When the Story Is Yours: Reading and Writing the Memoir Essay


The memoir essay is a fluid, centuries-old, highly readable form. It may convey the experience of a moment or of a lifetime. Its subject can be as small as a moth or as big as a death in the family; the tone can be comic, dramatic or reflective. Paradoxically, the process of writing from our own experiences allows us to be surprised by what we remember and what we think.

This course will combine reading and discussion with writing and, for those who wish, sharing your work in class to a receptive and friendly audience. Each week, you will be given a prompt to get you started, and/or a technique or form to use as a model.

In addition, we will read and discuss one or two essays every week, with an eye for learning storytelling technique.

Instructor: Elizabeth Bobrick

Dates: Thursdays - March 26; April 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30

Time: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Cost: $175

ELIZABETH BOBRICK is a visiting scholar in Wesleyan’s Department of Classical Studies, where she has taught ancient Greek language and literature. She is currently teaching Greek tragedy at Cheshire Correctional Facility as part of Wesleyan’s Center for Prison Education. In addition, she has been a visiting writer in the Department of English, the College of Letters, and Graduate Liberal Studies. Her publications range from scholarly articles on Aristophanes, Sophocles, and Theophrastus to essays on an array of topics, from baseball to seasonal teaching anxiety. She received her PhD from Johns Hopkins University.