Summer Craft Intensive: Sasha LaPointe


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Editor's Note

The Landscape of Memory with Sasha LaPointe
Friday, August 19, 3:00 pm-6:00 pm PST

As a Coast Salish writer my story is rooted in a specific place. I return to grey beaches and rainswept cityscapes. But that’s only my story’s starting off point. Where is your story rooted? Where did you go from there? The places we most often return to in our writing are the places we know. These places carry weight. Sometimes they are heavy with memory, with traumas both lived and inherited. What happens when move through the landscape? When we begin to map our places according to moments and memory? Places of origin. Haunted Places. Places of joy or growth. What happens when me make a cartography of the heart rather than the land? It’s a privilege to remain connected to our places of origin in the face of settler/colonialism. What happens when we invent our own? What is your place of origin? Where did something begin for you? This is our starting point. As a writer I’ve always been fascinated by place. Specifically the places that shaped me. What happens when we as Creative Nonfiction writers invite place to be a character, to get as much space on the page as whatever memory we’re grappling with? Often times in memoir we hover over the hardest moment, we get stuck there. But what happens when we let ourselves wander, when we discover all the sites surrounding that hard space? In this generative workshop we will explore the map of memory. We will move through it together. We’ll linger over the important places and discover new ground and let it lead us into our full story.

BIO: Sasha taqwšəblu LaPointe is from the Upper Skagit and Nooksack Indian Tribes. Native to the Pacific Northwest she draws inspiration from her coastal heritage as well as her life in the city. She writes with a focus on trauma and resilience, ranging topics from PTSD, sexual violence, the work her great grandmother did for the Lushootseed language revitalization, to loud basement punk shows and what it means to grow up mixed heritage. With obsessions revolving around Twin Peaks, the Seattle music scene, and Coast Salish Salmon Ceremonies, Sasha explores her own truth of indigenous identity in the Coast Salish territory. Sasha holds a double MFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts in creative nonfiction and poetry.

Her memoir Red Paint has received starred reviews from Kirkus and Shelf Awareness and was named “Best new book of the month,” by Time Magazine. Red Paint was featured on Nylon’s list of most anticipated books of 2022 and has received praise from Ms. Magazine, The LA Times, and Bust Magazine. Red Paint is available through Counterpoint Press.

Her collection of poetry Rose Quartz is forthcoming from Milkweed in 2023.