The immigrant from South Africa, the native from Connecticut. The youngest was 19, the oldest 50. They were pharmacy techs, travel agents, entrepreneurs, students, and church-goers. Many were gay, lesbian, or transgender; all were someone's son or daughter.
--The Daily Beast

I’ve been reading some poetry this morning. A Catholic friend is reading the Bible and posting verses on Facebook. JetBlue, a corporation with a conscience, is offering free air travel to friends and families of the victims. The President has spoken--yet again-- with strength and dignity about a massacre, grief and shock.

This horrible event in Orlando has an historical and political context; it does not stand alone. And though it is impossible, even futile, to try to understand how a single person can hate and kill and gather guns to kill, we can also have compassion for his parents. He was a son, too, a son with promise born on democratic American soil. Think about his Dari-speaking Afghan immigrant parents. How relieved they must have been to escape a war zone. Did they take that trauma with them? Undoubtedly.

Certainly, something went terribly wrong with their son.

Even Hitler was a baby once upon a time. A baby who grew into a man infected by a coarse and dangerous ideology. A baby who grew into a killing machine. First came propaganda, then a book, then the final solution.

A home-grown terrorist. We don’t have to look overseas to ISIS to find a hate- driven ideology. Donald Trump’s foul mouth twists words and distorts truth. His angry face fills our television screens every day. If he were our leader, how many people would say “heil” to him?

Let us not let him stop us from thinking clearly, feeling deeply, or sounding our own carefully chosen words with honor. Let us celebrate our heartfelt human response to this tragedy.

2016 Workshops
NYU School of Professional Studies
Creative Nonfiction Writing

Explore the process of writing nonfiction with clarity and precision as well as with a poet’s eye. Geared toward both novice writers and out-of-practice scribes, this course guides you through a series of effective exercises to jump-start your nonfiction writing. Emphasis is placed on building self-confidence and developing your individual voice. Write short essays, memoirs, and profiles. Learn to improve tone, style, and point of view through imaginative weekly writing assignments and by reading masters of nonfiction.

Course Number

Humanities, Arts, and Writing
Program Area
Creative Writing
Wednesday Nights

Witness to History

Course Description:

Whether it’s the moon landing, the 9/​​11 terrorist attacks, or the election of the country’s first African-American president, historic, world-changing events can have a very personal impact. In this interactive workshop, choose a reported event—whether witnessed firsthand or through the media—and craft a personal essay that recounts it from your own perspective. Use oral storytelling of personal recollections to shape your essay, and then delve into research to unlock memories and to add context to your story. The only required tools are memory, a notebook and pen, and access to the Internet or a library. Beginners and seasoned writers are welcome.

Course Number

Humanities, Arts, and Writing
Program Area
Creative Writing
Monday Nights


Group Class by audition/​​ invitation only @​​ $50-70 per session depending on enrollment. Prerequisite: a workshop experience, motivation, commitment to critiquing work. I don't run a group class every term.

Individual Coaching @​​ a realistic sliding scale within your budget:

$15-$25 per submission page, $100 - $150 per hour for a F2F, Skype or FT discussion of the critique. Marked-up pages will be returned to you.

I discuss the fee with my students before beginning work. We settle on a fee that is comfortable for both of us.

Carol Bergman’s articles, essays, and interviews have appeared in The New York Times, Cosmopolitan, and Her essay, “Objects of Desire” was nominated for the Pushcart Prize; her short stories have appeared in many literary magazines. She is the author of biographies of Mae West and Sidney Poitier, a memoir, Searching for Fritzi, two books of novellas, Sitting for Klimt and Water Baby and two novels, Say Nothing and What Returns to Us. She compiled and edited Another Day in Paradise; International Humanitarian Workers Tell Their Stories, nominated for the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize. She lives in New York City and teaches writing at New York University.