This course will mainly focus on writing stories and poetry. Both require a great awareness of language craft. We will, through in-depth readings and practical writing exercises, look at, particularly, the main components of story and poetry: structure, tension, patterns that build expectations, ideas that interweave with the art of sentence, suspense, philosophical exploration of everyday life, the dialogue of the transcendent with the mundane. Through workshops, readings, and individual supervision, this seminar will attempt to assist you to discover your creative ways to develop your own voice and writing.
Each writer in class will write along with fellow writers, and select their own writing-in-progress, class exercises, creative collages, and materials for an individual portfolio of creative work. In this class, we will look to explore the fundamentals of creative writing, including: getting an attentive eye, listening to language patterns, including its rhythm, tone, length, pace, pause, and silence.
Writers in class will be given lots of opportunities to study the two genres, story and poetry, in relation, for example, to character development, dialogue, crisis and conflict, showing not telling, three-act structure, scene building, and more. This strong practical approach will help situate creative work in the larger discussion of literary theories and the history of literature.
The seminar aims at introducing creative writing experience, so no previous experience is needed.
This course will help develop basic skills in creative writing. Writers in class will have a deeper appreciation of language in terms of language aesthetics, the development of genres, and the creative writing practice.
Lectures, in-class discussion, workshops, and weekly assignments will include, for example, close-reading exercises, writing prompts that sharpen your senses as writer, and workshopping fellow writers’ creative works. These exercises and assignments will guide you to revise, edit, and refine your manuscript, and they will help you work toward your final portfolio.
Coursework accounts for 100% of your grade and will depend on:
-participation in lecture, class writing practices, homework assignments (30%);
-a mid-term assignment (30%);
-final portfolio (40%)
Readings include work by the writers Raymond Carver, Franz Kafka, Jorge Luis Borges, Fleur Jaeggy, Ursula K. Le Guin, Haruki Murakami, Jamaica Kincaid, among others, along with poetic works, for example, by Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Hass, Jack Gilbert, Rainer Maria Rilke, Martin Harrison, Henri Cole, Pablo Neruda, and Ocean Vuong. A reader or handouts will also include critical essays, interviews, and personal essays.