How We Bear Witness: Writing Oklahoma in Fiction and Creative Nonfiction
University of Oklahoma, Norman
January 10-14 (in-person)
Scholar: Rilla Askew, University of Oklahoma
This course will be an Intensive writing workshop focused on creating fiction and creative nonfiction that reflects the students’ engagement with Oklahoma as subject and source. Students will read and discuss works by Oklahoma writers such as Joy Harjo, Brandon Hobson, and Constance Squires, and will develop new works of their own to be shared in a supportive writing workshop format. Coursework will include instruction in the craft of fiction and creative nonfiction as well as exploration of Oklahoma-based fiction and nonfiction.
Rilla Askew is the author of four novels, a book of stories, and a collection of creative nonfiction, as well as plays, articles, and essays. Her first novel, The Mercy Seat was nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Dublin IMPAC Prize, and received the Oklahoma Book Award and the Western Heritage Award in 1998. Her novel about the Tulsa Race Massacre, Fire in Beulah, received the American Book Award, the Myers Book Award from the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights, and was selected as the centennial book for Oklahoma’s One Book One State program. Her novel Harpsong, published by the University of Oklahoma Press, received seven literary awards including the Oklahoma Book Award, the WILLA Award from Women Writing the West, the Violet Crown Award from the Writers League of Texas, and the Western Heritage Award from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. Her novel Kind of Kin, the story of a fractured family and small-town community at the vortex of Oklahoma’s immigration laws, was a finalist for the Spur Award from Western Writers of America, longlisted for the Dublin IMPAC Prize, and selected for Amarillo Reads in 2017. Askew’s collection of essays on race and place, Most American: Notes from a Wounded Place, was longlisted for the PEN/America Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay in 2018. She teaches creative writing at the University of Oklahoma.