About Tarn Wilson

Tarn Wilson earned her MA in education from Stanford and her MFA in creative writing from the Rainier Writing Workshop. Her recent work appears in A River and Sound Review, Brevity, Defunct, Gulf Stream, Harvard Divinity Bulletin, Inertia, Ruminate, South Loop Review, and The Sun, among others. The Slow Farm is her first book. Learn more on her website.

Finding Form

Tarn Wilson delivered this paper for a panel on “Hydra-Headed Memoirs & Well-Connected Essays” at the 2015 Nonfiction Now conference. I am delighted to have her permission to post her words for Writing It Real readers. Tarn’s lovely memoir is The Slow Farm. She uses her experience writing it to inform other writers about her … Continue reading

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Interview with Memoirist Tarn Wilson, Part III: Writing About Others and The Journey to Publication

Last week we posted Part II of my interview with Tarn Wilson about her memoir The Slow Farm. We talked about different ways of bringing back memories and how to write from a child’s viewpoint as an adult. This week, she shares the way she approaches writing about family members consciously and compassionately way, provides … Continue reading

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Interview With Memoirist Tarn Wilson, Part II: The Art of Remembering

Last week we posted the first part of my interview with Tarn Wilson about her memoir The Slow Farm. Tarn and I talked about how she used artifacts to reconstruct the past and how she structured her book. This week Tarn and I discuss the art of remembering. Tarn tells us about how she finds … Continue reading

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Interview with Memoirist Tarn Wilson, Part I: Reconstructing the Past

I am a person who saves things, from the obviously important letter my father wrote me right before he passed away to the “might need it someday” notes from middle school. I have shoeboxes of unorganized photographs, rocks and shells from past trips sit on my bookshelves, and, rolled in a back closet corner, sit … Continue reading

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In Praise of Inadequate Gifts

Former Writing It Real intern, Tarn Wilson, shares an exquisite, humble essay about the times we confront loss in the lives of those we don’t know well and the times others address our own losses. This essay first appeared in Harvard Divinity Bulletin, Vol. 40, Nos. 3 and 4 (Summer/Autumn 2012): 13-16. Copyright 2012 The President … Continue reading

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Go Ahead: Write About Your Parents, Again

Tarn Wilson writes, “Then, in my newest piece of writing, my mother returned like a zombie, dominating in all her horror and glory. She was stubborn and unyielding and I had no powers against her. After I’d wallowed around in the shame of my retrogression, I decided to re-examine my assumptions.” It is with delight that … Continue reading

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Writing Wisdom Gleaned from an Olympic Ski Coach

When my sister came to visit me this spring, she brought along her boss, Rob Roy, a former Olympic ski coach who lives in Bend, Oregon where he hikes, skis, and develops green building and affordable housing for seniors. I was curious about what he had learned about fostering athletic excellence. As he talked, I … Continue reading

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An Interview with Jay Bates, Host of A River & Sound Review

This year, I have had the delightful experience of working with Tarn Wilson, who is finishing up her MFA this spring from Pacific Lutheran University’s Rainer Writing Workshop. Writing It Real subscribers have already benefited from her article on keeping a travel journal; this week, we benefit from her program’s network as she interviews classmate … Continue reading

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