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The Secondary “I” in Creative Nonfiction

June 7, 2016 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm



On Tuesday, June 7th, the Portland member meeting will be held in the Copeland Room at TaborSpace, 5441 SE Belmont St, Portland, OR 97215.

photo of Natalie Serber

Natalie Serber

According to Portland author Natalie Serber, whether you’re writing memoir or personal essay, we strive to make something beautiful from our experiences.  In telling our stories we reach for those instances when the spark leaps from personal to universal and the reader says, “Yes! It’s the same for me.” Those are the moments when the reader feels connected to the writer, she feels known.  How can we make this swift leap happen more in our creative nonfiction?

In this talk, we’ll look at the duality of the first person pronoun, the primary “I” who tells the story of remembered events, and the secondary “I” who tells the story of the writer’s thinking. Exploring the point of view of the secondary “I,” the narrator who speaks from the present, reflecting and seeking, trying to make sense of the past, forms a bridge with our readers.

Natalie Serber is the author of a memoir, Community Chest, and the story collection, Shout Her Lovely Name, New York Times Notable Book of 2012, a summer reading selection from O, the Oprah Magazine, and an Oregonian Top 10 Book of the Pacific Northwest. Her fiction has appeared in The Bellingham Review, Gulf Coast, Inkwell, and Hunger Mountain.  Essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, O, The Oprah Magazine, The Huffington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Oregonian, The Rumpus, Salon, and Fourth Genre.  Natalie has been the recipient of the John Steinbeck Award, Tobias Wolff Award, and H.E. Francis Award. One of her stories was short listed in Best American Short Stories. She teaches fiction and the personal essay at Marylhurst University, the Attic Institute and at various conferences including Squaw Valley Community of Writers. Natalie received her MFA from Warren Wilson College. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

Remember, June 7th, the Copeland Room at TaborSpace, 5441 SE Belmont, in Portland.

As always, the meeting starts at 7:00 pm and doors open at 6:30.


June 7, 2016
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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TaborSpace, Portland
5441 SE Belmont St.
Portland, 97215
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Willamette Writers Portland
(503) 305-6729
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