First Meeting of "The Interior Journey" with Fenton Johnson

Monday, February 24, 2014 - 11:15am to 1:00pm
Poetry Center - Helen S. Schaefer Building 1508 East Helen Street (At Vine Avenue) Tucson, AZ 85721  

Six Mondays, February 24 through April 7 (no class on March 17), 6:15 to 8:00 pm

In this class, "The Interior Journey: Reading and Writing as a Spiritual Practice," participants will explore memoir and journaling as means of deepening the writing and interior life, and discuss how reading and research can provide a foundation for and complement the contemplative experience. We will devote particular attention to vivid figurative language as a way of enriching our encounter with the world, on and off the page. We will consider the calendar as our meetings lead up to and embrace the great markers of rebirth and renewal—the vernal equinox and its religious correspondents Easter and Passover. We will work from a course reader as inspiration for our writing, considering selections from Anne Lamott, Flannery O’Connor, Martin Buber, Patricia Hampl, Francine Prose, N. Scott Momaday, Patti Smith, Marilynne Robinson, Brother David Steindl-Rast, and Suzuki Roshi, as well as the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament. This writing workshop arises from a conviction that at their foundation our contemporary challenges are ethical, philosophical, moral, and spiritual.

Tuition: $180.00 + $10.00 course material fee = $190.00

The registration period for this course opens on January 1, 2014. Please check back then for a link to the online registration form.

Fenton Johnson

Fenton Johnson is the author of two novels, Crossing the River and Scissors, Paper, Rock, as well as Geography of the Heart: A Memoir and Keeping Faith: A Skeptic's Journey Among Christian and Buddhist Monks, a meditation on what it means for a skeptic to have and keep faith. Johnson has contributed cover essays to Harper's Magazine, the New York Times Magazine, and many literary quarterlies. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts (fiction and creative nonfiction), as well as two Lambda Literary Awards, a Kentucky Literary Award in creative nonfiction, and the American Library Association Award for best gay/lesbian nonfiction. He has taught at Columbia University, New York University, and Sarah Lawrence College, and is on the faculty of the creative writing program at the University of Arizona. For more information and samples of his work, visit his webpage (and his blog) at