Each creative writing course at Notre Dame is unique to the professor teaching the course. As such, there are no generic descriptions for creative writing courses at the university. Instead, we offer a variety of teaching methods and approaches to the subject which students may choose from in order to best fit their specific goals. Below are examples of the courses offered.
Graduate Fiction Workshop
Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi
This is an intensive Graduate Fiction Workshop. During workshop, discussions will be geared toward learning to protect young work and work-in-progress while simultaneously deepening its emotional and intellectual register through reading, reflection and research. Each text will be critiqued and appreciated on its own terms and evaluated in relation to where the author locates it in the literary and aesthetic imagination. Additionally, in order to build an understanding of the contemporary literary landscape and the traditions that have informed it, we will read novels, short-stories, hybrid texts/prose, works in translation and theory.
Graduate Playwriting Workshop
This course is designed for students in the graduate creative writing program to create original writing for the theater, and is also open to all graduate students. The course will explore the playwriting process, as well as models from contemporary U.S. theater, to present a variety of paths toward creating vibrant plays. Through workshop writing exercises, movement work, visual arts approaches, a critical response process and attending play productions, we will generate resources for rich play material to help each author explore her or his unique voice as a writer for the theater. This course will culminate in a public reading of new works developed during the semester.
Graduate Poetry Workshop
In this course we will turn our attention to the very urgent question of what Poetry is, what it’s been, what it can be. We will ask why, how, for whom, and by whom. We will think our way into these questions via the thirsty reading of a wide variety of canonical and contemporary works from a number of cultures and communities as well as via the assiduous, inventive, and supportive workshopping of peer works-in-progress. We will treat our classroom as a model community in which pluralism is celebrated, supported and sustained.
PRACTICUM: TEACHING CREATIVE WRITING
This course is mandatory for all MFA students wishing to teach creative writing at Notre Dame. The various readings, talks, activities and discussions we’ll undertake together will help us both to hash out the more theoretical/political implications as well as the more practical aspects of teaching creative writing. We’ll write course descriptions, design practice lessons, and perform teaching ‘apprenticeships’. The final project will be a syllabus you can use for teaching your creative writing course at Notre Dame.