Bernard Cooper taught memoir at Aspen Summer Words 2014. 

Bernard Cooper has written three memoirs, a novel, and a short story collection. Among his many honors, he has received the PEN/Ernest Hemingway Award, an O. Henry Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Known for his razor-sharp wit, The New York Times called Cooper an “honest and keen-eyed” writer. His most recent memoir, The Bill From My Father, received great critical acclaim. Cooper is the 2014 Distinguished Visiting Writer at the University of Iowa and he is a core faculty member in the MFA Writing Program at Bennington College. Cooper also teaches in the Masters of Professional Writing program at USC and at the UCLA Writers’ Program.

From the “Mining Your Life” panel at Summer Words:
“There’s a sense that memoirists sit around sort of wallowing in unpleasant memories or pain, but one of the things that’s really fantastic about writing — it’s not easy, but boy is it fantastic — is that you can take all this inchoate, painful stuff and start to make sentences out of it. And I think that’s its own reward, that you can make something clear out of this weird morass of experience that someone else can enter.” Read the full transcript.