Writing Raw: How to Explore Personal Material That Is Touchy, Dark, Intimate, Tangled, Problematic, Risky, Taboo or Downright Radioactive with Mike Barnes
Having written about mental illness and, now, about dementia caregiving, I’m well-acquainted with the rewards and perils of exploring raw personal material. “Raw” in any of its many senses: intimate; painful; exposed; unprocessed; undiluted….
It’s easy to get swamped by the dilemmas: Why am I writing this? What do I write (which parts)? How—what genre? structure? language? What are the costs—to me, to others? Should I share it—with whom, and how? This workshop will use a collaborative approach to explore some of the ways this tricky, transformative work can be done.
Mike Barnes is the author of ten books of poetry, short fiction, novels, and memoir. He has won the Danuta Gleed Award and a National Magazine Awards Silver Medal for his short fiction, and the Edna Staebler Award for nonfiction. He lives in Toronto. Photo by Heather R. Simcoe.