I’m thrilled to announce that next February, I’ll be teaching a creative writing class at the American Museum of Natural History, exploring their world-famous exhibits and exquisite dioramas with the written word.
Natural History museums began with curiosity cabinets (Wunderkammer)—small closets or boxes in a person’s home, full of items they personally collected—bird nests, a snake skin, or a coin from China. The owners of these cabinets acted as museum curators: what they chose to go into the cabinets reflected who they were—just as everything we put into our own writing reflects us. Over the years, I’ve often used the American Museum of Natural History as a resource for my own stories and novels, and am extremely excited to share my expertise, as well as my nerdy enthusiasm for all things AMNH, with a group of ready students.
This five-session class will take place entirely at the American Museum of Natural History (located on 81st street & Central Park West in New York City) and meet once a week, every Tuesday, from Feb. 5th-March 5th, 6-8:30 pm. The class will also be held after hours—so we will have the unique opportunity to roam the halls free of crowds. Who knows what magical things might happen? (Think Night at the Museum, but with writers). Each class will be held in a different gallery. We will read excerpts of works by naturalists such as Theodore Roosevelt, as well as literary figures who incorporate the natural world into their fiction and poetry. But the main focus of this course will be to unleash your imagination, drawing on the exhibits for on-site writing exercises. I will also give craft lectures that examine the elements of creative writing, including setting, description and point of view, so that each student leaves with a strengthened grounding of the basics. Notebook, pen, and ability to write on the spot required. This class is open to the public and all writing levels, but space will also be limited, so please sign up early–we are expecting it to sell out quickly. Pricing and further information can be found here.
Update: the AMNH Registration link is now working. Just click “Buy tickets.”
**UPDATE: THIS CLASS IS NOW SOLD OUT. If you’d like to be put on the waiting list, email the “Tickets” dept at AMNH.