Grackle artwork by artist Helen Farrar
The crônica is defined as a “Portuguese-language form of short writings about daily topics,” marking “an intimate conversation between writer and reader.” Part of that intimacy is owed to the form’s inherent vulnerability, the way its casual nature creates for the reader a view of the writer’s process. In addition to composing innovative novels and stories, Ukrainian-born Brazilian writer, Clarice Lispector, wrote many crônicas. How might one’s nonfiction arrive at what Lispector calls “terrifying contact with the fabric of life?”
This generative workshop welcomes writers of all levels of experience. The class will be divided into two units. To begin, students will draft a series of crônicas. The instructor will provide prompts, in-class writing time, and published essays for discussion. In the second unit, students will workshop a selection of their crônicas (5-20 pages). Students will respond to one another’s work and receive detailed feedback from the instructor.
By examining elements of craft, discussing the writing process, and workshopping essays, students will trek toward a deeper understanding of how to construct memorable intimacy in creative nonfiction.
Daniel Kennedy holds an MFA from Virginia Tech, where he won the Emily Morrison Prize in Fiction. His writing has appeared in New England Review, The Carolina Quarterly, Arts & Letters, The Madison Review, and elsewhere. He’s currently a PhD candidate in the University of Houston’s Creative Writing Program and was recently awarded the Inprint Donald Barthelme Prize in Nonfiction.