Autumn 2009

Fiction

Beginning Fiction Writing (CRWR 10200/30200, Section 01)

This beginning-level fiction-writing class will use a wide range of exercises and activities to help students discover their oral and written voices. Point of view, seeing-in-the-mind, gesture, audience, and other aspects of story will be emphasized so that students can attempt to incorporate basic storytelling principles, forms, and techniques into their own writing. The major goals of the class are to guide students to discover and use the power of their individual voices, heighten their imaginative seeing and sense of imaginative options, and to develop their overall sense for story structure and movement. The activities of this course will emphasize the interrelated connections of reading, writing, listening, oral telling, sense of personal voice, imaginative seeing, and structure. Students will select at least one of the assignments undertaken, rewrite it extensively, and attempt a publishable-quality, complete story movement (short story or novel excerpt).

Instructor: Megan Stielstra. Day and Time: Wed, 6:00 to 8:50 PM
PQ: Instructor consent required. Online submission deadline: 9/1/09. Submit a 3–5 page writing sample, preferably fiction.

Beginning Fiction Writing (CRWR 10200/30200, Section 02)

In this beginning workshop, form, story, character, dialogue, aspects of style and other elements of craft will be discussed, and in-class exercises will be designed with these in mind. Each of these factors will be considered regarding the student’s work, which will be a regular focus of discussion, along with analysis of contemporary short stories with a wide variety of themes and styles chosen to engage the writer’s imagination. Critical and thoughtful participation in class discussion is required, and students are expected to write two new stories during the term, turning in revisions of these stories before the end of the quarter.

Instructor: Augustus Rose. Day and time: Mon, 1:30 to 4:20 PM
PQ: Instructor consent required. Online submission deadline: 9/1/09. Submit a 3–5 page writing sample, preferably fiction.

Intermediate Fiction Workshop (CRWR 12000/32000, Section 01)

Student work will be the primary focus of discussion, along with analysis of contemporary short stories with a wide variety of themes and styles chosen to engage the writer’s imagination. Other selected readings will also be on the syllabus, including essays and interviews relating to fiction. Form, story, character, dialogue, aspects of style and other elements of craft will be discussed; careful attention will be paid to the individual student’s voice, and each of these factors will be discussed regarding the process of revision. Critical and thoughtful participation in class discussion is required, and students are expected to write three new stories during the term, turning in revisions of two of these stories before the end of the quarter.

Instructor: Augustus Rose. Day and time: Mon, 6:00 to 8:50 PM
PQ: Instructor consent required. Online submission deadline: 9/1/09. Submit a 3–5 page writing sample, preferably fiction.

Advanced Fiction Workshop (CRWR 22100/42100, Section 01)

Description pending.

Instructor: Mark Slouka. Day and time: Tues, 1:20 to 4:20 PM
PQ: Instructor consent required. Online submission deadline: 9/1/09. Submit a 3–5 page writing sample, preferably fiction.

Nonfiction

Beginning Creative Nonfiction Writing: Finding Your Voice (CRWR 10400/30400, Section 01)

In this workshop you are free to write about anything at all, including fiction and poetry, as long as you do so in an intimate and personal, rather than academic, voice. Your voice is the true subject of this class. Our goal is to help you find and strengthen it. To that end you will try your hand at any true story or train of thought—be it a memoir, travelogue, anecdote, character study, essay or argument—and submit it to your classmates, who will edit and critique your piece. You will do the same for them. Together we will refine our narratives and our prose and insist on rigorous reflection and total honesty. A voice can take years to develop, but we have only ten weeks. So come to the first day of class with ideas and work underway and ready to share. Be prepared to write every day and to finish three full rewrites of your work in progress. We will also read and discuss published exemplars of the form. You will leave this class with a polished work sample to use for admission to more advanced courses.

Instructor: Dan Raeburn. Day and Time: Thurs, 9:00 to 11:50 AM
PQ: Instructor consent required. Submit a 3–5 page writing sample, preferably nonfiction.

Intermediate Creative Nonfiction Workshop (CRWR 14000/34000)

In this course we will examine what is creative about so-called creative nonfiction. What makes a personal narrative different from journalism, scholarship, or editorial opinion? What makes for lasting, literary art? Through daily and weekly reading, writing, and editing you will learn to combine the facts of the matter at hand with your own retrospection and reflection. Your grade will be based on the artistry you display in balancing these two and in recognizing how they can both complement and contradict one another. This is a workshop, so come to the first day of class with ideas and work underway and ready to share. Be prepared to write every day of the week and to finish two full rewrites of an essay of fifteen or so pages. We will also read and discuss published exemplars of the form.

Instructor: Staff. Day and time: Mon, 1:30 to 4:20 PM
PQ: Instructor consent required. Online submission deadline: 9/1/09. Submit a 3–5 page writing sample, preferably nonfiction.

Advanced Creative Nonfiction Workshop (CRWR 24000/44000)

Description to come.

Instructor: Mark Slouka. Day and time: Thurs, 1:20 to 4:20 PM
PQ: Instructor consent required. Online submission deadline: 9/1/09. Submit a 3–5 page writing sample, preferably nonfiction.

Poetry

Beginning Poetry Writing (CRWR 10300/30300, Section 01)

This Beginning Poetry Writing course explores the craft of writing poems. In tandem with reading collections by contemporary poets, you will read seminal essays on the elements of poetry, including meter, imagery, the poetic line, and grammar. Each week, you will also write new poems and critique each other’s work.

Instructor: James Shea. Day and time: Mon, 1:30 to 4:20 PM 
PQ: Instructor consent required. Online submission deadline: 9/1/09. Submit 5-7 pages of poems plus a 1-2 page personal statement.

Beginning Poetry Writing (CRWR 10300/30300, Section 02)

This course addresses a range of techniques for writing poetry, making use of various compelling models drawn primarily from international modernisms on which to base our own writing. (Our textbook is Poems for the Millennium, edited by Rothenberg & Joris.) In this sense, the course will constitute an apprenticeship to modern poetry. We will consider the breadth of approaches currently available to poets, as well as the value of reading as a means of developing an understanding of how to write poetry. Each week students will bring poems for discussion, developing a portfolio of revised work by the quarter’s end. Additionally, students will keep detailed notebooks, as well as developing critical skills for understanding poetry in the form of two short essays.

Instructor: Peter O’Leary. Day and time: Tues, 12:00 to 2:50 PM
PQ: Instructor consent required. Online submission deadline: 9/1/09. Submit 2–3 poems, 3–5 pages in length.

Intermediate Poetry Workshop: Narrative, Locality, and Space in the “American Epic” (CRWR 13000/33000)

This workshop-centered course invites writers to regularly submit ongoing work in poetry; long poems, series of poems, and shorter poems are welcome. Within our reading, we’ll reconsider the shape of an “American or local epic,” its geographical, historical, and cultural impulses. To this end, we’ll examine work by poets including Derek Walcott, Charles Olson, Muriel Rukeyser, Walt Whitman.

Instructor: Garin Cycholl. Day and Time: Wed, 1:30 to 4:20 PM
PQ: Instructor consent required. Online submission deadline: 9/1/09. Submit 2–3 poems, 3–5 pages in length.

Advanced Poetry Workshop: Contemporary Poetics (CRWR 23100/43100)

In this course, we will examine various formal, theoretical, and sociological currents in contemporary American poetry as a means of provoking and informing our own creative work in the lyric field.  While the class will be a “writing workshop” first and foremost, we will also study recent books of poetry from a variety of contemporary schools” in order to orient ourselves within the fertile, sectarian, and maddeningly complex landscape of today’s lyric writing.  It is important to keep in mind, however, that this is ultimately a course about your work as a poet.  Throughout the semester, we will read one another’s writing within the broad context of contemporary American poetics, and yet we will respect the solitary and idiosyncratic nature of the lyric enterprise as well.  

Instructor: Srikanth Reddy. Day and Time: Wed, 3:00 to 5:50 PM
PQ: Instructor consent required. Online submission deadline: 9/1/09. Submit up to 5 pages of poetry.

Poetry from the Outside 

“I prefer commencing with the consideration of an effect,” wrote Poe in his famous essay on the composition of “The Raven.” This class approaches poetry with a similar concern. We will explore what it means to write from outside the first-person perspective by reading modern and contemporary poets who regard their work as similar to that of historians and reporters, as well as poetry composed by chance operations and machines. This class is open to both creative and critical writers. Some classes will be organized as creative writing workshops, others as seminar discussions. Both creative and critical final projects will be accepted.

Instructor: Srikanth Reddy. Instructor: Matthias Regan. Day and Time: Tues and Thurs,1:30 to 2:50 PM
PQ: This is an online bid course open to undergraduates.

Writing for Performance

Adaptation: Text and Image (CRWR 27001/47001)

This course will explore the marriage of image and text, looking at, among other things, films, illuminated manuscripts, court masques, comic books/graphic novels, children’s picture books, and present day international, national, and local theater productions that deal at their core with the often tense balance and dance between story and picture. Some examples of work we might study would be Chris Marker’s La jetée, various works of image-based theater (i.e., William Kentridge, Roman Paska, the masques of Ben Jonson and Inigo Jones), the comics of Winsor McCay, William Blake’s engraved poems and images, as well as more contemporary works, i.e., Superman comics, music videos, graffiti, and installation art.

Instructors: Mickle Maher and Frank Magueri. Day and Time: Mon, 6:00 to 8:50 PM
PQ: Instructor consent required. Online submission deadline: 9/1/09. Details and form: creativewriting.uchicago.edu. Submit a 3–5 page writing sample of any genre. Optional: You may also provide a (digital) portfolio of visual works.