Thursday, April 28, 2005

Creative Writing Night Class

From the diary: “February 10, 1982

“The 2nd Creative Writing Class day. Today (or should I say tonight) wasn’t very stimulating. [The teacher] got me relaxed and tranquil with her soft voice. Calm and tranquil does very little toward making me write. I have to get excited.”

Like the sign class I’d taken the previous spring this creative writing class was a Santa Rosa Junior College extension class. The writing class was taught by Gerrye Payne. Gerrye was the mother of one of my classmates and as I recall daughter Andree also took the class. As did my mother.

It was my first experience with a workshop class. Most writing was done outside class then brought in, photocopied and assembled in a pack, a copy of which was given to each class member, the pieces were then read aloud and much of the class was taken up with discussion and criticism. This is a common structure for creative writing workshops. I went on to take courses like this at Cal with Robert Hass and Lyn Hejinian. I was bored in Gerrye’s class. I was bored in Hass’s class. Why did I take them? Because I get lonely! Creative writing classes give me some community. And, since I’m doing the poetry anyway, it’s nice to get school credit.

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