Grackle artwork by artist Luis Roca
“The best time to begin keeping a journal is whenever you decide to.”
— Hannah Hinchman, A Life In Hand: Creating the Illuminated Journal
“I am anxious, and it soothes me to express myself here. It is like whispering to one’s self and listening at the same time.”
— Mina Murray’s journal entry from Bram Stoker’s Dracula
In this workshop, all of your journaling impulses are welcome. Whether you are in the middle of a large writing project in search of inspiration, or you haven’t written a word since high school English class and want to start up again, or you just want to follow the loose trails in your brain and see where they lead you, this class is a blank page waiting. We will draw, paint, write, list, question in community with each other. I’ll bring in a few very short in-class prompts every week. We’ll create and we’ll share (if you choose), think and respond.
We will create journals full of lists and drawings, ideas and questions, quotations and poems. Anecdotes from your life will be dolloped in, along with images from your dream brain and strings of words you don’t want to forget the sound of. You might find a style you want to stick to. You might fill your pages with words you’ll never utter aloud, but can’t move on without expressing. You might try to make yourself laugh.
Bring: a journal, any favorite pens…
We won’t critique each other’s writing in a workshop, this is a class devoted to creation, questioning, discovery, and creating in community.
Maha Ahmed is an English Literature & Creative Writing PhD candidate at the University of Houston. She holds an MFA in Poetry from the University of Oregon. Her poetry and reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in Grist, The Adroit Journal, 580 Split, Rusted Radishes, The Recluse, and elsewhere. Her critical and creative work explores the Arab-American diaspora, World Literature, translation, and global feminism. She edits poetry for the Beirut-based literary magazine Rusted Radishes and is currently working on a hybrid text exploring the intersections of language, spirituality, and corruption. Find her on twitter @mahaahmed81.