Björklunden May Workshop Focuses on Literature’s Key Themes

From May 9 – 13, Lawrence University’s Björklunden is offering “Reading – and Writing – About Five Key Themes in Literature” with instructor Paul McComas. The workshop is open to readers and working/aspiring writers alike.

Love and loss. The working life. Coming of age. Struggle and hope. Life and death. In literature, just as in life, these subjects appear and assert themselves continually. By honing in on and guiding participants in the exploration of these five rich, timeless, universal themes, McComas both helps readers gain additional insights into whatever books they’ll choose to read throughout the rest of their lives, and aids and encourages writers of all genres in the development of their own techniques.

The class will study and discuss excerpts from the works of, among others, these authors: Maya Angelou, Melissa Bank, Larry Brown, Emily Dickinson, Arthur Conan Doyle, Joseph Iron-Eye Dudley, Tony Earley, Joshua Ferris, Ernest Hemingway, O. Henry, Kazuo Ishiguro, P.D. James, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Carson McCullers, Jane Mendelsohn, Joyce Carol Oates, Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Raucher, Alice Sebold, and Adalbert Stifter. In the evenings, McComas will provide (optional) screenings and discussions of feature films that depict the various themes.

McComas is the author of five critically acclaimed books and the editor of two fiction anthologies. He has taught writing, literature and film at every level up through Master’s programs, and at academic sites including Northwestern and National-Louis Universities, the University of Chicago, and Tribeca Flashpoint Academy of Media Arts. For more about McComas’ work visit

Participants may register as residents, which includes the workshop, food and meals for the week, or as commuters, which includes the workshop and some lunches. Registration closes May 4. To register, visit, call 920.839.2216, or email [email protected].

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