Archive - 2008

December 15th

Happy Holidays & Thank You.

Mon, 12/15/2008 - 7:09am

Douglass St. Writing Lab with

Matthew Clark Davison

6  Seats Remain for Winter 2009 Session Starting January 20th

UPDATE 12/29/08: 2 Seats Remain!


Please email me to join the official waiting list, and if you haven't already, please sign up for the mailing list to get advanced notice for future sessions of The Lab. 

Dear Friends and Writers,

First, Happy Holidays and a big huge THANK YOU to everyone who has spread the word about The Douglass Street Writing Lab. 2008 was a great year for The Labs. We held 3 sessions where word lovers of all sorts inspired each other to begin writing or to continue writing or to write more deeply or committed-ly. We've had dancers and yoga teachers and moms and non-profit workers and bakers and gardeners and even a writer or two...

A few of us started projects. A few continued. A few even finished work to send out. And now a couple of the Douglass Street Writers are waiting to hear from the MFA programs to which they've applied.

Our three readings, which we held at local-non-corporate-"family"-owned businesses, were well-attended, short-and-sweet, and FUN (fun is always a delightful surprise when it comes to "literary" readings)! 

So THANKS again to everyone who has signed up, showed up, supported, forwarded, talked about or recommended The Lab.

Because I want The Lab to be different from what one might find in the standard fiction/memoir writing class, I always look for inspiration for the discussions/prompts in seemingly-unlikely places. So far I've found them: carved into the sidewalk's cement outside of SF General Hospital's emergency room; in an old documentary where Picasso painted on film while talking about his process; in on online exhibition of an artist who paints, from memory, nearly-exact-replica photo-realistic paintings of his childhood town in Italy; and in a video-taped lecture delivered by a brain scientist who had a stroke. Those in addition to slices of incredible fiction, memoir, and essays on the craft of writing from which we've learned or sharpened practical tools before putting pen to paper.  

In planning for January's Lab, I've been stealing writing ideas gleaned by taking a writing/movement class from Joe Goode; from seeing an outdoor production by Levy Dance;  by going the plays The History Boys and The Quality of Life; from documentaries on: the singer/musician Bjork, on a bunch of graffiti artists, on the history of the Deaf community and ASL

I'm planning on using a collection of excepts from fiction where the various writers delve into the subject of SEX when the intention is NOT to arouse or tantalize the reader. 

I want to look at a scene of a woman's hair filmed in the wind from the movie "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" to talk about how scenes on the page might move from here to there. 

I've thought of prompts listening to Toni Morrison speak to Michael Krasny at City Arts and Lectures; from a small book my friend Greg recommended called 101 THINGS I LEARNED IN ARCHITECTURE SCHOOL; from hearing Alanis Morrisette and Elisa in concert; and even from Brian Eno's Iphone application "Bloom." Of course, too, as always, I've been stealing ideas from the often genius observations and insights from my students at San Francisco State. 

I can't wait to see what happens in the next session. 

If this sounds interesting to you, even if you haven't been writing or never have considered yourself a writer, contact me. If you know someone who might enjoy this kind of class, please send them a link to this page. 

Douglass Street Lab is where people who love words take their writing, not themselves, seriously.  

Fiction, Creative Non, and Beyond 

A Creative Writing Laboratory 8-week Session 

When: 8 consecutive Tuesdays, starting August, 2009. 

What time: 7-9:30pm. 

Where: A spacious private home near both the Castro and Noe Valley with easy parking and access to MUNI (pictured, above). 

Cost: $395.00 

Intimate writing laboratory (a place to research, experiment, measure, review, and revise) for all levels. 



on the lab

on matthew




contact matthew 

What Previous Participants Have Said About The Lab: 

“Receiving instruction from Matthew Davison reaps benefits that work double-time! Not only will you get skilled and effective guidance to strengthen your writing, you will receive it from someone who is whole-heartedly invested and committed to your specific goals and desires. Further, he teaches his students how to read more effectively, which undoubtedly makes us better writers." –Steve Dershimer, Winter & Spring 2008 Douglass Street Participant.

“Matthew is an insightful, uniquely personal instructor with an understated yet well-prepared and confident approach. Not only did I improve my writing craft and critical reading skills, but the vibe was devoid of pretension, filled with helpful, supportive discussion. Beginning to well-seasoned writers are well served by Douglass Street.” –John Yi, Spring ’08 Douglass Street Lab Participant. 

“Matthew’s workshop fit in perfectly with my schedule and opened an extremely productive space for my writing. It was great to hear other participants’ interpretations of the creative prompts. Matthew’s facilitation mixed beautiful examples of theory with practical application of concepts, always with a smile. I found it very applicable and looked forward to the workshop each week. This is a great opportunity for anyone who wants to explore their own writing in the company of like-minded folks.” –Anne Trickey, Winter & Spring 2008 Douglass Street Participant.