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The Epistolary Form

The Epistolary Form


What does it mean to write across a distance? To place words inside the space that stretches out between our bodies? To substitute touch with speech? And specifically, how might the form of the letter—with its slowness, its materiality—be an important mode of written communication in 2020? The epistle—which comes from the Greek epistolē, meaning “letter”—has long been a generative way to compose texts: Mary Shelley, for instance, began her first novel Frankenstein in the form of letters. In this five-week online workshop, we'll experiment playfully with the form. We’ll explore the letter through various lenses, using the love letter, the unanswered or unsent letter, the letter of complaint, mail art and the epistolary novel as ways to generate a series of new written works, which we’ll workshop every week. Class sessions will meet synchronously via Zoom every Thursday night, and assignments, poems and critiques will be shared via Wet Ink.

Workshop Details

  • Professor: Simone Kearney
  • Dates: June 11-July 9, 2020
  • Time: Thursdays, 6:30-9:30 PM
  • Location: online via Zoom
  • Cost: $345
  • Class size: 5–10 students
  • Registration deadline: SUN, JULY 7, 2020
  • Earlybird discount: $20 off through SUN, MAY 31