Kate Braverman: Writing as a Criminal Act

by Rebekah Hall

We only just caught wind of this. Lucky for you, too, because it’s not too late; this is the greatest writer’s retreat you probably don’t know about: Kate Braverman is currently accepting applicants for a rare writer’s workshop—Writing as a Criminal Act—at her estate in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The darkly lyrical Braverman has the enchanting ability to slip her entire fist into the very center of human life and drag from it all that is deep and shallow. She captures the simultaneous emptiness and fullness of existence in a language that is at once raw and poetic, accessible and immersive, a perfect synthesis of rhetoric and image. She’s a longtime favorite of the Flatmancrooked crew, and I’m super excited to head out to Santa Fe with Kate and smear coyote blood all over my manuscript while howling at the stars and full moon with twelve other writer-criminals.  Come lie and steal with me!

From Kate’s website:

Writing as a Criminal Act

Santa Fe Workshop, September 25, 2010 Kate Braverman will teach a rare total immersion one-week writing workshop. Participants will stay at her retreat, write, howl with the coyotes, write, watch the sunset like a massacre across their faces, write, eat, write, witness the promiscuous moon leave her greasy streaks across the innocent sky, write, have nightmares and write.

Ms. Braverman is interested in the concept of Writing as a Criminal Act. As writers, we employ the methods of professional criminals. We break and enter, we rob, we assume aliases and false identities, engage in fraud, lie, omit, impersonate, autopsy the living, exhume the dead for interrogation and deny everything. Recognizing the full extent of one’s writing tools should be liberating. We will use them with the ruthless conviction of people willing to be incarcerated for their acts.

The Santa Fe Workshop welcomes writers of all levels and genres. It’s not what you already know, but what you can learn from this one-on-one retreat workshop. Experimentation and improvisation are strongly encouraged. Risk is mandatory.

The Santa Fe Workshop is limited to 12 writers.

Kate is the author of two collections of short stories (Squandering the Blue, Small Craft Warnings), four novels (Lithium for Medea, Palm Latitudes, Wonders of the West, The Incantation of Frida K), a memoir (Frantic Transmissions to and from Los Angeles: An Accidental Memoir), and a number of anthologized short stories and poems. Her work has been translated into six languages, and she has received an entire houseful of awards, including three appearances in Best American Short Stories, an O. Henry Award, a Pushcart Prize, and a Recognition Award from the California Legislature Assembly for “making California a better place to live.”

(To take part in Kate’s exclusive writer’s workshop at her estate in Santa Fe, New Mexico, contact Kate via her website or directly at her email: keb60@live.com)


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