Undergraduate Creative Writing Courses

Spring 2018

ENGL 20000-01
Introduction to Creative Writing
Joseph Thomas
TR 5:05-6:20

This course will examine contemporary writing of various genres, studying each form’s techniques, influences, and purpose, while also deriving meaning for them within our societal context. There will be an emphasis on the speculative, and writing that subverts genre itself. We will ask the question, why write at all? We will read, view and discuss the assigned material as writers focused primarily on craft, in order to build new writing of our own. In-class writing exercises will complement our reading, granting us opportunities to generate new and interesting material that will, in some cases, manifest in our own work. Writing workshops will be a vital component of the course. We will revise aggressively.

ENGL 20000-02
Introduction to Creative Writing: Writing Women
Abigail Burns
MW 8:00-9:15

This course will introduce you to the skills you need to write fiction, creative non-fiction, and poetry. Over the course of the semester, we will explore elements of craft such as narrative, point of view, dialogue, performance, and more. As a workshop, you will get the opportunity to give and receive criticism on work produced for class. Throughout the semester, we will read contemporary fiction, essays, and poetry written by women to ground our own creative work, with an eye toward the different ways in which women are represented both in literature and the publishing industry. We will ask how politics, both feminist and otherwise, can or should inform our writing.

ENGL 20001-01
Introduction to Fiction Writing
Daniel Tharp
MW 2:00-3:15

In this course we will write and read stories. Basic—right? In this course we will write and critique fiction in all of its various forms. We will read fiction by well known and respected authors, and by authors that remain in the shadows, by authors who experiment, and by authors who play it more straight forward. We will think like writers; we will read like writers; we will be writers.

ENGL 20001-02
Introduction to Fiction Writing
Daniel Uncapher
MW 8:00-9:15

This course will cover some of the styles, techniques, and pleasures of creative writing to help develop a better understanding of the craft as both readers and as writers. We’ll study fiction, poetry and performance work, focusing on measured readings and generative exercises in the first half of the semester in preparation for a series of graduate-style workshops in the second half. A wide variety of modern, postmodern and contemporary writers will be discussed with a special interest in the social, political, and economic consequences of literature, and towards a conversation of what responsibilities we have, as both readers and as writers, to those consequences in the world today.

ENGL 20001-03
Introduction to Fiction Writing
Ingabirano Nintunze
TR 5:05-6:20

This class is an exploration of what we talk about when we talk about fiction— and, of course, how to write it. Through short stories, novels, new media, and everything in between, you will work to learn what makes you tick, as both a reader and a writer. Come prepared to write, read, and develop a greater understanding of your voice and interests as a writer, through generating new work, experiencing a wide range of fictitious forms and voices, and navigating the functions of different creative works.

ENGL 20002-02
Introduction to Poetry Writing
Moonseok Choi
MW 12:30-1:45

The right poem at the right time can be jarring to what we’ve been led to accept as good or normal. The right poet can hold the door ajar to a mirror of our realities and beckon us through. We will read poetry that resonates deeply with today and tomorrow, that gives us the tools to write our own critical poems, to perhaps become that poet that opens worlds. We will play with language and expectations, breaking legs and jars. Get grotesque and real, but stay weird and joyful- make the uncomfortable your comfort zone. By producing a body of poetry, you will learn new things about yourself and find a new voice.

ENGL 20002-03
Introduction to Poetry Writing
Patricia Hartland
MW 9:30-10:45

With an emphasis on producing creative texts, we will explore the parallel and often overlapping impulses of poetry and image-making (photography, painting, and other visual arts). With an emphasis on seeking to understand the visual through a writerly lens and the written through a visual lens, we will investigate concepts of identity and representation while cultivating our own poetic practice, perhaps informed by this crossroads. We'll discuss visual works from Alice Neel, Mikalene Thomas, Claude Cahun, Cindy Sherman, Kehinde Wiley, Glenn Ligon, Catherine Opie, Kara Walker, Diane Arbus, Vivian Maier, and Nan Goldin. Writers will include Ocean Vuong, Danez Smith, Patricia K Smith, Sherwin Bitsui, Robert Seydel, Ari Banias, Safia Elhillo, Layli Longsoldier, Audre Lorde, Ronaldo Wilson, Shane McCrae, Adrienne Rich, David Wojnarowisz, among others.

ENGL 20002-04
Introduction to Poetry Writing
Johannes Goransson
TR 12:30-1:45

This course will introduce you to contemporary poetry in a variety of media and formats and from an array of lively, diverse voices. Through in- and out-of-class assignments you'll learn how poets draft and revise; you'll practice techniques, genres and forms; and you'll generate a poetry portfolio of your own. Class format will include discussion, in-class activities, and opportunities for feedback on student work. Please see the English Department website for an individualized description for each section of this course.

ENGL 20005-01
Fiction Writing and the Short Story
Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi
MW 3:30-4:45

In this introductory course we will focus on 1) reading traditional and innovative 20th-and 21st-century American short stories and 2) on workshopping original student writing. In order to examine the range of narrative strategies available to us as writers, we will read speculative, meta-fictional, hyper-real and surreal fictions, as well as essays on the art of writing. Throughout the course of the semester students will develop as story-tellers, and will learn to read as writers and critique work-in-progress.

ENGL 20024-01
Creative Writing and Multiculturalism
Orlando Menes
TR 5:05-6:20

What does multicultural writing look like in America? Who is writing it, how are they doing so, and why? During this semester, we will engage with these questions both as readers and writers through the study of a variety of texts, as well as create our own texts to add to this tradition. We will analyze fiction (novel and short story length), poetry, graphic novel, memoir, personal essay, play, film, television and oral storytelling and mine them for both understanding and methodology. Through the study and practice of these media, we will begin to formulate our own writing projects and figure out how we fit into the multicultural literary tradition. This class will require students to turn in both academic responses and creative writing.

ENGL 30851-01
Poetry Writing
Orlando Menes
TR 2:00-3:15

In this poetry-writing course, students will read and model their poems upon writers who, by virtue of their talent and craft, have left their mark in the English and American poetic traditions. We will also experience the performative aspects of poetry by attending a variety of readings either on or off campus. Students will circulate their own poems among all the participants, who will then discuss and critique them in a workshop setting. Throughout the semester attention will be given to those proven strategies for composing and revising one's poetry. More theoretical issues could also be investigated. Assignments will be fashioned so as to stimulate poems inspired in art, myth, the natural world, dreams, childhood, and other rich sources for the imagination. Students will write poems on a regular basis throughout the semester, keep a reading journal, attend poetry readings, give a group report on a major poet, and submit midterm and final portfolios. Regular attendance is crucial to the ongoing success of the course, and is thus mandatory.

ENGL 30853-01
Fiction Writing: Walking, Writing, Thinking
Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi
MW 2:00-3:15

In her book Wonderlust: A History of Walking, Rebecca Sulnit writes, "The rhythm of walking generates a kind of rhythm of thinking, and the passage through a landscape echoes or stimulates the passage through a series of thoughts." In this course we will examine notions of journey, space and subjectivity through the lens of walking. We will look at representations of walking in a variety of genres, essay, graphic novel, fiction, prose and poetry, and use the practice of walking as a platform to write provocative texts that contemplate gender, the body, architecture, evolution, language, philosophy, music and film. Students will engage with course themes and motifs by writing fictions, poems and essays of their own.

ENGL 30857-01
Fiction Writing: Fantastic Worlds
Roy Scranton
MW 12:30-1:45

Hogwarts, Middle Earth, Westeros, Panem: every story starts somewhere. How do you build a compelling world that’s not just backdrop, but part of the story? In this reading-intensive fiction workshop, you’ll learn to create vivid and dynamic worlds, embed those worlds in your characters’ thoughts, and bring those worlds to life through your characters’ actions. While focusing primarily on fantastic, speculative, and weird fiction, this workshop will help you develop the skills you need to make any world breathe on the page—even this one. Readings will include work from William Blake, Kelly Link, George R.R. Martin, Nnedi Okorafor, Laurie Penny, J.K. Rowling, and Jeff VanderMeer.  

ENGL 40850-01
Advanced Fiction Writing
Valerie Sayers
MW 5:05-6:20

This course is for students who delight in writing fiction and have a good sense of how difficult it can be to write surprising, satisfying, multivalent work. Most students will have taken at least one prior creative writing course; graduate students who are not in the Creative Writing program and staff are welcome. Any undergraduate who has written independently is also welcome to submit a writing sample for consideration; please contact the professor at vsayers@nd.edu. As a workshop, we'll read each other's prose with an eye to reconceiving, rewriting, and refining. We'll also read a broad range of contemporary writers to explore the lay of the literary land, in print and online, and to challenge our own taste and expectations (writers will likely include Teju Cole, Zadie Smith, and George Saunders). Finally, we'll explore the realities of literary publication and writing possibilities beyond college, including M.F.A. programs. Readings will include a broad range of contemporary writers, including Teju Cole, Zadie Smith, and George Saunders.

ENGL 40852-01
Advanced Fiction Writing II
Valerie Sayers
MW 5:05-6:20

This course is for students who delight in writing fiction and have a good sense of how difficult it can be to write surprising, satisfying, multivalent work. Most students will have taken at least one prior creative writing course; graduate students who are not in the Creative Writing program and staff are welcome. Any undergraduate who has written independently is also welcome to submit a writing sample for consideration; please contact the professor at vsayers@nd.edu. As a workshop, we'll read each other's prose with an eye to reconceiving, rewriting, and refining. We'll also read a broad range of contemporary writers to explore the lay of the literary land, in print and online, and to challenge our own taste and expectations (writers will likely include Teju Cole, Zadie Smith, and George Saunders). Finally, we'll explore the realities of literary publication and writing possibilities beyond college, including M.F.A. programs. Readings will include a broad range of contemporary writers, including Teju Cole, Zadie Smith, and George Saunders.

ENGL 40855-01
Advanced Fiction Writing III
Valerie Sayers
MW 5:05-6:20

This course is for students who delight in writing fiction and have a good sense of how difficult it can be to write surprising, satisfying, multivalent work. Most students will have taken at least one prior creative writing course; graduate students who are not in the Creative Writing program and staff are welcome. Any undergraduate who has written independently is also welcome to submit a writing sample for consideration; please contact the professor at vsayers@nd.edu. As a workshop, we'll read each other's prose with an eye to reconceiving, rewriting, and refining. We'll also read a broad range of contemporary writers to explore the lay of the literary land, in print and online, and to challenge our own taste and expectations (writers will likely include Teju Cole, Zadie Smith, and George Saunders). Finally, we'll explore the realities of literary publication and writing possibilities beyond college, including M.F.A. programs. Readings will include a broad range of contemporary writers, including Teju Cole, Zadie Smith, and George Saunders.

ENGL 40900-02/ ENGL 90900-01 Crosslist
Writing Plus
Steve Tomasula
TR 12:30-1:45


“Writing+” is a hybrid writing and literature course centered on poetry and narratives that incorporate sound and images or space. One part critical reading, one part creative writing, this class will study literature that incorporates imagery, sound, and other non-textual materials by asking students to write fiction, poetry or criticism that incorporates imagery, sounds, and other materials as an inherent part of its message, story, experience. That is, the class will move through a range of literary art forms, from graphic novels to electronic literature. Along the way, students will be asked to respond to the works read in class by designing and writing either hybrid image-text fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, or hybrid critical narratives, using the authoring tools of this hybrid literature. Rudimentary familiarity with basic authoring tools like a pencil & paper, a camera, PowerPoint, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, iMovie, Scalar, Gimp, or html programming helps, but is not required. Collaborative work is encouraged, though not expected.