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Memoir Workshop: Creating a Mosaic: Personal Histories from the Middle Eastern Diaspora

ArteEast and the Association of Iranian American Writers (AIAW) are proud to announce a new Fall Memoir Workshop:

Creating a Mosaic: Personal Histories from the Middle Eastern Diaspora
Instructor: Manijeh Nasrabadi
Tuesdays, 7-9 pm, October 7-November 25.
8 sessions

Registration is on a first come, first serve basis and enrollment is limited to eight.

Fee: $250; ArteEast members $225
Make checks payable to ArteEast and send to:
Arte East 1178 Broadway, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10001

Are there memories, moments, that shimmer in your mind's eye, that cry out for attention in the middle of your busy life? Is there a family story or a personal story that you've wanted to write down, to sift, to savor or to salvage?

So much is being written about people of Middle Eastern heritage these days, much of it full of stereotypes and misinformation. This workshop is a chance for us to speak for ourselves, to tell our own stories in all of their complexity, with all of the quirky, tragic, terrifying and beautiful details that often reveal more universal themes.

People of all levels of experience are welcome to help create what we hope will become a community of writers whose work may include overlapping interests stemming from the diverse experiences of the Middle Eastern diaspora (e.g., migration and cultural hybridity; assimilation, racism and loss; ancestral ties; historical and political legacies; and engagement with mainstream media/literary representations).

Each week, we will discuss examples of published memoirs and essays, as well as each other's work, and go through the steps of the writing process together⎯from free writing, to outlining, to creating a first, second and third draft. Each class member will finish the course with a piece that, sometimes with a little more revision, could be sent out to journals or expanded into a larger work. Selected essays will be published on the Arte East and Association of Iranian American Writers web sites. Reading materials will be provided.

BIO: Manijeh Nasrabadi was born in Washington, DC, graduated from Brown University and received her MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Hunter College where she was privileged to study with Eva Hoffman, Kathryn Harrison, Nuala O'Faolain and Louise DeSalvo. She received the City University of New York Arts Gala Memoir Prize in 2005, a Hertog fellowship that same year, and a Hedgebrook writing residency for 2008. Her essay "Souvenir" appears in About Face: Women Write about What They See When They Look in the Mirror, published by Seal Press in June 2008, and her essay "Forest Fire" will be published in the anthology Love and Pomegranates. She is co-director of the Association of Iranian-American Writers, a growing professional network.

Manijeh Nasrabadi
atop a defunct Zoroastrian Fire Temple built circa 425 B.C.
( M.N. 2004)

In May 2008, she was a featured panelist at the emerging voices workshop at the CUNY Graduate Center's Conference on Asian-American Women. She has been a featured reader at KGB and at the Persian Arts Festival's Shab-e Sher at Bowery Poetry Club. Her current project is a collection of personal essays and poems titled Carry the Sand Away from the Walls about her experiences with her families in America and in Iran. She teaches creative writing at Hunter College and travels annually to Iran.

... Payvand News - 08/13/08 ... --

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