Class: The Funny Thing About Memory: Writing the Memoir With Shonda Buchanan

The Funny Thing About Memory: Writing the Memoir

Sundays, Noon-2 p.m. PST
April 5-May 3
Five week course, online
Instructor: Shonda Buchanan

“That’s not the way I remember it.” How many times have writers described an incident in their lives only to have that memory be challenged by friends and family members? That’s the nature of the memoir beast and this class will help you deal with temporal transitions, accessing and recovering memory, and how to use memory to propel your narratives forward and how to craft your story in a way that leaves no doubt that it’s your story. Reading narrative nonfiction, literary and mainstream essays and memoir excerpts, we will analyze the work of authors who have successfully used memory as a tool in various ways to craft your own memoir.

This five-week course, led by memoirist Shonda Buchanan, will explore the genre in its multifaceted forms while discerning cultural perspectives such as gender, identity and ethnicity. Students will also find and hone in on their story, motif, plot points and develop several chapters by the time the class ends. Participants can feel free to enjoy food and beverages while the class talks and write together as a group.

Shonda Buchanan an award-winning poet, author, journalist and educator at The College of William & Mary, Hampton University, Loyola Marymount University, among other places. Her recently published memoir BLACK INDIAN, explores her mixed-race identity. She also is the author of WHO’S AFRAID OF BLACK INDIANS? and EQUIPOISE: POEMS FROM GODDESS COUNTRY, and editor of two anthologies, VOICES FROM LEIMERT PARK and VOICES FROM LEIMERT PARK REDUX. A former PEN America Emerging Voices Fellow, she is the literary editor of Harriet Tubman Press and a member of the advisory board of Beyond Baroque Literary Arts and Angels Flight • literary west. To learn more about Shonda’s vast awards, experience and published work, visit

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