Monday, February 13, 2012

Memoir Time!

So, you want to be a writer. In fact, you're "supposed" to be writing right now, but you're trolling the internet for your favorite literary sites (physical and virtual). Let us help you get back on the writing wagon by reminding you that the registration deadline for our memoir class with Lary Bloom and Suzanne Levine is coming up.

Call Steve Courtney's desk at (860) 247-0998 extension 243. He'll tell you all about the eight-week course, which runs on Wednesdays, March 7-April 25, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The class is held in the Mark Twain Museum Center, 351 Farmington Avenue, Hartford. One session will be held in Mark Twain's library in the historic house. (Feel the literary vibrations!)

Watching Lary Bloom and Suzanne Levine teach their extraordinary joint class in memoir writing is a study in complementary creativity -- each teacher's style is so different, yet each builds on the other's work with grace and precision.

First there's Bloom -- eloquent, reminiscent, funny, surprising, with a real skill at drawing out the stories that the members of the class have often kept within themselves. Then there's Levine, who will gently rein in her co-teacher and partner with a quiet reminder that puts the class back on track. She, it's clear, revels in his ebullience; he revels in her skill at keeping to the rails.

And both teachers apply themselves with diligence and generosity to the work of their students, whether novices or Connecticut Book Award winners. Participants make real progress. "My first drafts usually seemed to please people, so I didn't need to go any further," said one student after taking the class. "Now I have your voices in my head and they won't go away."

Bloom and Levine will offer their famed eight-week Class in Memoir once again this spring at The Mark Twain House & Museum, the third time around for this much-waited-for event.

In 2010 the memoir class started the museum toward the fulfillment of its long-held goal of being a center for writing. This effort -- Writing at the Mark Twain House -- has blossomed since, with classes in fiction and non-fiction, individual talks and workshops by a range of writers, and a Writers' Weekend planned for April 20-21 this year.

A Class in Memoir offers writing instruction and workshops at the home of one of the American masters of the craft. The class will include intensive, hands-on work on the craft, with the goal of producing a short work by the end of the session to be published on the Writing at the Mark Twain House Blog. It will explore such aspects of the memoir craft as scene-setting, dialogue, character development and narrative.

It's a particularly appropriate genre for the home of Mark Twain, whose Autobiography, released recently after a century under wraps, became a surprise bestseller.

Will we see you there?

-- The Mark Twain House & Museum

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