Novelist and documentary filmmaker Laleh Khadivi is joining the faculty in Port Townsend this semester.  Introducing herself in her own words, Laleh writes:

the walking cover“I came to literature through film. My documentary work has focused on the criminal justice system and immigration and I have directed pieces for A&E and produced work for HBO and Sundance. In 2004 I grew disenchanted with the process of telling other people’s stories and began to investigate the stories that made me. A lifelong reader, fiction was my medium and I began the first book in a trilogy on the lives of three generations of Kurdish men. The Age of Orphans (Bloomsbury, 2008) won the Whiting Award, the Barnes and Noble Discover New Writers Award and was nominated for the Dublin IMPAC Literary Prize. The second book in the trilogy, The Walking (Bloomsbury, 2012) received widespread positive reviews. I am currently at work on the last book of the trilogy. These three volumes represent my curiosities and obsessions with the ways in which humans leave behind tribal lives to welcome national identities that they now discard for more fluid post-national selves accessible in the virtual sphere. I am in constant dialogue with all artists – filmmakers, painters, musicians, sculptors, screenwriters – dead and alive, as to the nature of self and clan in this quickly shifting landscape we call reality. Without art I would have no way to ask these questions, and without art I would never have encountered such satisfying answers.”

About her approach to teaching:

“Ideally, a writing workshop is the place where the practical and mystical combine. In my ten years of teaching I have aimed to create spaces of intimate daring where writers, of any level and style, are challenged and inspired. All writers, at some point, must contend with self-doubt, confusion, lack of direction or lack of discipline. Workshops are an excellent place to cast aside these hesitations and move forward into a practice of critical reading, critical thinking, and openhearted writing. Through conversation, lecture, discussion, analysis of text and ecstatic influence, students may find themselves re-invigorated or inspired anew, confident with a voice they can call their own, a story that has a form or simply a method for doing the work, day by day. Writing is the slow and personal meditation of a story as it works itself through you. Learning to write is a combustable affair, best done in the company of great books and among colleagues and fellow storytellers, eager to listen, question and know more.”

You can find out more about Laleh on her website:

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