Current Course Offerings

CRW 6024: Teaching Creative Writing This course will examine the practical and philosophical issues of teaching creative writing at a variety of levels and to a variety of audiences. Our particular focus is on how practicing writers teach writing, so some discussions and readings have as much to do with being a writer as they do to being a teacher of writing.  Students develop a teaching portfolio that includes: syllabi and sample lectures for different levels and genres of creative writing classes, individual teaching philosophies, and a curriculum vitae. The course is required for any MFA/GTA students hoping to co-teach CRW 3010: Introduction to Creative Writing.

CRW 6024: Translation Workshop In an ideal world, all writers would be translators, and all translators would be writers. I have said this many times, but it is no less true for that. Not only does the practice of literary translation allow us to bring as-yet-undiscovered work into another language, but it also forces us as writers to examine the materials of our craft. Translation will make you a better writer and a better reader. In addition to critiquing each other's translations of poetry, prose, or drama into English, we will examine various creative and perhaps unorthodox approaches to translation. You will explore and formulate your own strategies and approaches to both literary translation and creative writing.

CRW 6130: Workshop: Fiction Writing The graduate fiction workshop will provide valuable collaborative feedback on your writing.  We will also read one craft book (Robert D. Richardson's First We Read, Then We Write) and a range of fiction (stories and novels)—including  Anthony Doerr's The Shell Collector, Marilynne Robinson's Gilead, and Bruce Olds' Raising Holy Hell—designed to introduce you to various models that, collectively, demonstrate the elasticity of the genre.                 

CRW 6024: Nonfiction Forms This course will explore a number of the subgenres of creative nonfiction—including essay, memoir, literary journalism, contemporary research-based nonfiction, and graphic/comic formats—from both critical and craft-related perspectives. We will look at the "rules" and conventions of each subgenre and discuss in particular the trends in and results of departure from convention. Workshop writing will consist of experimentation in each of the subgenres, as well as a creative visual project completed in cooperation with the Jaffe Center for BookArts.

CRW 6236: Creative Nonfiction Workshop This is a workshop to practice writing and analyzing creative nonfiction. Our class time will be split between discussion of published works of nonfiction, examining essays and articles on craft, trying out techniques through short writing exercises, and workshopping students' writing. We will explore nonfiction written in a variety of forms—essay, literary journalism, memoir, graphic (comic) formats—and learn about issues and trends in the genre. Students will offer helpful critical feedback to one another during workshop sessions, complete both short writing assignments and two longer works of nonfiction, and complete a revision of one to be turned in at the end of the semester.

CRW 6024: Prose Forms In this workshop, students will have the option to write in any or all genres of prose: nonfiction, fiction and/or prose poetry.  We will likewise read published work in all three genres (likely texts include: Redeployment by Phil Klay, Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay, and River of Shadows by Rebecca Solnit).  Course discussions will address topics such as: a definition and history of form as it relates to prose; how length, audience expectation, content, structure, patterns and variations, style, genre and invented constraints can all serve as forms; the pros and cons of form; the merging of forms; and the value of inventing new forms.  But, in the end and at its core, this will be a writing workshop, with the goal of expanding and deepening your writing via practice, analysis, and experimentation.

CRW 6024: Special Topics: Creative Writing and Bookarts This course will combine the traditional creative writing workshop with the practical and theoretical elements of bookarts, examining the development of bookarts as an accepted genre within the art world, and the use of text and art that complement one another and are, in effect, inextricable from one another in the final product. Students will complete focused writing assignments that consider the possibilities of the bookarts context and may be used in their projects. The class will meet half time in the studio at the Jaffe Center for Bookarts, and after several presentations of works from the collection, students will work on their own projects. Some materials will be provided, but students should consider investment of materials in terms of conventional textbook purchases. The culmination of the course will be a bookarts project of the student's own design that includes both creative writing and the skills learned in the studio.

CRW 6331: Workshop: Poetry Writing The graduate poetry workshop welcomes poets--and also students concentrating in other genres: fiction, nonfiction, and hybrid forms. While the emphasis will be on your writing, the required reading will teach strategies and techniques to 1) enlarge personal experience and powerful personal emotions into the collective experience; 2) construct complex and unorthodox narrators; and above all, to think and feel our way into previously hard to reach places in the psyche. Some of the texts we will use are Robert Hass's A Little Book on Forms--not at all little and definitely not your typical book on forms; the Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry, which begins with Whitman and Dickinson; and the letters of John Keats, perhaps the best book we have on "poetic thinking" and the development of a poet.

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