Focusing Your Memoir or Family History
Author and Essayist
Saturday, April 21
11 AM–1:00 PM
(10:15 Early-Bird Session – Celebrate National Poetry Month)
Cattlemens, 12409 Folsom Blvd, $15 members/$20 guests (includes lunch)
Photographs are often all that remains after a loved one has died. They remind us of those we’ve known well and have lost, introduce us to distant relatives who are no longer here to tell their stories, or conjure ancestors we never knew.
Whether you include the actual photographs or not, spending time on written description and written exploration of what you see in family photographs can significantly deepen your memoir or history project. Photographs can be used not only to illustrate your personal or family story but also to:
* develop your reflections on those close to you
* explore the lives of those you don’t know, or the early lives of those you do
* document the past
* evoke an historical era
* focus description
* deepen characterization
* inspire imagined recreations of the past
* inspire imagined interventions in the past
We’ll talk about why and how you can use photographs in your memoir or family history, and look at examples from Dorothy Alison, Paul Auster, Sharon Olds, Judith Kitchen, and others.
Bring a photo of a relative in a previous generation (preferably one or two people, or one or two that you can single out in a group photo) for a short writing exercise
- some written description,
- avenues for imaginative speculation, and
- ideas on how to use what you’ve written.
Jacqueline Doyle is a prolific author who has published memoir essays in The Gettysburg Review, Under the Gum Tree, Full Grown People, NOR: New Ohio Review, Southern Humanities Review, Under the Sun, and many other literary journals. Her work has earned four Pushcart Prize nominations and numerous awards, including Notable Essay citations in Best American Essays 2013, Best American Essays 2015, and Best American Essays 2017. She is a professor at California State University East Bay.
Luncheon 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Early Bird special 10:15
- Monthly Luncheons are open to the public
- Cost is $15 for members, $20 for nonmembers
- The meeting fee includes speaker, lunch and beverage
- Cattlemens Restaurant, 12409 Folsom Blvd., Rancho Cordova, CA
The restaurant is located just east of Hazel Ave. at the northeast end of the Nimbus Winery complex along Highway 50. Cattlemens offers CWC a spacious meeting room with free WiFi, quality AV equipment, free off street parking and excellent food.