith Adiele is author of Meeting Faith (W.W. Norton), a memoir set in Thailand that won the PEN Open Book award and regularly makes essential travel listicles. She is also writer/narrator/subject of My Journey Home, a PBS documentary about her international family, and co-editor of Coming of Age Around the World: A Multicultural Anthology (The New Press).
Selected by Marie Claire Magazine as “One of 5 Women to Learn From,” Faith founded VONA Travel, the nation’s first writing workshop for travelers of color, and African Book Club in Oakland. She is a senior editor at Panorama: The Journal of Intelligent Travel, and her food writing has appeared in Best Women’s Travel Writing, Women Who Eat: A New Generation on the Glory of Food, Her Fork in the Road: Women Celebrate Travel & Food, and Go Girl! The Black Woman’s Book of Travel & Adventure.
A graduate of Harvard University, the Iowa Writers Workshop, and the Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program, Faith is Associate Professor of Creative Nonfiction at California College of the Arts, where she teaches food and travel literature, creative nonfiction and contemporary African literature. She has worked as a social activist, Buddhist nun, college professor, and petty bureaucrat.
More about Faith: adiele.com.