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Fall 2018 Course Descriptions: Creative Writing

ENGL 1240.01 Beginning Nonfiction Workshop

Piyali Bhattacharya

MWF 10:10 - 11:00 AM

In the age of the online essay, what is it that makes a piece of writing go "viral?" In other words, what makes a piece of nonfiction resonate with readers, many of whom may never have gone through the experiences about which the essay has been written? What are the reasons to write a personal essay? Is it for the writer to find meaning and healing, is it to connect with a community of others who feel the same way, is it to make passionate arguments about deeply held beliefs? How is the form of Personal Essay different from that of Memoir or Autobiography? These are the themes we will explore in this course. During the semester, we will read pieces by successful essay writers and identify the reasons why they have consistently struck a chord with readers. Additionally, the course will be a workshop for student writing in which we'll draw from our own life stories to write well-crafted, thematically cohesive, and pithy essays. Each student will submit at least two essays during the course of the semester which will be critiqued by the members of the class.


ENGL 1280.01 Beginning Fiction Workshop

Maddy Parsley

MWF 3:10 - 4:00 PM

Introduction to the art of writing prose fiction.


ENGL 1280.02 Beginning Fiction Workshop

John Shakespear

MWF 9:10 - 10:00 AM

Introduction to the art of writing prose fiction.


ENGL 1290.01 Beginning Fiction Workshop

Carlina Duan

MWF 9:10 - 10:00 AM

Introduction to the art of writing poetry.


ENGL 1290.02 Beginning Fiction Workshop

Joshua Moore

MWF 11:10 - 12:00 PM

Introduction to the art of writing poetry.


ENGL 3210 Intermediate Nonfiction Writing: Life Writing: Memoirs about People, Places, and Historical Moments

Sandy Solomon

M 12:10 - 3:00 PM

Writers of good memoirs transform the raw material of their lives into stories readers can recognize as instructive, insightful, and true to life. This creative writing workshop will concentrate on three kinds of experiences that offer interesting subject matter for most people: people, places, and historical moments. The course will emphasize writing and careful revision. Register for the waitlist; then to gain admission to this course, submit a 250- to 500-word writing sample to Solomon by August 5, 2018. Write a short memoir about someone you know well, someone about whom you have complex feelings. Possible immersion sequence with English 3290.


ENGL 3230.01 Intermediate Fiction Workshop

Justin Quarry

12:10 - 3:00 PM

This workshop is geared toward those who already have some experience writing short stories, with the intentions of broadening students’ knowledge of the elements of craft, and of incorporating elements of fantasy in literary fiction. The chief texts for this course will be approximately twenty-four stories written by workshop members, but throughout the semester students also will read and examine craft essays and contemporary American short fiction in order to better understand how to apply what they learn to their own writing. Previous creative writing workshop experience is strongly recommended before taking this class, and instructor permission is required to enroll. Sign up on the course's YES waitlist, and you will receive application instructions for the course in early May.


ENGL 3230.02 Intermediate Fiction Workshop

Lee Conell

3:10 - 6:00 PM

This course focuses on development of elements of fiction, including characterization, scene, dialogue, plot, setting, significant detail, and perspective. In workshop, students will draft two short stories, complete three writing exercises, attend and respond to three literary events, as well as read and critique original narratives by peers. Workshop members will also analyze published short stories in Best American Short Stories, 2017 in conjunction with chapters in Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft and craft articles by various authors. Prospective students must contact instructor for submission requirements.


ENGL 3250 Intermediate Poetry Workshop

Beth Bachmann

R 11:10 - 2:00 PM

In this intermediate poetry writing workshop, you will both write and read poetry. While the primary texts will be poems written by members of the workshop, you will also be introduced to the work of contemporary poets as well as to criticism on various elements of the craft of poetry. We will concentrate on form as it informs both shape and subject matter (self-portrait, ode, terza rima, couplets, epistle, elegy, sonnet sequence, and contemporary study). In addition to critiquing other participants’ work, you will complete creative assignments and a writer’s notebook. Assessment based on participation, assignments, notebook and final portfolio.


ENGL 3891.01 "Look for Me Under Your Boot-Soles": Whitman and His Children

Rick Hilles

TR 9:35 - 10:50 AM

Almost as a dare to all posterity, Whitman says (at the end of “Song of Myself”) “Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged,/Missing me one place search another.” And: “You will hardly know who I am or what I mean,/But I shall be good health to you nevertheless.” In this spirit, we will look for the continuation of Whitman, his project of liberation and his free verse line, in the poetry of several of his rightful heirs, including: D.H. Lawrence, Ezra Pound, Hart Crane, W.C. Williams, Langston Hughes, Robert Penn Warren, Muriel Rukeyser, Adrienne Rich, Denise Levertov, Philip Levine, Charles Wright, Jay Wright, Lucile Clifton, up to contemporary poets like Terrance Hayes, Ada Limón, Camille Dungy, and Ocean Vuong.


ENGL 3891.02 The Craft of Memoir Writing: Reading Other People's Lives

Sandy Solomon

TR 9:35 - 10:50 AM

Writers of good memoirs transform the raw material of their lives into stories readers can recognize as instructive, insightful, and true to life. This seminar will look at how memoirists have wrestled with methodological problems associated with writing about their lives. Students will read some book-length memoirs; some book excerpts; some article-length memoirs; and some writing about memoirs. Students will make seminar presentations and write a final paper examining one technical aspect of memoir writing. Priority admission to students wanting to take this class in conjunction with English 3210 as an Immersion core sequence.