Exploring Identity and (Dis)belonging through the Personal Essay A week of creative nonfiction with Enuma Okoro, June 5-11, 2019June 14, 2019 By Collegeville Institute Leave a Comment 2019 Exploring Identity and (Dis)belonging workshop participants (Left to Right): Ellie Roscher, Melanie Mock, Colleen Carpenter, Josina Guess, Jevon Bolden, Indhira Udofia, Tiona Cage, Sophia Stid, Keisha Kogan, Natasha Sistrunk Robinson, Angela Denker, Starlette Thomas, and Enuma Okoro (workshop facilitator). On June 2-11, a group of women writers gathered at the Collegeville Institute for a workshop led by Enuma Okoro. The workshop, titled Exploring Identity and (Dis)belonging through the Personal Essay: A week of creative nonfiction with Enuma Okoro, addressed questions of identity, belonging, home, displacement, and marginalization. The workshop participants enjoyed a dinner in the Great Hall at Saint John’s Abbey. This workshop introduced participants to traditional and modern personal essays. Students read selections from writers spanning historical times periods, nations and cultures (including Dina Nayeri and James Baldwin). Participants spent time workshopping each other’s work, discussing sterling examples of the personal essay, and meeting one-on-one with Enuma Okoro. When asked about insights gained during the workshop, one participant remarked, “I plan to reflect more on the writer’s role in their essay, and how to write concretely and accessible about inward spiritual experiences. I’m also interested in thinking about my faith not just as a subject for my writing, but as a tool.” Another participant described workshop facilitator Enuma Okoro as “wise, insightful, and courageous.” One reflected: “Enuma leads from a place that feels centered and calm which helps to set that tone for the group.” Like this post? Subscribe to have new posts sent to you by email the same day they are posted.