Undergraduate Creative Writing Courses

Spring 2017

ENGL 20000-01

Introduction to Creative Writing

Thomas Guster

TR 5:05-6:20

“If writing cannot and writing must change things,” said writer Kathy Acker, “logically, of course, writing will change things magically.” And we’re going to do just that! This is your invitation to consider writing as the art that, in secret and in plain sight, works to compose the reality that in which we live, love, and languish. In this class we'll use a mixture of constraint­-based writing challenges to unlock the magic potential of your own writing. Together we’ll explore different unorthodox methods of producing work, write and share pieces of our own, learn how to revise and re­vision pieces already written, read fun and troublesome work in a variety of forms, and maybe—just maybe—figure out how all of this mucking about with words is meant to leave its mark on ourselves, each other, and our world.

 

ENGL 20000-02

Introduction to Creative Writing

Edith Cho

MW 3:30-4:45

How do we begin to write fiction? What do we write about and how do we write it? Through this course, you will learn how to articulate your writing goals and artist statement, engage in critical feedback, and improve your creative writing skills. This course will also introduce you to the variety of fiction work that exists today—from flash fiction, graphic novels, and hybrid work. We will engage in the hot issues in the world of writers, including the topics of artivism, cultural appropriation, and conscientious writing. Over the course of the semester, you will build a portfolio of your creative work that will become the base for more writing in the future. 

 

ENGL 20001-01

Introduction to Fiction Writing

Tania Sarfraz

MW 5:05-6:20

What is fiction? Many things, and nothing. In this course, we will explore the various guises and masks that fiction can adopt, and, through our own writing, will adopt some of these masks ourselves. We will read from across the fictional spectrum. We will write profusely, and we will write playfully.  

 

ENGL 20002-01

Intro to Poetry Writing

Kelsey Castaneda

TR 2:00-3:15

What is poetry? Is it Beyoncé? Homer? Shakespeare? All of the above? In this intro to poetry writing course, we will embrace the many-headed monster that is poetry and poetry writing. We will read and discuss poetry produced using varied forms, from ancient epics, through traditional forms, to more contemporary and avant-garde writing methods like erasure and found poetry. We will study poetry that is in between genres, like prose poetry, and poetry in different media, such as film and music. We will also cover poetry from many different time periods in order to explore how poetry is evolving. As poetry is in a constant state of metamorphosis, one of the goals of this course is to teach you how to think critically about poetry in its many forms so that you can produce your own unique work. Our class format will include readings and discussions, in-class writing exercises, writing workshop days, as well as a few creative projects. By the end of the semester, you will have created a poetry portfolio of your work.

 

ENGL 20002-02

Introduction to Poetry Writing

Chris Muravez

MW 5:05-6:20

In this class students will learn to find and express their poetic voice. An overview of the history of poetry in multiple literary traditions will give each student a broad range of influence and inspiration. We will draw from various sources including the oral-poetic tradition of telling stories before the written word, the Romantic poets of the Enlightenment, the role of poetry in ancient Eastern cultures, and contemporary works from the emergence of post WW2 literary traditions. We will also explore the relationship between the poet and society, the poet and the poem, as well as the poet and Self. By the end of this course each student will have written an extensive body of work, and will have the opportunity to share their poetry with the Notre Dame community.

 

ENGL 20002

Introduction to Poetry Writing

Johannes Göransson

Section-03MW 9:30-10:45

Section-04 MW 11:00-12:15

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 

Introduction to Fiction Writing: The American Short Story

Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi

Section-01 TR 2:00-3:15

Section-02 TR 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

Sarah Snider

MW 9:30-10:45

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 creative 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 academic responses and creative writing.

 

ENGL 30008-01

Non-Fiction Writing: Style and Fact

Roy Scranton

MW 3:30-4:45

The quality that separates creative nonfiction from workaday prose is style. The quality that separates nonfiction from fiction is fact. In this course, we dive right into the complicated relationship between style and fact through Gonzo journalism, made-up memoir, ambiguous essays, and second-hand dream gossip, rigorously attending to well-wrought examples while also practicing our own exercises in style. Texts will include work by John D’Agata, Walter Benjamin, Vladimir Nabokov, Susan Sontag, Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, Beyoncé, Omer Fast, Samuel Delaney, and others.

 

ENGL 30851-01

Poetry Writing

Orlando Menes 

TR 9:30-10:45

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 reading 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 revision one’s poetry.  More theoretical issues could also be investigated.  Assignments will be fashioned so as to simulate 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

Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi

TR 11:00-12:15

This course will encourage you to make all kinds of stories and to think about what kinds of stories are most crucial to you and to our culture. We'll read everything from flash fiction to graphic fiction to long stories to a novel, and we'll think about the possibilities available in all kinds of forms, from surrealism to satire, from apparently conventional realism to full-bore experimentalism. We'll begin with short exercises designed to loosen up your narrative voice, and we'll build to complete stories or novel chapters. By mid-semester you'll be reading your peers' drafts for ideas and perspective - and also to offer them serious feedback. The final project will be a revision of one of the drafts you've already submitted, alongside a brief contemplation of why you've chosen the form you have for the story you tell. At our last class, we'll celebrate with a final reading highlighting our diverse aesthetic choices and voices.

 

ENGL 40850-01

Advance Fiction Writing: Poetics of Prose

Roy Scranton

MW 12:30-1:45

What are the poetics of prose? How do we make voices speak on the page? In this reading-intensive workshop, we will approach these questions through philosophy, literary theory, close reading, and experimental practice. The strange technology of writing easily turns invisible in its everyday familiarity—in order to see fiction-making in all its deep weirdness, we must be willing to take it apart, break it, and remake it. We will perform our experiments with the seriousness of scientists and play with the abandon of the possessed, for as much as writing is a technology, it is also an attunement, a moment shaping collective vibrations as they pass through gatherings of cells. Readings will include work by Gertrude Stein, M. NourbeSe Philip, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Jorge Luis Borges, Jane Bowles, and others.

 

ENGL 40852-01

Advance Fiction Writing II: Poetics of Prose

Roy Scranton

MW 12:30-1:45

What are the poetics of prose? How do we make voices speak on the page? In this reading-intensive workshop, we will approach these questions through philosophy, literary theory, close reading, and experimental practice. The strange technology of writing easily turns invisible in its everyday familiarity—in order to see fiction-making in all its deep weirdness, we must be willing to take it apart, break it, and remake it. We will perform our experiments with the seriousness of scientists and play with the abandon of the possessed, for as much as writing is a technology, it is also an attunement, a moment shaping collective vibrations as they pass through gatherings of cells. Readings will include work by Gertrude Stein, M. NourbeSe Philip, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Jorge Luis Borges, Jane Bowles, and others.

 

ENGL 40855-01

Advance Fiction Writing III: Poetics

Roy Scranton

MW 12:30-1:45

What are the poetics of prose? How do we make voices speak on the page? In this reading-intensive workshop, we will approach these questions through philosophy, literary theory, close reading, and experimental practice. The strange technology of writing easily turns invisible in its everyday familiarity—in order to see fiction-making in all its deep weirdness, we must be willing to take it apart, break it, and remake it. We will perform our experiments with the seriousness of scientists and play with the abandon of the possessed, for as much as writing is a technology, it is also an attunement, a moment shaping collective vibrations as they pass through gatherings of cells. Readings will include work by Gertrude Stein, M. NourbeSe Philip, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Jorge Luis Borges, Jane Bowles, and others.