2016 Craft Talks

Join us at the Boulder Generative Workshop to hear from Craig Childs, Pam Houston and Luis Alberto Urrea on the following topics:

The Invisible Art of Writing: From the time you first encounter a story to its completion on the page, a journey is undertaken. The narrative you write becomes a reflection of that journey. We will discuss and practice what I see as the five steps for locating the right story and turning it into powerful writing. This workshop is not necessarily about what the reader sees, but the nuts and bolts underneath, what you must do to get there.  – Craig Childs

What Has Irony Done For Us Lately: Rather than being about a particular element of craft, this talk concerns itself more with the spirit with which we write, and additionally, the spirit with which we face the world.  We live in precarious times, politically, environmentally, technologically, psychically, and spiritually.  We are perhaps, at the end of an empire, and, if you believe in science, perhaps at the end of a lot more than that.  The questions I ask myself constantly are, “How to be here and now, with grace and awareness, and how to write here and now with grace and awareness?  How to sing about and for the beloved dying (or at least gravely endangered) thing?  How to and where to find enough hope to make art?” – Pam Houston

Escape the Mind:  The best stories aren’t the ones in your head, they are the ones you smell, taste, touch. Sometimes they make you bleed. You are surrounded by writing teachers, you just don’t know it. Your grandmother is a writing teacher. A farmer is a writing teacher. Your trainer at the gym is a writing teacher. I was taught to write better by the Flatirons above Boulder. I was taught to write by a cottonwood and a couple of aspens. The problem we have, ironically enough, is the mind. We think it is our only teacher. But our bodies are whole schools full of willing professors. We will learn how to honor the lessons of our hands, our feet, backs, eyes. To hear those stories, to write those stories. This is not a career. You are earning a black belt. Luis Alberto Urrea