Fall Craft Intensive: Lars Horn


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Editor's Note

Curating the Essay with Lars Horn
Saturday, November 4
9 AM – 12 PM PST/ 12 PM – 3 PM EST

In 2011, a lapidarium of miraculous healing glowed within glass case. A silver arm encased holy fragment of bone. The British Museum’s “Treasures of Heaven” exhibit assembled relics and reliquaries from across the globe. In the quiet darkness of a vaulted, yet receding display area, only the relics shone beneath bulbs—a trail of gold and gemstones, of martyred limbs and shrouds. Meanwhile, a year later, across the Thames, London’s brutalist-style Hayward Gallery curated “Invisible: Art About the Unseen, 1957-2012,” an exhibition organised around invisible or absent artworks—Song Dong’s “Writing Diary with Water,” Jay Chung’s “Nothing is More Practical than Idealism” a film shot across two-years and, unbeknown to the actors, without film in the camera—an exhibition of, essentially, empty space.

How might one translate a series of glowing relics to essay form? How can we guide a reader through vacuous space without losing their interest? Curating the Essay will consider the ways in which the making of art works and how their curation can allow nonfiction writers to rethink the creation and organisation of their writing whether at the level of the sentence, paragraph, essay, or across a book-length project. Through generative exercises and discussion of specific artworks—how they are made, the effects they achieve—excerpts of written work, and gallery curations, the class will reflect upon the vocabularies of visual arts and curatorial practice, inflecting and rejuvenating our approaches to writing nonfiction.

BIO: Lars Horn is a writer and translator working in literary and experimental non-fiction. Their first book, VOICE OF THE FISH, won the 2020 Graywolf Nonfiction Prize, the 2023 Great Lakes College Association New Writers Award, and was named an honor book for the 2023 Stonewall Israel Fishman Nonfiction Book Award, and an American Booksellers Association Indies Introduce Selection. The recipient of the Tin House Without Borders Residency and scholarships from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Horn’s writing has appeared in Granta, the Virginia Quarterly Review, the Kenyon Review, Poets & Writers, The Rumpus, Literary Hub, and elsewhere.