“Sweet and Salty: Writing the Food Memoir”
Advanced level, $550.00
January 11–15, 2016

Workshop Description

“Tell me what you eat,” said Brillat-Savarin, “and I shall tell you what you are.” Lives are filled with stories and plots but none is juicier than the one told with food. Culinary memoirs are wildly popular, taking readers beyond memory into the senses— especially the deep pleasures of the appetite. Food sharpens the focus, introduces universal themes, and endows writing with imaginative, emotional, and physical layers of complexity.

This workshop will look at ways to write life stories through the culinary lens. There will be daily writing prompts, exercises, workshop discussions, reading, and food. There are no entrance requirements—it’s first-come, first-served. Participants will be sent excerpts from a handful of food memoirs to read before our workshop convenes. In addition, you may submit a two- to eight-page excerpt of your own culinary writing to the workshop for in-class discussion. Or you can just wait and see what you cook up. Bring your curiosity and your appetite, a sense of play and a sense of humor.


•     This workshop is open to all levels. Participants may submit work in advance for in-class discussion, or use the workshop to discuss new work-in-progress. All students are expected to read submissions, along with other works assigned by the instructor, in advance of the workshop. Please note that one class session will likely take place in a restaurant, for which there will be an additional fee.

• The full cost of this four-day workshop is $550.00. A $100 deposit is required to hold your place, with full payment due by September 30.

•     Update: This workshop is now full.

About Diana Abu-Jaber

Diana Abu-Jaber is most recently the author of Birds of Paradise, an Indie Books Pick, as well as of the award winning memoir, The Language of Baklava, the best-selling novel Origin, and Crescent, which was awarded the 2004 PEN Center USA Award for Literary Fiction and the American Book Award. Her first novel Arabian Jazz won the 1994 Oregon Book Award and was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award.

A frequent contributor to NPR, she teaches at Portland State University and divides her time between Portland and Miami.

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