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Thu 6 May 2010, 7:00pm–9:00pm

Where: University of Canterbury, Ilam Road, Ilam, Christchurch

Restrictions: R15

Listed by: Diane Comer

'Emigration, forced or chosen…is the quintessential experience of our time.' - John Berger

This course invites recent and long-time immigrants to New Zealand to examine their experiences through the varied forms of the personal essay.

Using narrative, reflective, or thematic approaches, participants will explore how writing the essay creates insight and understanding. Elements of the essay and migration will be developed in a workshop setting with active discussion and practice.

Nine evening sessions covering:
• From Y to NZ: The roots of there to here
• Departure and arrival: Thresholds
• Nearness and distance: Between countries and cultures
• Sense of place and displacement: Where is home?
• Family and familiarity: The absence or presence of both
• Loss/gain: The balance sheet of migration
• Fictions of nostalgia: Missing X, Y and NZ
• Who are you here? Negotiating migrant identity
• Returning: You can’t go home again, or can you?

Diane Comer is a graduate of the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop and has been publishing creative non-fiction for twenty years. Her essays have been noted in Best American Essays and she has grants from the USA’s National Endowment for the Arts and the Colorado Arts Council.

She has taught a range of writing workshops at universities in Europe and the United States. Diane immigrated to New Zealand in 2007 and is working toward her PhD at the University of Canterbury.

Restaurants to book near Writing the Personal Essay: Migration and Identity: SOLD OUT