Remixing Your Roots: Writing About Home
with Accuracy, Originality, and Plenty of Imagination
Presented by Joshua Wheeler
9 a.m. to Noon
Everyone has a story to tell about home, whether it is a memoir, a tall tale, or an in-depth history. But home, because it is by definition so familiar to us, can be difficult to render with the sense of wonder and discovery required by great storytelling. What tricks of prose, editing, and point of view can we use to help us not just write about home in a fresh way, but also think about home in a fresh way? We’ll read through several great examples of writers remixing their roots, in both fiction and nonfiction, and then we’ll work through an activity that will help you reimagine your favorite or most interesting story about home. Just come to the workshop with your story in mind, and your preferred method of composition.
Joshua Wheeler is from Alamogordo, New Mexico. He was born in Littlefield, Texas. He teaches creative writing at Louisiana State University. Wheeler studied religion at the University of Southern California, poetry at New Mexico State University, and has an MFA in nonfiction writing from the University of Iowa. He’s published fiction and nonfiction in many journals and magazines including The Iowa Review, Gulf Coast, and The Missouri Review and online at Harper’s and BuzzFeed News. He’s a co-editor of the anthology We Might as Well Call It the Lyric Essay and the author of Acid West (FSG, 2018), a collection of essays about his home in Southern New Mexico. Acid West has been praised as “phenomenal” (Santa Fe New Mexican), “mesmerizing” (Publishers Weekly), and “surreal, savage, and psychedelic” (Shelf Awareness). Claire Vaye Watkins, author of Gold Fame Citrus, called Acid West “a freaky, stylish, heart-cracking-open book about the beautiful and bonkers badlands of the Southwest.”
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