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Hot Topics in Creative Nonfiction - Emerging from the Darkness: Creative Writing about Loss and Grief

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Losing a loved one is an inevitable part of life, but for some of us it happens sooner than we had ever thought, or in sudden and unexpected ways.  These losses can send us reeling, but creative writing can offer a path through grief, a way to translate our loss into language that can help us heal and offer hope to others as well. 
In this intimate conversation, MFA director Leanna James Blackwell talks with MFA graduate and published writer Anne Pinkerton G'16 about her memoir-in-progress, Were You Close?, a story about the death of her brother from a fall in the mountains. The conversation will touch on topics including "forgotten mourners," the individuality of the grieving process, the role writing plays in acceptance, and the experience of publishing personal essays about loss that reach readers in direct and powerful ways. At the end of the discussion, we will open up the conversation to listeners for an open Q &A.
About Anne Pinkerton
Anne Pinkerton works as a marketing and communications professional in western Massachusetts where she lives with her husband, two dogs, and five cats. She received an MFA in creative nonfiction from Bay Path University in 2016, and studied poetry as an undergrad at Hampshire College. Her writing has appeared in riverSedge Literary Journal, Write Angles Journal, Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies, Hippocampus Magazine, Modern Loss, and Cold Creek Review, as well as on her blog, True Scrawl.
About Leanna James Blackwell 
Leanna James Blackwell is director of the Bay Path University MFA in Creative Nonfiction and assistant professor of creative writing. An essayist and playwright, she has written a number of stage plays that have been produced in theaters and at festivals here and abroad, including New Soul, Grimm Women, Curtain Call, The Wendy Chronicles, and Voices of the Other I, II, and III.
A frequent contributor to arts and parenting journals, Leanna’s essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Creative Nonfiction magazine’s True Story, Full Grown People, Brain, Child: The Magazine for Thinking Mothers, The Best of Brain, Child, Literary Mama, five80split: A Journal of Arts and Letters, Hidden Manna: The Journal of Faith and Story, and Mount Holyoke and Amherst magazines. Her work has also appeared in the best-selling literary anthologies A Ghost at Heart’s Edge: Stories and Poems of Adoption and in Toddler, winner of an Independent Publishers Award (Seal Press). Leanna graduated from the MFA program in creative writing at Mills College in California. A 20-year practitioner of meditation and mindfulness, Leanna is known for a teaching style that helps writers tap into their deepest creative potential.

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