ENGL 206 - Intermediate Creative Writing
Semester Offered: Fall and Spring
Continued study and practice of various forms of prose and poetry. Reading and writing assignments may include prose fiction, journals, poetry, drama, and essays.
Topic for 2021/22a: Short Prose Forms. In this course, we read, examine, and write various—and numerous—examples of short prose forms, including prose poems, short-short or flash fictions, and lyric essays. Our readings begin with some nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century originators/practitioners, then move to the contemporary era to explore the diverse range of such work. We run the class in part as a studio, with some time devoted to writing. We also spend time discussing course readings, matters of craft and technique, and, during workshops, students’ own short prose. Joshua Harmon.
Topic for 2021/22b: Crossovers. Students read and write stories that rub up against traditional boundaries, leap over them, move them, and sometimes dissolve them. Taking to heart the lessons of permaculture, where the greatest energy lies at the borders, we investigate familiar dichotomies (fiction/fact, prose/poetry, text/image, high/low, comedic/dramatic, female/male, gay/straight, erotic/intellectual, original/adaptation) and search for textual pleasures in a more fluid world. This section of Intermediate Creative Writing is both a seminar and a workshop: students read the work of experienced practitioners, analyze what they’ve read, and apply what they’ve learned to their own work. Likely writers: Maggie Nelson, Carmen Maria Machado, Anne Carson, Justin Torres, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Audre Lorde, Zadie Smith, Claudia Rankine, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, James Baldwin, Jenny Zhang, Purvi Shah, Layli Long Soldier, Gloria Anzaldúa, Ocean Vuong, Ali Wong. M. Mark.
Topic for 2021/22b: Dialogue Forms: Building the Scene. This class examines character, action, and dialogue through the building block of the scene. We do close readings of selected scenes from contemporary fiction, plays, and screenplays by such writers as Annie Proulx, Denis Johnson, Toni Morrison, Colum McCann, Sam Shepard, Annie Baker, Diana Son, Caryl Churchill, Maria Irene Fornes, John Patrick Shanley, Callie Khouri, Barry Jenkins, Greta Gerwig, and Waldo Salt. You write scenes in each of these literary and performance forms, moving from short exercises to more sustained pieces and a longer final project that you expand and revise in intensive workshop sessions, honing your editorial and revision skills. Acting experience is not required, but students should be willing to read their own and others’ work aloud in a supportive workshop environment. The class culminates with an informal outdoor reading of students’ short fiction, one-act plays, and short screenplays. Nina Shengold.
Prerequisite(s): Open to any student who has taken ENGL 205 .
One 2-hour period and individual conferences with the instructor.
Course Format: CLS
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