As readers ourselves we often connect most to the people we are reading about. Lovely language, vibrant image, racing plot and rich scene might be beside the point if a reader doesn't feel connected to the character or characters at the center of it all. And yet, as writers we often take short cuts in order to make our characters—using them as plot devices, as delivers of language, as secondary to our clever image, as beside the point. In this intensive craft class for fiction writers in need of generating new material or in need of revision tools for work in progress, we will look at how to create real human beings on the page. We will study the ways that novelists, story writers and narrative poets beautifully and authoritatively create character. We will make human beings with care so that they will be complex actors as they move through language, image, plot and scene.
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Tiphanie Yanique is the author of the poetry collection, Wife, which won the 2016 Bocas Prize in Caribbean poetry and the United Kingdom’s 2016 Forward/Felix Dennis Prize for a First Collection. Tiphanie is also the author of the novel, Land of Love and Drowning, which won the 2014 Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Award from the Center for Fiction, the Phillis Wheatley Award for Pan-African Literature, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Rosenthal Family Foundation Award, and was listed by NPR as one of the Best Book of 2014. Land of Love and Drowning was also a finalist for the Orion Award in Environmental Literature and the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award. She is also the author of a collection of stories, How to Escape from a Leper Colony, which won her a listing as one of the National Book Foundation’s 5Under35. Her writing has also won the Bocas Award for Caribbean Fiction, the Boston Review Prize in Fiction, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers Award, a Pushcart Prize, a Fulbright Scholarship and an Academy of American Poet’s Prize. She has been listed by the Boston Globe as one of the sixteen cultural figures to watch out for and her writing has been published in the New York Times, Best African American Fiction, The Wall Street Journal, American Short Fiction and other places. Tiphanie is from the Virgin Islands and is an associate professor in the English Department at Wesleyan University where she is also the Director of the Creative Writing Program. She lives in New Rochelle, New York with her family.