Straight From The Heart : A memoir writing workshop with Meera Nair

Lewis H. Latimer House and Museum in Flushing was the eponymously named home of the African American inventor and humanist. It has been the location of many events sponsored by Newtown Literary and other arts organizations.

On March 17, Meera Nair led a memoir writing workshop a the museum, the first in a three-part series of classes on writing about race and immigration, in partnership with Latimer House, with funds from New York City's Department of Cultural Affairs.

Participants were encouraged to access their memories by using the thee 'R's' - Reading, Remembering and wRiting. They began by reading poems from authors Lucille Clifton and Deema K. Shehabi. The next step was to identify larger motifs or themes that resonated with their own experiences. Within a short two hour period, they had

- Started with a memory

- expanded it with sensory detail and

- Tied an object within that memory to a larger metaphor, to answer the question: Why am I writing this?

Everyone ended up with approximately 800 words to be revised, edited and polished and perhaps to be submitted for publication, perhaps to the Newtown Literary Journal which will open for submissions to it's 12th issue in the Spring.

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