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The Ways of Biography: A Reading and Discussion with Baron Wormser

  • George Stevens Academy 23 Union Street Blue Hill, ME 04614 United States (map)

"This reading and conversation is about the nature of biography and will focus on a perennial question: how does a writer make another person credible through the medium of language? I wrote the biographies gathered in Legends of the Slow Explosion over a number of years but my approach was steady: to try to get at the essence of a life. This meant trying to find ways into the notions and feelings that drove the person. In writing about others, about well-known people I never met, I faced the possibilities of empathy, particularly in dealing with behaviors and attitudes that were problematic. My talk and reading will focus on the paths that empathy can take and how a writer can push that dimension of his or her writing." 

This class will be interactive but will not involve in-class writing or critique of student work. The workshop will take place in the GSA library.  This class is best suited to teens/adults of all skill levels.

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BARON WORMSER is the author/co-author of sixteen books and a poetry chapbook. His recent books include Tom o’ Vietnam, a novel set in 1982 about a Vietnam War veteran who is obsessed with King Lear, and Legends of the Slow Explosion: Eleven Modern Lives, biographical pieces about eleven crucial figures from the second half of the twentieth century. Wormser has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Bread Loaf, and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. From 2000 to 2005 he served as poet laureate of the state of Maine. He has taught many dozens of workshops across the United States and continues to offer generative workshops in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction along with workshops focusing on the works of a particular poet. He teaches in the Fairfield University MFA Program and lives with his wife Janet in Montpelier, Vermont.

Location: George Stevens Academy library (see address and map in sidebar.) Registration is required with a workshop fee of $25. If you have questions about this workshop you can email or call Blue Hill Books 207/374-5632.