Winter 2010

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: Mon, 6:00 to 8:50PM.
PQ: Instructor consent required. Online submission deadline: 11/16/09. Submit a 3–5 page writing sample, preferably fiction, and a one-paragraph statement of intent.

Intermediate Fiction Writing (CRWR 12002/32002)

The goal of this class is to further students’ understanding of the rhetorical strategies, methods, and artistic processes involved with creating narrative fiction, with a special emphasis on the short story form. This class will undertake an intermediate study of the techniques and practices of fiction writing through the reading and analysis of work by accomplished authors, and within the workshop format. Students will learn to identify various aspects of literary craft and utilize them in their own creative endeavors, and students will participate in critical discussions of literary work, with an emphasis on technique. A portion of the class involves ‘workshop,’ the reading and critiquing of student stories by their peers. The class requires several readings, discussions, and the creation and revision of a substantial work of fiction, under the guidance of the instructor.

Staff. Day and Time: Tues, 1:30 to 4:20 PM.
PQ: Instructor consent required. Online submission deadline: 11/16/09. Submit a 3–5 page writing sample in fiction and a one-paragraph statement of intent.

Advanced Fiction (CRWR 22100/42100)

In this course, we will focus equally on writing of drafts and the dedicated revision of those drafts. Using student work as the basis of much of our conversation, we will discuss what we want to achieve, and what specific tools we can use to strengthen our storytelling craft. Close readings of selected fictional voices from elsewhere will enlarge our notions of what fiction does and how it does it. Risk-taking and the development of rigorous practices will be encouraged. Students are welcome to write stand-alone short stories, stories that form part of a collection, or submit excerpts from a novella or novel.

Instructor: Jason Grunebaum. Day and Time: Wed, 3:00 to 5:50 PM
PQ: Instructor consent required. Online submission deadline: 11/16/09. Submit a 3–5 page writing sample in fiction and a one-paragraph statement of intent.

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

This workshop-centered course aims at the development of extended projects for students completing their BA/MA theses or working on major projects. These projects include novels, novellas, or short story collections. Within the workshop, we will seek to make significant revisions to these projects, particularly in aspects of plotting, character development, and focus. To this end, we will examine work by other contemporary writers, including Gayl Jones, Jhumpa Lahiri, Stacey Levine, and Mary Gaitskill.

Instructor: Garin Cycholl. Day and Time: Thursdays, 1:30-4:20 PM
PQ: Instructor consent required. Open only to students completing creative theses or major projects. Online submission deadline: 11/16/09. Please submit a 3–5 page writing sample in fiction and a brief plan for your project. 

Poetry

Beginning Poetry Writing (CRWR 10300/30300)

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. 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: Staff. Day and Time: Thurs, 1:30 to 4:20 PM.
PQ: Instructor consent required. Online submission deadline: 11/16/09. Submit a 3–5 page writing sample in poetry and a one-paragraph statement of intent.

Translation Workshop (CRWR 11504/31504)

This course invites students to investigate the practice and theory of literary translation. We will use a workshop format to provide feedback on your respective translation projects, which may include translating a sequence of poems, a short story, or a one-act play. We will also consider various theories of translation by Frederick Schleiermacher, Walter Benjamin, Vladimir Nabokov, Philip Lewis, and others. Proficiency in a foreign language is preferable for admission to the course.

Instructor: James Shea. Day and Time: Thurs, 1:30 to 4:20 PM.
PQ: Instructor consent required. Online submission deadline: 11/16/09. Submit a one-page letter of application, detailing your experience with foreign languages, your background in translation (if any), and the proposed text for your translation project.

Figuring Sound and Voice (CRWR 26310/46310)

The terms “sound” and “voice” may evoke—with regard to poetry workshop—ideas of poetic prosody, development of the individual voice, and study of the lyric.  This course will construe “sound” and “voice” in broader parameters, allowing us to explore counter-intuitive concepts related to acoustics, representation, and meaning in a number of media, that will contribute to our production of profoundly sonically sensitive writing.  Topics under consideration in class will include: relations among voice, language, affect / expression, and the body; the representation of nonverbal sound in poetry and of extra-musical sound and phenomena in music; sound poetries’ innovative use of the sonic properties of language; the sonic realization of visual poetry texts and of visual musical scores in performance; deconstructions of the opposition between silence and sound and renovations of the category of “silence”; strategies for pointing to the limits of the verbal medium and for transcending or instrumentalizing those limits via linguistic sonority (for instance, canceling meaning/expressivity through sound); the concept of the “acousmêtre” and other salient aspects of film sound; lyric apostrophe and the figure of prosopopoiea, the possibility of a primordially written lyric, and issues of recording, citation (appropriation), and collage in relation to lyric presence; the representation of sound in painting; micro-prosodies of standard and non-standard Englishes.  Materials within our purview: sound art, performance and sound poetries, music, visual musical scores, visual poetry, “acoustic” paintings, film sound, and traditional and avant-garde poetries as well as poetries in non-standard Englishes.  Students are encouraged to do their own sonic research and to bring in media relevant to the class.  

Instructor: Judith Goldman. Day and Time: Thurs, 1:30 to 4:20 PM.
PQ: Instructor consent required. Online submission deadline: 11/16/09. Submit a 3–5 page writing sample in poetry and a one-paragraph statement of intent.

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

This course is an advanced seminar intended primarily for seniors and MAPH students writing honors theses in creative writing as well as advanced students who are working on major projects. 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, and the poetry collection 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: Suzanne Buffam. Day and Time: Wed, 1:30 to 4:20 PM.
PQ: Instructor consent required. Online submission deadline: 11/16/09. Submit a 3–5 page writing sample in poetry and a brief plan for your project.

Creative 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. Online submission deadline: 11/16/09. Submit a 3–5 page writing sample in creative nonfiction and a one-paragraph statement of intent.

Writing Journalism (CRWR 28000/48000)

Journalists today are expected to know the standards that guided reporters in the 20th Century, but they are expected to write to those standards more quickly and more often for the dynamic media of the 21st Century. In this course we will study and practice traditional forms of newswriting while taking note of the pressures pushing journalism toward new forms. We will practice the objective style, the inverted pyramid, narrative journalism, hybrid and alternative forms, and the interactive conversation that now brings readers into dialogue with writers and their stories. We will cover the news, conduct interviews, produce profiles, write arts reviews, discuss the legal and ethical obligations of the profession. As much as possible, we will follow the rituals of the job, completing weekly assignments that target the audience of a particular publication.

Instructor: Jeff McMahon. Day and Time: Tues/Thurs, 12:00 to 1:20 PM.
PQ: Instructor consent required. Online submission deadline: 11/16/09. Submit a 3–5 page writing sample, preferably journalistic, and a one-paragraph statement of intent.

Thesis/Major Projects: 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: Dan Raeburn. Day and Time: Tues, 9:00 to 11:50 AM.
PQ: Instructor consent required. Open only to students working on creative theses or major projects. Online submission deadline: 11/16/09. Submit a 3–5 page writing sample in nonfiction and a brief plan for your project.

Cross-Listed Courses

Documentary for Radio: Audio Verite (TAPS 28300/CRWR 26300)

Audio Verité will focus on creative nonfiction radio storytelling, exploring how to document the world through sound and story. Students will learn essential radio skills, including the following: identifying worthwhile stories, writing for radio, finding a voice as narrator, recording interviews and ambient sound, and editing, mixing, and producing short, vivid, sound-rich documentaries. The class will also contain a strong critical listening and component, and active participation will be expected. THERE IS A $50 LAB FEE ASSOCIATED WITH THIS COURSE.

Instructor: Delaney Hill & Julie Shapiro. Day and Time: Mon, 4:00 to 6:50 PM (Time subject to change). Location: Design Lab, Reynolds Club
PQ: No prerequisites. Online bid.

Clean Up Your Mess: A Playwriting Workshop Focused on Structure (TAPS 28462/CRWR 25100)

This workshop for playwrights will focus on the varieties of play structure, looking to playwrights both past and present who have left plainspoken (though often contradictory), nuts and bolts advice on how a play “works.” In addition to working on our own plays, each week we’ll read a play and one or two short essays by a single playwright that give his or her thoughts on how a piece for the theater might be constructed. Playwrights to be read will include Moliere, Strindberg, (Marsha) Norman, Mamet, Brecht, Scribe.

Instructor: Mickle Maher. Day and Time: Wed, 1:30 to 4:20 PM. Location: Design Lab, FXK Theater, Third Floor Reynolds Club
PQ: No prerequisites. Online bid.