Stimulation: Writing of Place (Natural Disaster Narratives)
At its core, every place has a disaster story that forms part of its identity--and as a result, it informs the identity of those living in those places. Sometimes the narrative of that disaster is lost to history, or known by very few, but what happens when we don't know the stories of the place we are? We'll read texts in all genres that ask us to consider what's at stake when we don't know what's under our feet. Just a few of the texts we'll read include Jonis Agee's The River Wife, which starts with the 1811-12 New Madrid earthquakes, Timothy Egan's The Worst Hard Time on the Dust Bowl, and we'll cross genres to consider the many right ways there are to write something, by comparing Ted Kooser's poetry inBlizzard Voices to Ron Hansen's short story "Wickedness," both on the 1888 Children's Blizzard. We'll introduce you to books and short pieces you haven't considered in this way before. Our purpose is to develop a greater understanding of the natural world and its effects not only on us as human beings right now, but actively inquire how the events of the natural world have affected not just historical expressions, but we will also explore also and how those find their expression and purpose in current times.