April 20 - April 27 • 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM (EST)
About the workshop
In this half-class/half-workshop we'll study the sentence as a site of sound aesthetics and practice techniques for increasing our syntax's sonic impact.
This class is for folks who hear “kill your darlings,” and think: but they’re all darlings! For people who see the sentence as its own aesthetic terrain, with tension and energy and momentum within and between each syllabic synapse. When we choose a word, we choose a range of meanings along with a sonic and physical structural profile that interacts with and relates to the profiles of the words around it. We can use sounds to select for subsequent sounds, so meaning becomes a function of sound as our sentences establish their own sonic logic.
We’ll read and discuss the work of writers who do this—who write with and make us read with a tuned ear. Then we’ll practice the techniques in a workshop format.
What you will learn
Students will explore the relationship between sound and sense, diction's syllabic accents and durations and "architectural" qualities. Students will generate and/or revise sentences with an ear and eye toward reimagining their syntax's impact through close attention to the physical and sonic bonds within and between their word choices.
Read and write with an ear for how sound functions in sentences.
What you will be reading
An essay by Garielle Lutz, and sentences from a variety of authors (including Ocean Vuong, Toni Morrison, Rachel Cusk, Brandon Taylor, and Emma Cline)
Workshop meeting dates:
Saturday, April 20
Saturday, April 27
About the instructor
Ben Jahn’s work has appeared in Fence, Hobart, McSweeney’s, the Santa Monica Review, Tin House, Tupelo Quarterly, and Zyzzyva. His work has been anthologized in the Norton anthology Hint Fiction, The California Prose Directory, and The Best of McSweeney’s. He was a National Endowment for the Arts prose fellow, and his story “Reborn” won NPR’s Three Minute Fiction contest and appeared in The Paris Review. His chapbook, Night Protest, is out now from above/ground press. He teaches creative writing at Contra Costa College in Richmond, CA, and at La Muse Artists & Writers Retreat in the south of France.
Learn to techniques for increasing our syntax's sonic impact in our sentences