Undergraduate Creative Writing Courses

Fall 2019

ENGL 20000
Introduction to Creative Writing

Jahan Khajavipour
MW 9:30-10:45
Section 01 - Seniors
Section 02 - Unallocated
Section 03 - Freshmen

This lively class introduces you to the writing of fiction, poetry and other genres. Students will study published works in various media, try their hands at writing in an array of forms and genres, share their work with others, and receive feedback that lets them improve their craft. By the end of the semester, you will have a facility with the forms, genres, and media of contemporary writing, a portfolio of work to build on in other courses or on your own.

 

ENGL 20000
Introduction to Creative Writing
Sebastian Bostwick
MW 8:00-9:15
Section 04 - Seniors
Section 05 - Unallocated
Section 06 - Freshmen

This lively class introduces you to the writing of fiction, poetry and other genres. Students will study published works in various media, try their hands at writing in an array of forms and genres, share their work with others, and receive feedback that lets them improve their craft. By the end of the semester, you will have a facility with the forms, genres, and media of contemporary writing, a portfolio of work to build on in other courses or on your own.

 

ENGL 20000
Introduction to Creative Writing
Kirsten Aguilar
TR 5:05-6:20
Section 07 - Seniors
Section 08 - Unallocated
Section 09 - Freshmen

This lively class introduces you to the writing of fiction, poetry and other genres. Students will study published works in various media, try their hands at writing in an array of forms and genres, share their work with others, and receive feedback that lets them improve their craft. By the end of the semester, you will have a facility with the forms, genres, and media of contemporary writing, a portfolio of work to build on in other courses or on your own.

 

ENGL 20001
Introduction to Fiction Writing

Nazli Koca​​​​​​​
MW 5:05-6:20
Section 01 - Seniors
Section 02 - Unallocated
Section 03 - Freshmen

In this course, we will explore the art of fiction by reading the works of authors from different areas of the world and literature such as Elena Ferrante, Roberto Bolaño, Kathy Acker and Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Students will be given the tools and the space to craft short stories, novel excerpts, and pieces of narrative nonfiction. We will think about what makes a work of fiction strong enough to get banned by governments yet keep thriving through decades. We will discuss how reading improves our life and writing skills. We will write and review stories that are courageous and unique in a supportive and constructive workshop throughout the semester.

 

ENGL 20001
Introduction to Fiction Writing
Natasha Ali
MW 3:30-4:45
Section 07 - Seniors
Section 08 - Unallocated
Section 09 - Freshmen

This section of Introduction to Fiction Writing caters to students who love to read, wish to write, and yearn to engage with literature, both published and in-progress. Concentrating on the question of what makes successful narrative - whether we are constructing fantasy worlds or relating our own lived experiences - this course will see us read, study, and write a variety of different works. Authors read/studied will likely include Jhumpa Lahiri, Carmen Maria Machado, Sayaka Murata, Sofia Samatar, Jesmyn Ward, and Jenny Zhang.


 

ENGL 20001
Introduction to Fiction Writing
Greg Havrilak​​​​​​​
TR 5:05-6:20
Section 07 - Seniors
Section 08 - Unallocated
Section 09 - Freshmen

This course is designed to nurture your FQ - Fiction Quotient. Through writing, workshopping, and close reading of classic and contemporary texts, you will engage with the craft of fiction in an intensive and formative manner. Readings will feature work by Antonya Nelson, Roxane Gay, George Saunders, Jamel Brinkley, Meron Hadero, Julia Alvarez, Gish Jen, Rebecca Makkai, Louise Erdrich, Haruki Murakami, Miranda July, Adam Johnson, Daniel Orozco, Maile Meloy, Sam Lipsyte, and others.

 

ENGL 20002
Introduction to Poetry Writing
Scarlett Wardrop​​​​​​​
MW 12:30-1:45
Section 01 - Seniors
Section 02 - Unallocated
Section 03 - Freshmen

This course invites you to build on the basics, develop your technical abilities, and broaden your approaches to the form, genres, media, language, and performance of contemporary poetry. Students should expect to read and view works from a variety of periods and cultures, and will generate their own poems in response to course readings and prompts as well as their own impromptu in-class writing. Students will also sharpen their critical vocabulary as they analyze assigned readings, critique peer work, and receive critiques of their poems from both peers and instructor. Specific readings, activities and assignments will differ from section to section.


 

ENGL 20002
Introduction to Poetry Writing

Maxime Berclaz​​​​​​​
TR 2:00-3:15
Section 04 - Seniors
Section 05 - Unallocated
Section 06 - Freshmen

This course will focus on techniques for both reading and writing poetry. We will look at an equal range of contemporary, avant-garde, and historical poets in order to grasp the incredible variation possible within the universal of poetic language, and to find inspiration for how you can begin to experiment with your own contribution to that variation. We will cover the basics of craft and form, consider a few different theoretical attitudes to poetry, and see how outside sources such as Italian horror films and weird fiction can provide poetic material. By the end of the course you will have completed a portfolio that has been reviewed by your peers and edited by you.  


 

ENGL 20002
Introduction to Poetry Writing
Sade LaNay
MW 12:30-1:45
Section 04 - Seniors
Section 05 - Unallocated
Section 06 - Freshmen

In this introductory creative writing course students will read and study the poetry of Black American authors. Through close readings of modern Black writers such as James Hannaham, M. Nourbese Philip, Fred Moten, and Claudia Rankine we will investigate the machinations and manifestations of voice. In class we will identify and practice voicing through tone, cadence, affect, characterization, vernacular, multilingualism, and performance. Students will be expected to contribute to classroom discussion, complete given writing assignments and develop midterm and final portfolios of creative writing.

 

ENGL 30850
Fiction Writing for Majors
Steve Tomasula​​​​​​​
MW 2:00-3:15
Sec 01 - Majors
Sec 02 - Unallocated

“If you don’t use your imagination,” author Ronald Sukenick once said, “someone else will use it for you.” All a person has to do to see how many people are trying to use our imaginations for (or against) us is look around. We live in a sea of narratives created by advertising (New and Improved!); politics (Shock and Awe); churches (Adam and Eve); science (Survival of the Fittest); the music and entertainment industries and thousands and thousands of other entities and individuals (e.g. your dad or mom). This is a class in creating your own narratives. It is designed for those who have gone beyond the introductory courses and want to explore language as an art form to do what narrative has always done: using narrative to explore what you think, and to give a sense of something meaningful that we can believe in at our time and in our place. Unlike nonfiction, fictional narratives usually raise more questions than answers; unlike other kinds of writing, how a work of literature is written is as important as what’s said. But the course could also be called ‘having fun with story,’ as narratives in a variety of forms and shapes will be used to inform the work done in class, and students are invited to write narratives in ways that are surprising, or grow out of other forms, as well as polished, or more traditional. If this were a music class, you would be invited to compose a short, rock blast, or a classical organ fugue, some hybrid of the two, or a completely different conceptual sound; you’ll be asked to articulate why you’re writing one way and not another, finding along the way how flexible, moving, probing, and convincing, the medium of your language can be.

 

ENGL 30851
Poetry Writing
Orlando Menes
MW 3:30-4:45

In this class, we are going to write poetry, think about poetry and talk about poetry from a number of different perspectives. We're going to read modern, contemporary and not-so-contemporary poetry, as well as works that move across genres (prose poetry, poetic films), media (print, photography, the Internet, the desert of the real), and languages and cultures. We will consider what poetry means in this spectacular age, but we will also explore more pragmatic concerns: where does one find out about poets? Where does one publish poems? Where does one discuss new poetry? In addition to weekly writing exercises, we will engage in three longer projects allowing the students to develop and work on their own particular lines of aesthetic inquiry.

 

ENGL 30858
Writing Short Texts

Joyelle McSweeney
TR 3:30-4:45

In this course, we'll investigate the piercing and propulsive properties of short texts. While many of the texts we'll read are by poets, we'll encounter a range of genres including essays, short stories, captions, letters, annotations, fragments, and epigrams. In addition to trying out hands at a variety of short forms, we'll also examine how writers assemble short texts into sequences and longer works, ultimately using these methods to conceive of and configure final projects of our own. Coursework will include in- and out-of-class writing, collaborations, workshops, presentations, and a final project.

 

ENGL 40850
Advanced Fiction Writing
Steve Tomasula​​​​​​​

MW 5:05-6:20

This is a course in writing fiction for students who have moved beyond the introductory level, and are looking for a way to come into their own as authors. The course focuses on the development of individual student-authors, and so asks them to develop an awareness of contemporary fiction and exemplify, through their own writing, their place in this literary landscape. Just as it is difficult to be a musician without seeing other live musicians play, or a visual artist without looking at the art, ideas, and methods of other working artists, so it is difficult to be an author without reading as authors read, and interacting in the conversation of other, living practitioners. As such, students are asked to identify a literary “conversation” or tradition, or family of works that their own writing extends and/or takes part in; they are asked to think of fiction in terms of the forms they use and how this form will contribute to the aesthetic experience and ideas they are striving to convey.  No one style or type of fiction is advocated over another; in fact, students are encouraged to find their own voice, perspective, and subject matter, and to develop a form suited to their work. However, students will be expected to write fiction that demonstrates awareness of the difference between writing as an art form and formula entertainment. The goal of the course is for each student to emerge with a manuscript at the level of a beginning author writing as a literary artist.

 

ENGL 40851
Advanced Poetry Writing

Joyelle McSweeney
TR 11:00-12:15

This class is for writers who have tried their hands at writing poetry and would like to push themselves further. We will read and write broadly, immersing ourselves in contemporary poetry and its traditional antecedents, as well as combing fiction, plays, visual art, film, music, and other media to find forms and techniques to try out in our poetry. We will draft, revise, improvise, workshop, critique and perform with and for each other, and we will also think about the means and media by which poetry is published. With our minds on the currents shaping, for good or ill, the world we live in, will deeply consider the possibility that poetry might change, enhance, redefine and ornament the world?and make new worlds.

 

ENGL 40852
Advanced Fiction Writing II
Steve Tomasula​​​​​​​
MW 5:05-6:20

This course is intended for students who have already taken an Advanced Fiction Writing and who are seriously interested in writing fiction.

 

ENGL 40855
Advanced Fiction Writing III
Steve Tomasula​​​​​​​
MW 5:05-6:20

This course is intended for students who have already taken an Advanced Fiction Writing and who are seriously interested in writing fiction. The expectation is that the student is beyond the point of requiring assignments to generate stories. Over the semester, in a workshop setting, student stories will be taken through various stages: due attention will be paid to revision, rewriting, polishing, editing, with a goal that the stories be brought as close as possible to the point of submission as finished work. Practical as well as theoretical issues will be investigated; there will be assigned readings from a variety of fiction authors.

 

ENGL 53002
Creative Writing Honors Colloquium II
Orlando Menes
MW 12:30-1:45

This is a class for students working on their creative honors thesis. It will serve three main purposes: to support the writing of the thesis as well as the required essay that accompanies the thesis; to introduce students to a range of skills which support literary careers (writing reviews, editing publications, events and promotion, etc); and, if they are so inclined, to help prepare students to apply for graduate programs.