Trauma abounds in literature, but the challenge of illuminating individual, collective or transgenerational movements of trauma raises questions: is writing trauma dangerous? Does it matter? Are there strategies that best reveal the workings and effects of trauma? This interactive workshop features close readings of selected texts, writing exercises and draft workshopping. Meera Atkinson, author of Traumata and The Poetics of Transgenerational Trauma, invites those writing or looking to write trauma in any genre to explore this terrain.

Meera Atkinson (Australian)

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Meera Atkinson is a Sydney-based writer. Her creative nonfiction, poetry, and short fiction have appeared in many publications, including Best Australian Poems 2010, Best Australian Stories 2007, Salon, Meanjin, and Griffith Review. She was the recipient of the Varuna Dr Dark Flagship Fellowship for 2017, awarded for a non-fiction application of outstanding quality in social, historical or political writing. She won a Griffith Review Contributors’ Circle competition 2016 award, the Griffith Review Emerging Writers’ Prize in 2011, and was shortlisted for The Alfred Deakin Prize for an Essay Advancing Public Debate in the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards for 2007. Meera has a PhD from the Writing and Society Research Centre at Western Sydney University and also publishes academically. Her monograph, The Poetics of Intergenerational Trauma in 2017, and she coedited Traumatic Affect, an international volume of essays. Meera is half of the musical duo Theories of Everything, and she teaches writing, most recently at the University of Sydney.