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Curiosity Created the Essay: Using a Whole Body Approach In Crafting Personal Narratives

Writing personal essays is a multi-faceted practice. The creation of them springs from memory and lived experiences that drive us to the page. But how do you turn this emotional curiosity into a polished piece? In this two-hour course, Athena Dixon will guide writers through how our work wells from not only our brains, but also our physical bodies. Participants will explore how to create vessels out of our senses, memories, and physical beings to help immerse our readers in a fully fleshed narrative experience. 

Instructor: Born and raised in Northeast Ohio, Athena Dixon is a poet, essayist, and editor. She is the author of the memoir in essays The Loneliness Files (Tin House 2023), the essay collection The Incredible Shrinking Woman (Split/Lip Press 2020) and No God In This Room (Winner of the Intersectional Midwest Chapbook Contest, Argus House Press 2018). Her work also appears in The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 2: Black Girl Magic (Haymarket Books) and Getting to the Truth: The Practice and Craft of Creative Nonfiction (Hippocampus Books 2021).

Athena’s work has appeared in publications such as Harper’s BazaarNarrativelyGAY MagazineShenandoahGrub StreetLit Hub, and The Washington Square Review among others.  She has been nominated for three Pushcart Prizes for both poetry and creative nonfiction as well as a Best of the Net nomination for poetry. She is a fellow of Callaloo and  V.O.N.A. as well as a Tin House Winter Workshop attendee. Additionally, she has presented at AWP, HippoCamp, and The Muse and the Marketplace among other panels and conferences across the nation. She has served as a Writer in Residence for the app Dipsea. Athena has been awarded a fellowship from The Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing and a 2nd book residency from Tin House.

She was the Founder of Linden Avenue Literary Journal, which published from 2012-2021. Athena is a former co-host of the New Books in Poetry Podcast via the New Books Network.

She writes, edits, and resides in Philadelphia.


Details: Curiosity Created the Essay: Using a Whole Body Approach In Crafting Personal Narratives takes place Tuesday February 20 from 6:30-8:30 PM remotely online via Zoom.

Prerequisite: None

Genre: Nonfiction

Level: All levels

Format: Craft talk & generative workshop

Location: This class takes place remotely online via Zoom.

Size: Limited to 35 participants

Scholarships: Two scholarship spots are available for this class for writers in Northeast Ohio. Apply by December 11.

Cancellations & Refunds: Cancel at least 48 hours in advance of the first class meeting to receive a full refund. Email


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