Lesson 3: Writing Identity Workshop (January 2016)

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Today, we will be looking at Personal Loss as a point of Departure, and two very different poems in depth. Rather than think of departure as an ending, I’d like to delve into the idea of departure itself, and see what can grow from it. Think of all the people who are no longer in your life and the various circumstances surrounding each situation. How did these departures change or affect you? How did they point you in new directions whether in your work or in your actual life? 

Reading Assignment#1 : “The Smell of Loss” by Julie Myerson

Julie Myerson


Julie Myerson investigates a phantom scent, which she believes is her mother-in-law’s perfume, five years after her death, exploring all sorts of explanations that range from the spiritual to the scientific. Consider what sort of experiences that you have had with memories connected to different smells and scents

Reading Assignment #2: “A Musician Afraid of Sound” by Janet Horvath




Janet Horvath, a professional cellist, had an acoustic-shock injury to her left ear in 2006 that has affected her hearing ever since. The trauma eventually spread to her right ear as well. An ENT diagnosed Horvath with hyperacusis and suggested she leave her job with the Minnesota Orchestra. Eventually, Horvath found a clinic that specialized in hyperacusis. Here is her story

Writing Exercises 

(1) For 1 minute, list the names of those no longer in your life. Make sure to time yourself.

(2) Assignment 1 verb and 1 noun for each name listed.

(3) Choose 1 of the names, and write in one sentence what you want to say that person. Say it from your gut. Don’t overthink it.


Writing Assignment #3

Write a monologue addressed to this person no longer in your life. This is a very open assignment. The only requirement is that it addresses the person as if you are speaking directly to them.

Guidelines, Submissions & Formatting for Lesson 3

  • Due Date: Sunday, February 7th6 pm.
  • Submission Link: Submit to the FORUM (see below).
  • Submission Format: Attach an MS Word document. Please put your name, address, email, website (if applicable), and phone number on page one in the top right corner. Page two and forward should have in the top right corner your last name and page number. 
  • Forum: Upload your course-created work to your course and month forum so that the other students and I can read your work and give you feedback on your answers. Make sure to leave feedback for other students– you can leave questions, comments, suggestions, whatever you like. MAKE SURE YOU ARE UPLOADING YOUR WORK TO THE CORRECT FORUM AND COURSE.   
  • Please make sure to contact me directly with any questions regarding assignments and technology. Contact me at newyorkrosebud@gmail.com   
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