Loft Themes

Loft Themes

Much like how an art museum might present a special exhibit, the Loft is introducing seasonal thematic programming. Our themes will help connect you across many of the Loft program offerings. We believe that poems and stories can be an important lens through which to view the world, and can be part of important issues and conversations in civic life. Loft themes will compel us all to look at the words we write and authors we read in new ways.

Loft If Theme Graphic
This fall (Sep–Dec 2019)
Fall Theme: If

The question “What if?” is the most powerful one you can ask at the start of any story. Through this theme the Loft aims to explore how speculative work, and the act of asking what if, helps us to imagine solutions and create connections.

Speculative work can act as a tool to interpret the world, to investigate topics that are too complex or too subtle to define with the limited tool of realistic writing. It gives us an incredible opportunity to imagine alternative structures and futures, to consider how to make or avoid certain changes, and to answer basic questions about our humanity.

We invite you to explore our theme of If in as many ways as interest you. See our list of classes and events below.

Boundaries Rectangle Theme
This winter/spring (Jan–Apr 2020)
Boundaries & Border Crossings

There has been much debate on the transgression of geographical borders and the impact this has on communities and individuals. These conversations raise various questions about how we define boundaries, whether geographical, social, cultural, or psychological and what happens when these boundaries are broken.

The written word allows us to cross borders and to explore what’s on the other side. In fact, stories are an invitation to transgress the boundaries that constrain us in search of a new perspective and better understanding. Through this theme the Loft invites readers and writers to consider what defines a physical or emotional border and why they might choose to cross it. 

Boundaries Classes This Winter
Boundaries-Borders
The Final Frontier

STARTS JAN 31—Crossing borders and being a stranger in a strange land are essential tropes of science fiction and fantasy. These days, SF/F writers are vanguards when it comes to exploring what it means to transgress social and cultural borders in works like those of Nnedi Okorafor and Jeanette Ng.

Boundaries-Borders
Writing on the Borders of Genre

FEB 1—This class will experiment with writing across boundaries and borders in craft (cross-genres) and subject matter (physical and psychological). We'll discover from mentor writers how to blend poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and scripts to tell of crossing a dividing line, touching an edge of experience in our own or others' lives.

Boundaries-Borders
Worldbuilding—Borders and Fences

FEB 29—In this class, we'll study elements of worldbuilding, with a special focus on borders and walls. We’ll discuss what they mean in our stories and what kinds of stories lend themselves to borders and barriers.

Boundaries-Borders
Dismantling the Border Between Memoir and Journalism

STARTS MAR 2—In this class we'll read writers whose work examines and deconstructs the physical and metaphorical borders that shape our lives. We'll study the ways in which journalism and memoir can blend together to collapse the perceived boundaries between genres.

Boundaries-Borders
Crossing Borders—From Poetry to Prose

This class will guide participants through short poetry and short prose forms to focus on diction, meaning, and sound. Using limited-syllable and limited-word structures, the class will move between poetry and prose with intention, to add lyric sound to prose, to choose stronger verbs and nouns, and to make more knowledgeable word choices no matter the written form.

Upcoming Themes

Winter 2020 (Jan–Apr 2020): Boundaries and Border Crossings

Fall 2020 (Sep–Dec 2020): Chance and Choice

Past Themes

Fall 2017 (Sep–Nov 2017): Vigilance

Winter 2018 (Jan–Mar 2018): True North

Spring 2018 (Mar–May 2018): To Be Honest

Fall 2018 (Sep–Dec 2018): Fairy Tales

Winter 2019 (Jan-Apr 2019): Needs