The Essay as Creative Nonfiction (Summer)

This course will explore dimensions of the personal essay--sometimes called the narrative, or lyric, or autobiographical essay. Students will draw on creative writing techniques to craft essays based on their own experience. The course will incorporate elements of narrative and descriptive essay writing. To prompt discussion and reflection on this "mixed-mode" form of writing, which combines traditionally fiction-oriented techniques with an exploratory, critical reasoning, we will read some short pieces from Annie Dillard's The Abundance and consider a few paintings by Bruegel, Van Gogh, and others, that can be viewed online.


  • Prerequisites:  None
    Instructor:  Lawrence Wray, M.A.
    Age Level:  13 - Adult
    Minimum Enrollment Required: 
    Maximum Enrollment: 15
    Tuition: $120
    Class MeetsTBD


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The Abundance


Lawrence Wray, M.A.

Lawrence Wray has taught writing and literature for over thirty years. As a homeschooling parent, teaching in an education cooperative in Pittsburgh, Lawrence helped students develop their understanding and facility with the personal essay. His teaching experience includes writing courses at Pennsylvania State University, a Graduate Teaching Fellowship at Duquesne University where, among other things, he studied the poetry of women writers at the end of the eighteenth century. Prior to this, Lawrence studied philosophy and comparative literature at Binghamton University where he taught writing-intensive courses. His undergraduate degree—English, creative writing, and Classical literature with an emphasis in Latin—was completed at the University of Arizona. Lawrence is a member of the Connecticut River Poetry and Poetics seminar, an annual meeting that emerged from the Frost Place Advanced Poetry Seminar, and publishes poetry in journals such as Coal Hill Review, St. Katherine Review, Presence, Relief, and Poetry Salzburg Review.

Fall 2020 Registration for this Course Opens on February 27.

This Course is Offered in the Spring Semester Only

PLEASE NOTE:   We are gauging student interest in this course before opening it for Registration.   If you would like to take this class, please click on the "I'M INTERESTED" button below. If we receive sufficient responses, we will endeavor to make the course available for the 2019 Spring term.  

(If you would like to enroll in this class but cannot attend at the posted time, please contact us.  We may be able to open an additional section.)

Problems Registering?    Click here    for help.  

The Fire Next Time


Meditations from a Moveable Chair

Other reading selections, including Virginia Wolff, "The Death of a Moth" and Martin Luther King, "Letter from Birmingham Jail."