The Butterfly Hours

The Butterfly Hours

Transforming Memories Into Memoir

Book - 2016
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"For twenty-five years, writer Patty Dann has taught a class on memoir writing at the West Side YMCA. By offering simple prompts, such as ofoodo or obicycle,o Dann invites her students to pluck memories from their lives that can be turned into larger stories. She's taught butchers and bakers and bodybuilders who hail from Brooklyn, Bialystok, and Beirut. She taught a student who declared on her first day of class, oI am going to write my head off.o This book offers up fifty of Dann's writing prompts, organized into ten rules of writing and adorned with stories from Dann's own life and from the lives of her students. This book is meant to inspire and excite you so that, day by day, page by page, you too will write your head off."
Publisher: Boulder : Shambhala, 2016.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781611802887
Branch Call Number: 808.06692 DANN
Characteristics: viii, 131 pages : illustrations


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JCLHelenH Nov 17, 2016

Dann uses “one-word memory triggers like ‘table’ or ‘car’ . . . as a way” for students, “to stitch together the patches of [their lives].” Some of the stories shared are those of her students, some are her own. All are beautiful.

This book is wonderful. Patty Dann weaves person anecdotes with her years of experience teaching memoir writing classes to create this simply beautiful, inspiring volume. Her concept of teaching is based on taking a simple word- like bicycle, pillow, or grass, for example- and encouraging her students to write about a time or moment in their life sparked by the word. Throughout the book, Patty encourages us to see how all of our stories are unique, always forming, and waiting to be told. She also has advice on editing, and how to write to make your story more readable for others while staying true to your word. I highly recommend this to anyone who has considered putting pen to paper and sharing some of the stories about their life.

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