The Art of the Essay
Instructor: Peter Bricklebank
July 14 - July 27


To understand the personal essay is to extend one's sense of what the memoir and nonfiction can be. Every day our minds lurch and leapfrog, walkabout and wanderlust: we reflect, and we think, against the grain of ourselves; we don't always remember, we often doubt. In this workshop we'll generate new material and look to develop a winning, even if crotchety, persona on the page. We’ll boldly go where our curiosity guides us and our not-always-well-behaved self finds humor, insight or just the inclination to move forward. As Scott Russell Sanders tells us, “The essay is a haven for the private idiosyncratic voice in an era of anonymous babble,” and this workshop will be a haven for lovers of a wonderfully quirky form.


Peter Bricklebank ’s essay course for Art Workshop International is based in the course he teaches at Sarah Lawrence College. He has published fiction in The American Voice, Carolina Quarterly, Mid-American Review, Kansas Quarterly, Confrontation, Fiction, and nonfiction in The New York Times Book Review, the American Book Review, and The Chicago Tribune. His chapter on writing essay and memoir appears in The Portable MFA (Writers Digest Books). He has received a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship in fiction and been a panelist for the BRIO awards for the Bronx Council of the Arts. He has taught private writing workshops in NYC and in Oaxaca and Morelia (Mexico) and at New York University and elsewhere, including a year as Nonfiction Writer-in-Residence at Central Connecticut State University. He taught fiction and nonfiction at Bar-Ilan University in Israel in summer 2012 and taught at the Festival of Writers, Rensselaerville, New York in August 2013. He currently teaches in the online graduate program of National University as well as the Hudson Valley Writers' Center and the Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence. He was a guest lecturer at the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts MFA program in January, 2016.