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Laura Kasischke, Poetry and Fiction


Laura Kasischke has published nine collections poetry, ten novels, and a story collection. She has been the recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Bess Hokin Prize from Poetry magazine. Her fiction has been translated widely, and three of her novels have been made into feature-length films. Kasischke's long-awaited selected poems, Where Now, was published in 2017. Kasischke teaches in the Residential College and the English Department at the University of Michigan.


One of creative writing's most transformative and powerful tools—not only for the pleasure it offers the reader but for the inspiration it offers the writer—is the image, the experience of the senses, the telling detail, the stuff of the world: its things. But how are such details discovered, images generated, sensory memories recalled or imaginative sensory experiences evoked? How do these operate most successfully in poems, fiction, creative non-fiction? Where do we find these (sometimes) hidden possibilities, the particulars that will lead to revelations for the writer and recognitions for the reader? How do we use the process of writing with sensory detail to access the imaginative depths inside ourselves, where our most satisfying writing waits for us to discover it? In this workshop, through exercises and discussion, we will experiment with, investigate, and practice methods (both well-worn and new) for generating powerful images, blending into our work physical and figurative language, accessing and inventing potent imagery. We will share our writing, and all subject matter and genres and styles will be encouraged, with only this special emphasis on the sensory as our central theme: the magic and meaning of the physical world in our writing, and how best to use imagery, not only to improve our writing but to inspire our writing. By the end of the workshop, you will know how to locate and create the kind of sensual surprises that make your writing original, memorable, and, most importantly, exciting and gratifying for you to write.