Writing About Place: The Monterey Bay
From the CTY Summer Catalog:
Amid towering redwoods and along the rugged coastline of Northern California, students emulate writers like John Muir and Mary Hunter Austin as they practice creating a sense of place with words. Students read about the indigenous Ohlone and the impact of Spanish missions on their culture then visit the Santa Cruz or San Juan Bautista Mission to understand its presentation of history before analyzing both in a critical essay. Through works by authors such as John Steinbeck, Ishmael Reed, and Shawn Wong, students tackle the politics of space that arise with a growing population. Students further consider how one region can be reflected in many literary styles and how local sites, such as Cannery Row, can have conflicting meanings to different writers. Students may craft a personal narrative in response to this site or another they know with a similarly complex history.
Through brief exercises and sustained work, writers in this workshop strengthen their narrative voices and gain the skills to write eloquently about place. Students develop the organization, attention to language, and rhetorical precision that constitute strong nonfiction prose.