The Makery: A Life Twice Lived: Healing Trauma through the Written Word

Healing from trauma is an experience that can leave us withdrawing from the world. We despair. We want to give up. What can personal stories mean for trauma survivors?  As Patricia Hampl says in an essay called “Memory and Imagination,” “to write one’s life is to live it twice, and the second living is both spiritual and historical.” In this session we will look at excerpts from works that have meant living live twice via an exploration of trauma in their work: Dorothy Allison. Sue William Silverman. Joy Harjo. These writers show us what it means to not surrender, both on the page and in their lives. As leader of this session, I promise honesty and an environment of trust to share all our stories. As well as discussing excerpts, we will write, share and contribute to authentic discussions. We will discuss how healing from trauma is an experience of both darkness and of great light.
Karen Salyer McElmurray is originally from  Hagerhill, Kentucky. Her memoir, Surrendered Child: A Birth Mother’s Journey, was an AWP Award Winner for Creative Nonfiction.  Her novels are The Motel of the Stars, Editor’s Pick by Oxford American, and Strange Birds in the Tree of Heaven, winner of the Chaffin Award for Appalachian Writing.  Her nonfiction work has been a recipient of the Annie Dillard Award for Essay, the New Southerner Award, The Orison Anthology Award for Creative Nonfiction and, most recently, the LitSouth Award. She has co-edited, with poet Adrian Blevins, an essay collection called Walk till the Dogs Get Mean. Wanting Radiance, her newest novel is from University Press of Kentucky and Voice Lessons, a short collection of essays, is from Knoxville’s Iris Press. A new essay collection, I Could Name God in Twelve Ways, is forthcoming in Fall 2024 from University Press of Kentucky. She can be found all too often on Facebook and Instagram.


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Oct 12 - 26 2024


10:30 am - 12:00 pm




Virtual Class


Corey Terry