City as Memory: A Lyrical City Writing Workshop
Whether we were born in Washington, DC or migrated here, the city functions as a living repository, holding memories of people, places and events in our lives. What happens to our memories as the city evolves and changes, as landmarks disappear and new sparkling edifices take their place? How do we write about the places and people that have shaped us? What have you been a witness to? How do we look into the mirror at ourselves?
E. Ethelbert Miller kicks off the Lyrical City writing workshop series with a class on memoir. In addition to the workshop on Sunday, all are invited to attend his presentation “No Women, Two Books, One Man: An examination of memoirs and family” the day before at the Washington Historical Society (details below).
E. Ethelbert Miller is a literary activist. In addition to several volumes of poetry, he is the author of two memoirs, Fathering Words, and most recently, The 5th Inning. He is the board chairperson of the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), a board member of The Writer’s Center and editor of Poet Lore magazine. Since 1974, he has been the director of the African American Resource Center at Howard University. Mr. Miller is the former chair of the Humanities Council of Washington, D.C. and a former core faculty member of the Bennington Writing Seminars at Bennington College.
About Lyrical City
Lyrical City is a six-part writing workshop series facilitated by outstanding writers with a strong DC connection. The workshops focus on the African-American poetry tradition in DC and various cultural aspects of the city. The workshops are open to all. There is also at least one slot reserved in each workshop for an emerging youth writer (age 16-25).
Participation is limited to 12 people. The cost of each workshop is $25. Some partial scholarships are available. (To request a scholarship, please include a 2-3 sentences briefly explaining your financial needs.) Residents of the Mt. Vernon neighborhood receive a discounted rate. To apply for the workshop, please send an email with your name, a brief paragraph (50-150 words) explaining what you hope to get out of the workshop and one poem. Accepted applicants will be notified on how to make advance payment (online or via snail mail).
The first workshop will take place on Sunday May 3 from 4-6:30pm at Busboys & Poets, 5th & K, in the Cullen Room.
Upcoming workshops will be facilitated by Reuben Jackson, Thomas Sayers Ellis,Toni Asante Lightfoot and Sharan Strange.
This workshop is funded in part by the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities, an agency supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts
The Historical Society of Washington, DC presents:
“No Women, Two Books, One Man: An examination of memoirs and family”
Saturday, May 2, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.
801 K Street, NW at Mount Vernon Square, Washington, DC 20001
Ethelbert Miller discusses his two memoirs—Fathering Words and his new book,
The 5th Inning. This discussion is an opportunity to talk about love, divorce, marriage, and family life. Are all the stories true? Come and find out. The author writes in his new book, “This book is a riff on middle-age, marriage, fatherhood, and failure. In baseball the fifth inning can represent a complete game. The structure of this book consists of balls and strikes. As a writer I might now and then throw the reader a curve.”
(Ages 12 to Adults) RSVP@historydc.org or 202-383-1828. FREE