Photo: Micky Ryan

Photo: Micky Ryan


FICTION: The Art of the Short Story

We will study the works of Flannery O'Connor (1925-64) and David Means (1961-  ), brilliant practitioners from two different generations. Class includes guided discussions on technique; written exercises; assigned stories for study; informal in-class critique of student work; and mutual support and encouragement. Students submit two short stories and one revision. Workshop format; limited to 8 students. Class meets at instructor’s apartment near east end of the Broadway Bridge. Ten Monday nights, September 18-November 27, 2017. (No class October 23.)  Workshop format, limited to 8 students. $355 includes packet of stories.

To register: send $55 deposit to Martha Gies, 2109 NE Rodney Avenue, Portland 97212. 


This workshop is designed to capture that combination of alertness and curiosity that is  the traveler's special state of mind, and use it to heighten the classroom experience. We began Traveler's Mind in the state of Veracruz, where tropical coastal lowlands curve around the Gulf of Mexico and rise quickly to jungled forests of the Sierra Madre Oriental. Since that first workshop in 2000, we have taken writers to the colorful, raucous and historic port of Veracruz; to the lazy river town of Tlacotalpan, with its brightly painted houses and Arabic-style arcades; and to Papantla, the center of Totonac culture, where we held workshops during the Day of the Dead and the Fiesta de Guadalupe.

We have since ranged beyond the borders of Mexico: to Fort Cochin, Kerala, to the old Colonial capital of Sucre, Bolivia, and to the ramshackle hills of Valparaíso, on Chile's central coast. We traced the life of Federico García Lorca in Granada, traveled to Jodhpur in desert Rajasthan, and worked in the luminous white city of Cádiz, off Spain’s southwest coast. We have found that by traveling beyond the familiar surroundings of home, students can devote their undivided energy to cultivating the habits of close observation and a disciplined writing life.

Always limited to 10 students.

July 6-16, 2017 - Villa de Leyva & Bogotá, Colombia

February 7-17, 2018 - Kolkata, India

June 2019 - TBA

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