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Cullman Center Institute for Teachers: Liberating Constraints: A Creative Writing Workshop




Shakespeare wrote soliloquies in iambic pentameter; Freud composed some of the 20th century’s best writing in the form of medical case histories; Elvis turned gospel into rock ’n roll; and Dr. Seuss wrote Green Eggs and Ham on a bet that he could write a book using just fifty different words. A narrow passage allows the wind to whistle-- at least sometimes! We’ll read texts by Kobo Abe, Roberto Bolaño, Anthony Burgess, and others, identifying the constraint under which each operates and noting when the author violates that constraint. Participants will complete several writing exercises before composing their own short fiction in a constraint of their choosing.

Rivka Galchen’s first novel, Atmospheric Disturbances, has been translated into over 20 languages, and won the William J. Saroyan International Prize for Fiction. Galchen is a contributing editor at Harper’s magazine; her work has appeared in The New Yorker and The New York Times, among other publications.


The deadline to apply to this year's seminars has passed. Please check back in the fall for our spring 2013 seminars. 

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  • Audience: Teachers, K-12 Educators

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