“My journal is a dream diary, travelogue, writer’s notebook, and many other things,” says Ben Jackson. “All of my stories, essays, and poems have their beginnings in my journal.”
In this class you’ll keep a journal, investigate themes that arise in your journal, and develop one creative piece that has grown out of your journal writing. “In the first half of the course we’ll generate a lot of material from weekly journal assignments and in-class writing exercises,” says Ben. “During class we’ll talk about the importance of personal reflection, imaginative freedom, and present moment attention in order to keep our journal entries rich and lively.
“When we begin to work on our creative piece from the journal writing, we’ll read and discuss poems and personal essays by authors such as Peter Sacks, Joan Didion, and Virginia Woolf. We’ll think of fun and original ways to use material from our journals as we develop our own creative pieces. Finally, during the last weeks of class, we’ll share and celebrate our creative work.”
Ben Jackson has taught creative writing to students from the second grade up to the college level. A graduate of Warren Wilson’s MFA Program, he currently teaches literature at the University of San Francisco. His work has appeared in New England Review, Hudson Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Iowa Review, Prairie Schooner, The Journal, and elsewhere. His awards include the 2015 Robinson Jeffers Tor House Poetry Prize as well as residencies from Vermont Studio Center, Jentel Artist Residency Program, and Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts.