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Mind Music: Writing the Lyric Essay
Mind Music: Writing the Lyric Essay

Instructor: Amy Hassinger
Genre: Lyric Poetry and Prose
Level: All writers
Length: 1.5 hours
Date: Saturday, November 20
Time: 10 to 11:30 am (CST)
Format: Zoom Webinar
Price: Member $30 Non-member $35



Wander around the big tent of creative nonfiction long enough, and you’ll come across the lyric essay, a hybrid form that blends the musical and imagistic impulses of poetry with the wide-ranging subject matter and sentence-based rhythms of prose. Lyric essays tend to move through their material associatively, rather than narratively, weaving a whole fabric of meaning from the disparate threads of memories, facts, ideas, obsessions, and images that can so easily tangle up our minds. For this reason, they seem particularly well-matched to our information-soaked age. 

Amy Hassinger is the author of three novels: Nina: Adolescence (Putnam 2003), The Priest's Madonna (Putnam 2006), and After the Dam (Red Hen Press 2016). Her writing has been translated into Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, and Indonesian and has won awards from the Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY), Creative Nonfiction, Publisher’s Weekly, and the Illinois Arts Council. She has placed work in many publications, including The New York Times, Creative Nonfiction, The Writers’ Chronicle, and The Los Angeles Review of Books. She earned her M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and now teaches at the University of Illinois. She grew up in Massachusetts, and now lives in Urbana, Illinois, where she sings with The Jaybirds and bothers her children.


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