English | Writing Creative Nonfiction
W311 | 15309 | Romayne Dorsey
W311 15309 WRITING CREATIVE NONFICTION
PREREQUISITE: Requires permission of instructor.
2:30p-3:45p TR (15 students) 3 cr.
This writing workshop will focus on a specific genre of nonfiction:
the personal essay. We will be exploring the many approaches to the
personal essay from the travel essay to the domestic essay; from the
polemical, public essay to the brief, lyric essay; from the
satirical to the sublime. We will read multiple examples of the
genre, and we will attempt to interpret them both through class
discussion and in our own writing. In class discussions, we will
focus on an understanding of craft through close reading of outside
texts. In the workshop component of the class, we will focus on how
craft elements¡Xfrom syntax to overall form¡Xare being put to use, the
ways in which each of our essays engages the genre and its
conventions, and what is wonderful and what might be improved about
each of our essays.
Students will be expected to hand in 35-40 pages of new and original
work, consisting of four short essays, two of which will be
developed into longer essays for workshop. You will offer
substantive written critique of peer work and you¡¦ll be expected to
be prepared to participate actively in all class discussions. In
preparation for class discussion, you will keep a reading journal of
reflections on all course readings.
Possible course texts: 50 Essays (ed. Samuel Cohen); The New Kings
of Nonfiction (ed. Ira Glass); The Art of the Essay (ed. Phillip
Lopate); a Best American Essays anthology; or New American Essays
(ed. John D¡¦Agata).
To apply for admission to the course, place the following materials
in a manila envelope in my BH442 mailbox (Romayne Rubinas Dorsey):
„X 10-12 pages of what you consider your best writing (a
mixture of poetry and prose is fine, but at least half of those
pages should be prose writing of some kind be it fiction or course
paper or other nonfiction work).
„X A brief letter outlining your interest in the course and
your background in creative writing (you should have completed at
least one of the following: W103, W203, W301/W303 or equivalent).
„X A current email address and your name and local mailing
address. I will admit and notify students as they apply, so your
chances for admission increase with early submission of materials.
I will notify you via email of my decision and copy the departmental
secretary who clears admitted students for registration.