Photo: Micky Ryan

Photo: Micky Ryan


MEMOIR: Constellations, childhood, eros, loss

We will examine approaches to short-form memoir using models by Ron Hansen, Helen Macdonald, Joseph Conrad, Marguerite Duras and Vladimir Nabokov, among others. Guided discussions on technique, including ways to make an end run around some missing facts. Class includes written exercises; assigned essays for study; informal in-class critique of student work; mutual support and encouragement. Students submit two short works and one revision. Workshop format; limited to 8 students. Class meets at instructor’s apartment near east end of the Broadway Bridge. Ten Tuesday nights, February 28-May 2, 2017.  Workshop format, limited to 8 students. $355 includes packet of sample articles

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

STORY: Elements of Narrative Art

Workshop format, limited to 8 students
Tuesday nights, September 27-December 6, 2016


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 2018 - Kolkata, India;   Summer 2019 - TBA


Reading on March 18th

In conjunction with "Disruptions," an exhibit of Myra Clark's paintings, I will be reading along with Robin Schauffler and Evan Morgan Williams, two of my most talented students.  March 18, 2016 at Gallery 114, 1100 NW Glisan, 6-7pm.

Copyright Martha Gies, 2016. No portion of this site may be used without written permission.