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Continuing Education

Writing Culture: Exploring the Lost Art of the Letter

Date: October 14, 2017 Location: Lewis & Clark Graduate School, Rogers Hall 219

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Lewis & Clark Graduate School, Rogers Hall 219

What shapes our identities as members of a family, workplace, religious group, or nation? How do we learn the rules for how to act in unfamiliar cultures, and how do we write about that experience?

As Catherine Field once wrote, “A good handwritten letter is a creative act. It is a deliberate act of exposure, a form of vulnerability, because handwriting opens a window on the soul in a way that cyber communication can never do.”

This workshop will explore the culture of letter-writing as an art form from the past, but also examine its relevance as a tool to access the more difficult stories and truths from our lives. From incendiary “letters” written by James Baldwin and Ta-Nehisi Coates to missives by Flannery O’Connor, Rainer Maria Rilke and Emily Dickinson, we’ll explore the letter as an art form that contains the same revelatory capacity as literature itself.

Participants will examine work that delves into issues around racial justice, the environment, and communication in the age of the internet. Through writing, reading and discussion, participants will explore the ways letter-writing can strengthen writing practices, sharpen  skills of observation, and enrich classrooms.

Participants will come away from the workshop with inspired perspectives, fresh writing, and new ideas to apply toward lesson plans, classrooms and personal practice.

Course Details & Registration

Date and Time: Saturday-Sunday, October 14-15, 2017, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Instructor: Laura Moulton, MFA

Degree-applicable credit: WCM 532, 1 semester hour, $901

  • If you are a current Lewis & Clark graduate student, please register through WebAdvisor. Non-Lewis & Clark students seeking degree-applicable credit, please complete the Special Student Registration form (PDF)

Graduate Continuing education credit: CELA 832, 1 semester hour, $350. Partial scholarship funds available. Please contact for more details.

Continuing education credit registration form (PDF)

  • *Please note: Completed registration forms containing social security numbers and/or credit card information should not be submitted via email. If you choose to pay by credit card, please mail or fax your registration to the Center for Community Engagement, using the contact information on the right-hand side of this webpage.

Cost: $250, includes 15 CEUs or PDUs. Lewis & Clark Alumni save 20%. Partial Scholarship funds available. Please contact for more details.

Register now

About the Instructor

Laura Moulton is the founder of Street Books, a bicycle-powered mobile library that serves people who live outside in Portland, Oregon. She has taught writing in public schools, prisons, and teen shelters, and is an adjunct professor at Marylhurst University. Her social art practice projects have involved postal workers, immigrants, prisoners and students. She earned an M.F.A. from Eastern Washington University. For more information, visit

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