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.
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.”