Important Update: 92Y remains open
Does not include service & handling fees, if applicable.
Memoir is not autobiography, which is intended to cover the whole life to date, but a short and significant stretch of a life—like a novel.
It’s also different from “autofiction:” it takes its obligation to truth seriously and it’s almost always written in the first person. Memoirists employ a reliable or unreliable narrator to tell their stories. Why and how does a story become a memoir? Why do some books seem as if they had to be written as memoir, and couldn’t have worked in fictional form? What is the shape of a memoir, and what are its boundaries? And how does a memoir turn real people—including its narrator—into characters?
We’ll read some extraordinary memoirs, but classes will be focused on students’ writing, submitted in advance.
Students are chosen by Betsy Bonner on the basis of a manuscript submission. Applications must be received by Friday, April 16 at 5 pm. View the submission guidelines.
Class meets Sundays: May 2, 9 16, 23, 30, June 6, 13 and 20.
Programs taking place online:An access link will be emailed to you after purchase.
Programs taking place in our NYC facilities:Please read our safety guidelines before visiting our building.
Programs taking place online and in our NYC facilities:Please select which experience you wish to participate in when registering. Online participants will be emailed an access link after purchase. In-person participants should read our safety guidelines before attending the program.
Betsy Bonner is the author of The Book of Atlantis Black, a memoir. She “writes with the precision of a poet and the courage of a survivor. I could not put this book down,” writes Domenica Ruta. The former Director of the 92Y Unterberg Poetry Center, Bonner is also the author of Round Lake, a faculty member of the Writer’s Foundry M.F.A. program at St. Joseph’s College and a fellow of the MacDowell Colony and the T. S. Eliot House.
Advanced Memoir with Betsy Bonner