Annie Liontas’ non-fiction workshop. Best known for her work as founding Editor-in-chief of literary and art magazine No Tokens, and her debut memoir, LONG LIVE THE TRIBE OF FATHERLESS GIRLS, Madden visited the writing workshop to provide insight into the inherent power and worth of nonfiction storytelling. In a statement from Professor Liontas, it becomes clear that Madden’s contributions to the workshop were nothing short of intense, inspirational, and thought-provoking. Professor Liontas writes, “The room really came alive when T Kira Madden started talking about her experience of memoir–what excites her, what freaks her out. She helped confirm for students the inherent worth of turning to our own authentic stories, and she spoke deeply and personally about the challenges that arise in navigating the assumed power of the nonfiction writer. I could feel students’ thinking shifting, questioning how they, too, can connect with readers on the page. They want to take more risks.” The student chat room proved that Professor Liontas’ words were not an exaggeration. Students posted various messages praising Madden’s advice for being “freeing”, “enlightening”, and “helpful”. One student went as far as to say that the experience with Madden was “extraordinary”, before pointing out that it is rare to hear something so “profound, resonant, and genuinely relatable in a zoom call!” T Kira Madden’s visit was a transformative experience for the writers in Professor Liontas’ workshop, proving that online learning does not inhibit one’s ability to be inspired.
Article by Leila Wargotz, English Major, Class of 2023.