ClassCreating Sudden Elixirs–Micro and Flash
“There is a necessary element of rebellion in the writer that leads her to question received ideas yet possess a secret reverence for the smallest things,” writes Sandra Doller in her craft essay, “A Po Pedagogy.” In this four week class, we’re going to think about and create “sudden elixirs,” as in, short forms of literature (750 words or less), including flash fiction, micro essays, and prose poems (and everything in between!).
Each week, students will consider 2-4 examples of sudden elixirs (very short pieces), and the instructor’s reflections on the strategies of each piece paired with insights on characteristics of the forms, including brevity, distillation, image, use of detail, ambiguity, cyclicality, the art of what is left out, implied backstory (tip of the iceberg theory), etc.
In addition, each week students will be given 2 specific, generative writing prompts to write their own sudden elixir of 750 words or less. Optional craft essays will also be provided. At the end of each week, students are welcome to share their sudden elixir, discuss their process, and give each other feedback (all optional). If a student shares a sudden elixir, the teaching artist will provide feedback on that piece.