Out of stock
Sunday, 3:00 pm EST - 7:30 pm EST February 12, 2023
Online via Zoom
This workshop has reached its capacity. To join the waitlist, please email Randy Winston at [email protected].
Too often unapproachable, unassailable, absent—our parents are our first gods. How have we known them? How might we know them now? How deep is our ache that we didn’t know them more fully? And are we ready, if we are to know them, for our parents to fall from their thrones and become not gods (or devils) but the human beings they are? In this generative workshop participants will think, discuss, and write about their own parents in the hopes that all will leave with the beginnings of a personal essay, as well as find their way toward more fully knowing their parents.
This is a generative course. Students will write behind examples, share their work, and leave the session with the beginnings of a personal essay in progress.
Joe Wilkins is the author of a novel, Fall Back Down When I Die, praised as “remarkable and unforgettable” in a starred review at Booklist. A finalist for the First Novel Prize from The Center for Fiction and the Pacific Northwest Book Award, Fall Back Down When I Die won the 2020 High Plains Book Award. Wilkins is also the author of a memoir, The Mountain and the Fathers, winner of a 2014 GLCA New Writers Award, and four collections of poetry, including Thieve and When We Were Birds, winner of the Oregon Book Award. Born and raised in eastern Montana, Wilkins lives with his family in McMinnville, Oregon, where he directs the creative writing program at Linfield University.
By Joe Wilkins
Fall Back Down When I Die
By Joe Wilkins
Published by Little, Brown & Co
Wendell Newman, a young ranch hand in Montana, has recently lost his mother, leaving him an orphan. His bank account holds less than a hundred dollars, and he owes back taxes on what remains of the land his parents owned, as well as money for the surgeries that failed to save his mother’s life.
An unexpected deliverance arrives in the form of seven-year-old Rowdy Burns, the mute and traumatized son of Wendell’s incarcerated cousin. When Rowdy is put under his care, what begins as an ordeal for Wendell turns into a powerful bond, as he comes to love the boy more than he ever thought possible. That bond will be stretched to the breaking point during the first legal wolf hunt in Montana in more than thirty years, when a murder ignites a desperate chase.
Caught on the wrong side of a disaffected fringe group, Wendell is determined both to protect Rowdy and to avoid the same violent fate that claimed his own father. A gripping story set in a fractured and misunderstood community, Fall Back Down When I Die is a haunting and unforgettable tale of sacrificial love.
The Mountain and the Fathers
By Joe Wilkins
Published by Counterpoint
The Mountain and the Fathers explores the life of boys and men in the unforgiving, harsh world north of the Bull Mountains of eastern Montana in a drought afflicted area called the Big Dry, a land that chews up old and young alike. Joe Wilkins was born into this world, raised by a young mother and elderly grandfather following the untimely death of his father. That early loss stretches out across the Big Dry, and Wilkins uses his own story and those of the young boys and men growing up around him to examine the violence, confusion, and rural poverty found in this distinctly American landscape. Ultimately, these lives put forth a new examination of myth and manhood in the American West and cast a journalistic eye on how young men seek to transcend their surroundings in the search for a better life. Rather than dwell on grief or ruin, Wilkins’ memoir posits that it is our stories that sustain us, and The Mountain and the Fathers, much like the work of Norman Maclean or Jim Harrison, heralds the arrival of an instant literary classic..
When We Were Birds
By Joe Wilkins
Published by University of Arkansas Press
In When We Were Birds, Joe Wilkins wrests his attention away from the griefs, deprivations, and high prairies of his Montana childhood and turns toward “the bean-rusted fields & gutted factories of the Midwest,” toward ordinary injustice and everyday sadness, toward the imminent birth of his son and his own confusions in taking up the mantle of fatherhood, toward faith and grace, legacy and luck.
A panoply of voices are at play—the escaped convict, the late-night convenience store clerk, and the drowned child all have their say—and as this motley chorus rises and crests, we begin to understand something of what binds us and makes us human: while the world invariably breaks all our hearts, Wilkins insists that is the very “place / hope lives, in the breaking.”
Within a notable range of form, concern, and voice, the poems here never fail to sing. Whether praiseful or interrogating, When We Were Birds is a book of flight, light, and song. “When we were birds,” Wilkins begins, “we veered & wheeled, we flapped & looped— / it’s true, we flew.”
About this series
We strive to make our classes the most inviting and rewarding available, offering an intimate environment to study with award-winning, world-class writers. Each class is specially designed by the instructor, so whether you’re a fledgling writer or an MFA graduate polishing your novel, you’ll find a perfect fit here.
Members Only: The LiterariansFree
Wednesday, 12:30 pm EST - 1:30 pm EST February 15, 2023
Reading the Russians II with Sheila Kohler$225
Five Sessions Mondays, 6:00 pm EST - 7:30 pm EST February 20 to May 15, 2023
Edna Ferber and Fannie Hurst: Significant 20th-Century Jewish Women Novelists with Donna Raskin$180
Four Sessions Fridays, 7:00 pm EST - 8:30 pm EST March 3 to June 2, 2023
Beyond the Tropes: Speculative Characters with Marc L. Abbott
Four Sessions Sundays, 1:00 pm EST - 2:30 pm EST March 5 to June 4, 2023
Herself, Destructed: Examining Women Writers Who Destroyed Their Own Work with Naomi Huffman and Julia Ringo
Four Sessions Tuesdays, 6:30 pm EST - 8:00 pm EST March 7 to June 6, 2023
Irish Educations with Philip Geheber
Five Sessions Wednesdays, 6:00 pm EST - 7:30 pm EST March 8 to May 31, 2023
Further Novels of Charles Dickens with Amanda Hollander
Six Sessions Thursdays, 6:00 pm EST - 7:30 pm EST March 9 to June 29, 2023
Illuminating the Ordinary: Elizabeth Strout's Amgash Series with Katherine Montwieler
Four Sessions Tuesdays, 6:00 pm EST - 7:30 pm EST March 14 to May 16, 2023
Roberto Bolaño's 2666: An Oasis of Horror in a Desert of Boredom with Samuel Rutter
Five Sessions Wednesdays, 6:30 pm EST - 8:00 pm EST March 15 to June 7, 2023
NEA Big Read 2023: Identity Politics and the Asian American Writer with Elizabeth Joseph (Sold Out)
Three Sessions Tuesdays, 6:30 pm EST - 8:00 pm EST March 21 to May 16, 2023
Speedboat and Sleepless Nights and 1970s New York with Mike Levine
Four Sessions Tuesdays, 6:00 pm EST - 7:30 pm EST April 4 to April 25, 2023
Henry James's The Golden Bowl with Sheridan Hay
Four Sessions Wednesdays, 6:00 pm EST - 7:30 pm EST May 3 to May 24, 2023