Winter 2009

Fiction

Beginning Fiction Writing (CRWR 10200/30200, Section 1)

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: Mon, 6:00 to 8:50 PM
PQ: No submission necessary. This is an open-bid class. If class is full, please email katesoto@uchicago.edu to be added to the waitlist.

Beginning Fiction Writing (CRWR 10200/30200, Section 2)

Course description to come.

Instructor: Susan Fromberg-Schaeffer. Day and Time: Wed, 1:30 to 4:20 PM 
PQ: No submission necessary. This is an open-bid class. If class is full, please email katesoto@uchicago.edu to be added to the waitlist.

Intermediate/Advanced Fiction: Urban Fictions (CRWR 12002/32002)

This intermediate/advanced workshop in fiction invites both short stories and chapters/sections from extended projects in fiction.  A side concern in the workshop is focused on urban spaces in contemporary fiction.  Is there such a thing as the “Chicago novel?”  The Miami, Los Angeles, or Omaha novel?  What spaces are intrinsic to such projects?  Are these public or private spaces?  Authors here that we will examine include John Edgar Wideman, Lydie Salvayre, and Jeffery Renard Allen.

Instructor: Garin Cycholl. Day and Time: Thursday 1:30 to 4:20
PQ: Instructor’s consent. Please submit an 8-to-10-page writing sample in fiction by using the online submission form. Submission deadline: December 1, 2008.

Thesis/Major Projects in Fiction (CRWR 29200/49200)

This advanced fiction course will focus on the completion of a longer body of work, specifically the creative thesis. Students should come to the class with a body of work in progress (at least three stories or three chapters of a novel) and be prepared to discuss thoughtfully all aspects of the work of their peers in a workshop format. During the term, the focus will be on extensive revision of the larger body of work, including overarching themes and structure as well as point of view, voice, character, however, the course will also include close reading of assigned texts with an eye on how other writers are able to achieve their specific goals.

Instructor: Elizabeth Crane. Day and Time: Wed, 9:30 AM to 12:20 PM
PQ: Instructor consent required. Limited to students completing BA/MA theses. Please submit an 8-to-10-page writing sample in fiction and a brief plan for your project by using the online submission form. Submission deadline: December 1, 2008.

Thesis/Major Projects in Fiction (CRWR 29200/49200)

Course description to come.

Instructor: Mark Slouka. Day and Time: Mon, 6:00 to 8:50 PM
PQ: Instructor consent required. Limited to students completing BA/MA theses. Please submit an 8-to-10-page writing sample in fiction and a brief plan for your project by using the online submission form. Submission deadline: December 1, 2008.

Non-fiction

Beginning Non-fiction: The Personal Essay (CRWR 10400/30400, Section 1)

In this workshop we will study and practice nonfiction's fundamental form, the personal essay. Unlike other forms of prose, the personal essay does not derive its narrative power from actions, events, or plot; instead it is driven primarily by rigorous reflection and total honesty. Its story, therefore, is the story of thought itself. The form's elastic structure can be the perfect vehicle for clarifying your thinking as well as that of our culture and time. This is a workshop, so come to the first day of class with ideas and work underway and ready to submit. You will write every day and finish two thorough rewrites of your original essay. We will also read and discuss published exemplars of the form.

Instructor: Daniel Raeburn. Day and Time: Tues, 1:30 to 4:30 PM 
PQ: No submission necessary. This is an open-bid class. If class is full, please email katesoto@uchicago.edu to be added to the waitlist.

Beginning Non-fiction: The Art of Non-Fiction (CRWR 10400/30400, Section 2)

Description to come.

Instructor: Mark Slouka. Day and Time: Tues, 9:30 AM to 12:20 PM 
PQ: No submission necessary. This is an open-bid class. If class is full, please email katesoto@uchicago.edu to be added to the waitlist.

Thesis/Major Projects in Creative Nonfiction (CRWR 29400/49400)

This course is for students writing a long piece of nonfiction. It can be an extended essay, memoir, travelogue, literary journalism, or an interrelated collection thereof. It is a workshop, so come to the first day of class with your work underway and ready to submit. You are required to edit your classmates' writing as diligently as you edit your own. I focus on editing because writing is, in essence, rewriting. Only by learning to edit other people's work will you gradually acquire the objectivity you need to skillfully edit your own. You will profit not only from the advice you receive, but from the advice you learn to give. I will teach you to teach each other and thus yourselves, preparing you for the real life of the writer outside the academy.

Instructor: Daniel Raeburn. Day and Time: Thurs, 1:30 to 4:30 PM 
PQ: Instructor consent required. Limited to students completing BA/MA theses. Please submit an 8-to-10-page writing sample in nonfiction and a brief plan for your project by using the online submission form. Submission deadline: December 1, 2008.

Writing Journalism (CRWR 28000/48000)

This workshop will begin with the craft of mainstream news reporting and move toward the art of literary journalism. Along the way we will practice arts reviewing, travel writing, commentary, narrative, profile, and other genres of journalism. We will depart from traditional social-scientific approaches to journalism and examine it through the humanities to gain critical purchase on the cultural production, ethical obligation, and imaginative practice of journalists. We will study methods of style and storytelling that separate enduring prose from tomorrow's bird-cage liner, while plundering technique from an eclectic array of journalists and non-fiction writers, including Joan Didion, James Baldwin, Dorothy Parker, Roger Ebert, E.B. White, Annie Dillard, Heywood Broun, Tony Horwitz, A.O. Scott. As much as possible, we will follow the rituals of the job, completing weekly assignments that target the audience of a particular publication. Sleeves will be rolled up. Deadlines will be met. Publication will be our goal.

Instructor: Jeff McMahon. Day and Time: Tues/Thurs, 12:00 to 1:20 PM
PQ: Instructor Consent. Please submit an 8-to-10-page writing sample in nonfiction and a statement of purpose that describes both journalism experience and goals. Use the online submission form. Submission deadline: December 1, 2008.

Poetry

Beginning Poetry: Imitation as Innovation (CRWR 10300/30300)

This course takes as its premise that the best way to discover one’s own “voice” as a writer is to apprentice oneself to other voices.  In that spirit, this course will introduce students to the reading and writing of lyric poetry through the practice of imitating poets who have each made significant—and very different—contributions to contemporary American poetry. Students will complete weekly assignments, or “imitations,” based on the work of these poets. These assignments will form the basis for our discussions each week, and may be supplemented by reading assignments from a selection of essays on poetic craft. In studying and imitating these poets, we will consider such fundamental concepts of lyric poetry as form, imagery, syntax, genre, voice, poetic logic, and revision. By the end of the quarter, students will have generated a substantial portfolio of original work and refined their critical skills as readers of poetry.

Instructor: Suzanne Buffam. Day and Time: Tues, 3:00 to 5:50 PM
PQ: No submission necessary. This is an open-bid class. If class is full, please email katesoto@uchicago.edu to be added to the waitlist.

Intermediate Poetry Workshop: Topics in Poetics (CRWR 13004/33004)

In this course, we will explore fundamental concepts in the writing of lyric poetry.  We will study traditional poetic forms and approaches alongside currents in contemporary lyric poetry, and will consider the extent to which these may challenge and complicate our own writing practices.  Because the course is designed as a workshop, a significant portion of each class will be devoted to the discussion and critique of one another's poems.  In addition, we will read essays on poetic craft, history and theory, while exploring the work of many poets both contemporary and past.  By the end of the quarter, participants will have generated a substantial portfolio of original work and refined their critical skill as readers of poetry. 

Instructor: Suzanne Buffam. Day and Time: Thurs, 1:30 to 4:20 PM
PQ: Instructor consent. Please submit an 8-to-10-page writing sample in poetry by using the online form. Submission deadline: December 1, 2008.

Thesis/Major Projects in Poetry (CRWR 29300/49300)

This course is an advanced poetry workshop intended primarily for students writing creative theses either in the undergraduate college or in the MAPH program, though it is also open to students who are writing poetry at an advanced level. Because it is a thesis seminar, the course will focus on various ways of organizing larger poetic "projects." We will consider the poetic sequence, the chapbook, the long poem, the poetry collection, and the book-length poem as ways of extending the practice of poetry beyond the individual lyric text. We will also problematize the notion of broad poetic “projects,” considering the consequences of imposing a predetermined conceptual framework on the elusive, spontaneous, and subversive act of lyric writing. Because this class is designed as a poetry workshop, your fellow students' work will be the primary text over the course of the quarter.

Instructor: Srikanth Reddy. Day and Time: Tues, 3:00 to 5:50 PM
PQ: Instructor consent required. Limited to students completing BA/MA theses. Please submit an 8-to-10-page writing sample in poetry and a brief plan for your project by using the online submission form. Submission deadline: December 1, 2008.

Translation Workshop (CRWR 11504/31504)

Description to come.

Instructor: Srikanth Reddy. Day and Time: Thurs, 1:30 to 4:20 PM
PQ: Instructor consent. Please submit an 8-to-10-page writing sample in poetry by using the online form. Submission deadline: December 1, 2008.

Writing for Performance

Adaptation: The Book Was Better (Adaptation, Re-imagining, and Mutation; Creating Works for the Stage from Non-dramatic Texts)(CRWR 27001/47001)

Aimed at making a fully realized piece of ensemble theater by term’s end, this workshop will use as its launch pad Frank O’Hara’s highly visual and conversational Lunch Poems. Each student will be asked to select one or more of the poems to adapt/transform into a compact theater piece, working then with the class as a whole to combine these pieces in a total evening. As O’Hara’s work is informed by the many artists of the time who were his friends and collaborators (Brainard, de Kooning, Goldberg, Kline, etc.), research into their lives and works will be an aspect of the course as well. Some questions we’ll be looking into include: Is it possible to bring the “spirit” of the Lunch Poems to the stage? Is that even desirable? And how do those elements shared by both O’Hara’s work and the theater—light, music, movement, scenery— operate and satisfy in the absence of narrative drive? 

Instructor: Mickle Maher. Day and Time: TBD
PQ: Instructor consent. Please submit an 8-to-10-page writing sample in any genre by using the online submission form. Submission deadline: December 1, 2008.