Fall Craft Intensive: Keeonna Harris


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Editor's Note

Turning Words into Magic with Keeonna Harris
Sunday, September 25, 12 – 3 PM PST

Many of us get stuck, searching for that grandiose word rather than writing words that we use every day and that reflect our lives. Sometimes, the magic of the word is in the mundane. This craft intensive is for writers who are feeling discouraged and unable to find the perfect word/and or words to convey the nuance and depth that we want our readers to feel. We will be exploring excerpts from Heavy by Kiese Laymon and The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw. Participants will leave this intensive with a set of practical strategies on choosing a word that “fits” the ongoing themes of their work. We will do writing exercises in which I will push you to think of how to use those words differently, how to lean into the everyday use of your chosen word to add a richness to current or future projects.

BIO: Keeonna Harris is a writer, storyteller, mother of five, and prison abolitionist. She received her Ph.D. at Arizona State University. Her dissertation “Everybody Survived but Nobody Survived: Black Feminism, Motherhood, and Mass Incarceration,” used ethnography and autoethnography to document the experiences of Black mothers navigating the process of visitation and incarceration. Her memoir, Mainline Mama, is coming in 2024 from Amistad Press, draws from her experiences as a Black woman, teen mother, and twenty years of raising children with an incarcerated partner and building community in the borderlands of the prison. An excerpt of her memoir was recently published on Salon.com.