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Tom Spanbauer teaches Introduction to Dangerous Writing

Date: May 13, 14, 15, 2011 Time: 10am to 5pm Number of sessions: 3--Friday, Saturday, Sunday--NOTE: Price is for both memb. and nonmemb. Members: $350 Total Nonmembers: $175 2nd payment Location: The Inkspot, 710 13th St, Ste 210, San Diego, CA 92101


If you’d like to sign up for the waitlist, email Kelli at

San Diego Writers, Ink is pleased to bring Tom Spanbauer back for this legendary 3-day Intensive Workshop!

NOTE: The pricing above is for both members and nonmembers. You may pay in two installments of $175 or pay all at once $350.

What makes writing dangerous is something personal, very small, and quiet. In this class we will be asked to go to parts of ourselves where there is an old silence, where it is secret, where it is dark and sore. One of the goals of the class will be to go to where we’ve never gone before, writing down what scares the hell out of us. Eventually to the very foundation and structure of how we perceive, and in this investigation, we can challenge old notions of who we are.
In our investigation to the bone, the first thing we encounter is voice. How to create it. Saying it wrong, saying it spoken rather than written, saying it raw. By challenging old creative writing workshops language, we will investigate what my teacher called Burnt Tongue. The New York Times in its review of The Man Who Fell In Love With The Moon, called it Poisoned Lyricism. Character lies in the destruction of the sentence.  How a character thinks is how she speaks. The class will be, as Annie Dillard called it, “alligator wrestling at the level of the sentence.” By studying sentences, by taking them apart and looking at all their elements, by tuning them to how our particular narrator thinks, and ultimately speaks, we can begin to create a music that is unique.

This three-day intenstive workshop will be limited to ten participants. Register early!

Tom Spanbauer is the author of four novels including In the City of Shy Hunters, and the beloved classic, The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon. Tom’s most recent novel, Now is the Hour, was a LAMBDA Literary Award finalist and Publishers Weekly chose it as one of the best 100 books of 2006. About Now is the Hour, Natalie Goldberg said, “There is no one like Tom Spanbauer writing in America. I dare you to read this and still hold onto the old way you see the world.” A new edition of Tom’s first novel, Faraway Places, has recently been released by Hawthorne Books.

As a teacher Tom’s innovative approach combines close attention to language with a large-hearted openness to what he calls ‘the sore place’–that place within each of us that is the source for stories that no one else can tell. His introductory workshop is an underground legend among emerging writers in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. The community of writers that has formed around him is dedicated to the proposition that “Fiction is the lie that tells the truth truer.” Trying to define Dangerous Writing, he says, is tricky because “…the first rule about dangerous writing is you don’t talk about dangerous writing. Writing dangerously is the inarticulate speech of the heart.”

Tom lives, writes, and teaches in Portland Oregon.