PLUS153

Essay of Desire: Writing Your Unknown Life/Future (55+)

Writing is about what we give weight to. Something we can hold in our hand/mind—a measure of who we are. Inside us waiting/weighting to come out. Taste of things to come. Any journey requires time and trust and insatiable appetite for pondering. Giving weight to what’s airy and wings to the imponderable.

Words produce us as much as we produce them. They have the power to thrust us on a journey outside the self we think of as “me” and back into the being we are. Writing can be the discovery of the invisible made tangible. We will learn about lyric prose writing, aiming to produce a publishable piece.

Note: Back by popular demand, from spring 2017.

Please note that enrollment in this course is reserved for adults 55+.

What will I learn?

Week 1: Amuse-bouche: exciting the taste buds, building an appetite

The essay of desire is all in the preparation. In this first class, we’ll be finding out, through writing exercises and starting a dream journal, what we really want to write about. Something that has got hold of us and won’t let go, until we’re able to put it in creative form.

Week 2: Hors d’oeuvres/Starter

What paves the way for the main event? In culinary language, it’s a small savoury dish that’s ‘outside’ of the rest of the meal. In this writing process, we’ll be getting the opening paragraph or stanza in place so the writer can let go of controlling the words and allow them to be in control.

Week 3: Main course

We’ll be looking at excerpts of lyric prose essays as ways of freeing up language and syntax and giving permission to our own writing explorations. 

Week 4: Salad

Not the actual green leafy kind we usually think of but from its etymological root: salare - to salt. We’ll be exploring through the art of concise feedback different ways of flavouring our writing to arouse the reader.

Week 5: Dessert: The sweet ending or the ‘just’ one

In this class, we’ll be experimenting with language prompted by visual imagery, musical stimulus and sounding. We’ll also be sharing the first draft of Essay of Desire in small groups.

Week 6: Coffee and pousse-café: the sharp tasting closure of the meal followed by liqueur

In this final class we’ll be putting our Essays to the test through readings and discussion.

How will I learn?

  • Lectures
  • Discussion (may vary from class to class)
  • Papers (applicable only to certificate students)

How will I be evaluated?

For certificate students only:

Your instructor will evaluate you based on an essay, which you will complete at the end of the course. You will receive a grade of “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory.”

Textbooks and learning materials

Reading material (if applicable) will be available in class. Some course materials may be available online.

If you're 55+, you may take this course as part of

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