Fall 2010 Loyola Writing Institute

Irritations and Jubilations: The Art of the Personal Essay
Instructor: Anne Gisleson
Tuesday evenings from 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Eight weeks: September 28 - November 16, 2010

Neither strictly memoir nor creative non-fiction, the personal essay is an exploration of a particular subject, giving form to the intelligence and imperfections of an engaged mind. It’s one of the oldest literary forms, yet survives on experimentation; an intimate rendering of one person’s experience which connects to the universal; often a meditation on the small and mundane which conjures the infinite. And it can be really fun to write. In the words of writer Philip Lopate, the personal essay reveals “how the world comes at a another person, the irritations, jubilations, aches and pains, humorous flashes… the rhythm by which the essayist receives, digests, and spits out the world.” While working on our own essays through in-class writing and take home assignments, we will read roughly a half dozen essays, ranging from Seneca and Montaigne to Walker Percy and Joan Didion. Since this class is a workshop, participants must be prepared to print up and bring multiple copies of their writing to share with the class.

Bio: Anne Gisleson is chair of the Creative Writing program at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. Her essays have appeared in various magazines and many anthologies, including Best American Non-required Reading and DaCapo’s Best Music Writing.

The cost of the course is $250.00. The course is open to adults (18+) and is not for Loyola credit.
To be eligible submit a 1-10 page writing sample of fiction or non-fiction, along with your name, profession, e-mail address, local address and phone number to agoldman@loyno.edu by September 21, 2010. For questions, call (504) 865-3389.