Creative Writing Graduate Courses 2016-17

ENGL 7011 Graduate Fiction Workshop Michael Griffith

This fiction-writing workshop will usually focus on short stories, occasionally on novels in progress, with the aim of producing publishable work. Student writing is supplemented by reading in contemporary or canonical literature. Students who have been admitted to the graduate program in fiction writing may take the course; others must receive permission from the instructor.

ENGL 7017 Graduate Poetry Workshop Rebecca Lindenberg

This semester, the graduate poetry workshop will focus on the idea of the collection.  Poets do not merely write poems, we curate our work in such a way that the poems we write can be seen to be conversant with each other, and with other texts, events, ideas, occasions, etc.  We’ll look at different collections, some more obviously thematically or formally determined, some more subtly organized, and use the workshop as an opportunity to have a rich conversation about such elusive questions as voice, atmosphere, intent, revelation, discovery, exploration, the shape of a thought, the directed or emergent narrative, and more.   There will be an opportunity to look at substantial manuscripts of graduate student work and discuss how those collections seem to be working and what the poet might do to continue to grow their projects.

ENGL 7084 Technique & Form in Nonfiction Kristen Iversen

This course is an advanced study of Literary Nonfiction with an emphasis on contemporary theory and practice.  We will focus closely on the work of Joan Didion, Sandra Cisneros, Terry Tempest Williams, and Simon Winchester.  Sandra Cisneros will be visiting our class and will give an evening reading (open to the public).  Through lectures, class discussion, presentations, and critical and creative writing, we will work toward a practical understanding of Literary Nonfiction in terms of its historical roots and literary traditions and consider the aesthetics of the genre, particularly with respect to questions of identity, sense of place, and connections between author, landscape, and history.  Students will be asked to consider voice, structure, style and subject matter of assigned texts with respect to how they make these types of decisions in their own creative work.

ENGL 7086 Technique & Form in Fiction: "Which Vanishes But Does Not Vanish: Forms of Haunted Narration" Chris Bachelder

This course on hauntings is not quite a class on the classic ghost story.  Instead, this class aims to investigate haunting more generally as a dramatic device connected to memory, metaphor, time, vantage, character, obsession, guilt, suspense, and trauma.  Haunted fiction is fiction pointed backward, to the past, and I’m interested in thinking about how backward-turned fiction can move forward in a dramatically satisfying way.  I’m also interested in the ways that haunting—both literal and figurative—creates a drama of narration that is distinct from the drama of event.  I suspect that we’ll spend significant time thinking and talking about the connections between haunting, point of view, and form.  All of our novels are in first person, and thus their wildly various forms can all be seen as direct representations of the haunted mind, the (urgent) organization of memory, experience, and loss.  An author’s—or narrator’s—form is as revelatory, that is, as her style or her tone.  Readers can locate feeling and meaning in the large-scale shape and movement of the novel.  Ultimately, I see this as a class on the craft and complexity of first person point of view, with an emphasis on the forms and techniques of what we might call Haunted Narration.

ENGL 7013 Graduate Novel Workshop Leah Stewart

This workshop focuses on laying the groundwork for a completed novel manuscript. Students who are beginning a novel will workshop about sixty pages; others may workshop a full manuscript. Other assignments include readings of possible structural models and a written analysis of the techniques demonstrated in those models. Students who have been admitted to the graduate program in fiction writing may take the course; others must receive permission from the instructor.

ENGL 7017 Graduate Poetry Workshop James Cummins

A poetry workshop, often supplemented by extensive reading in contemporary poetry, that emphasizes generating and revising poems, experimenting with poetic forms and techniques, and developing style. Students who have been admitted to the graduate program in poetry writing may take the course; others must receive permission from the instructor.   

ENGL 7021 Graduate Nonfiction Workshop Kristen Iversen

In this class, students will study the form, function, history, and aesthetics of published nonfiction while simultaneously writing, critiquing, revising, and completing their own creative nonfiction, with an eye toward submitting their work to be considered for publication.

ENGL 7078 Narratology Gary Weissman

An introduction to the study of narrative from a variety of critical and theoretical viewpoints, with selections drawn from throughout history, ranging from Aristotle on up to the most current narrative-theory discussions. Works of theory are read alongside landmark works in the history of fictional techniques.