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ENGLISH 90WM: Writing Mystical, Spiritual, and Altered States: A Workshop

In this writing workshop, we will explore core fiction and nonfiction techniques by engaging with the long literary tradition of writing about mystical, spiritual, and altered states of experience. The logic is simple: if you can write well about what is often called 'indescribable; or 'ineffable,' you can write about almost anything. We will look at how mystical experiences, spiritual searching, loss of faith, drug experiences, pilgrimages, the natural sublime, and even migraines have made for exhilarating subjects by some of our best contemporary writers, including Michael Pollan, Jia Tolentino, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Oliver Sacks, Denis Johnson, Hillary Mantel, Peter Matthiessen, and Annie Dillard. After close readings and discussions, students will write and workshop their own pieces of questioning, exploration, and awe. Students must attend the first class to retain their roster spot.
Terms: Win | Units: 5
Instructors: Brewer, W. (PI)
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