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Experimenting with Braided Essays, with Sarah Earle

The braided essay takes any number of differing narratives and with those “strands,” weaves them together to form a braid.  The key word in that last sentence was differing – these narratives are often so disparate that at first they seem downright unrelated.  Take Joann Beard’s essay “The Fourth State of Matter” for example, when the story of her sick dog, a squirrel infestation and her faltering marriage, and a school shooting at Iowa University come together to speak to Beard’s inability to control the events in her life. The process of pulling together two or more divergent ideas can allow for new neural pathways to open, for perspectives to propagate.  In this half-day workshop we’ll explore some braided essay examples, brainstorm and trouble shoot ideas for your own, and have some guided writing time to help get a draft down on paper. 

Saturday, September 12, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ($75)

Sarah Earle is a lecturer at the University of New Hampshire, where she teaches first-year composition and a variety of English as a Second Language classes.  She has also taught Creative Nonfiction at St. Paul’s Academic Summer Program in Concord, NH. She holds her MFA in nonfiction writing from UNH; you can read her essays in Bayou Magazine and The Cobalt Review, and her stories in The Rumpus and The Carolina Quarterly.

Sarah Earle