CRTW 201 Introduction to Creative Writing     CRN: 13778      Fall 2015     Tue/Thur 3:30-4:45     318 Pray-Harrold

Instructor: Jill Darling
Office: 607F Pray-Harrold     Email: jdarlin3@emich.edu     Office Hours: T/TH 3-3:30
English Department (and my mailbox): 612 Pray-Harold

Required Texts: (available at the University Bookstore in the Student Center)
Patricia Smith, Blood Dazzler
Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones (Shambhala)

** Additional readings available as downloadable pdfs at our course shell on Canvas.emich.edu. It is absolutely essential that you are able to access Canvas, download, and print/bring the readings to class. Failure to come to class prepared with reading materials will result in a diminished grade. Digital versions are allowed on an e-reader or laptop if you have taken notes and have clearly read the material and are able to participate in class discussion. Using cell phones for course readings is not allowed. Because we are only using two books, the cost of printing additional posted materials is comparable to a third book purchase and therefore are required texts.

Mission Statement: The Creative Writing Program offers students experience in interdisciplinary and innovative approaches to writing. The curriculum emphasizes both creative process and critical reading practices, preparing writers to participate in contemporary writing culture and for a range of language and media-centered careers.

Course Description: This course is a workshop in creative writing. Students acquire basic knowledge in the practice and evaluation of poetry and fiction, as well as in the use of literary vocabularies and techniques. Literary models will inspire and direct students’ own creative writing and inquiry into the relationship between form and content and between critical and creative thinking. The discipline of creative writing as a field of art, one continuous with other arts, will be stressed in the course by focusing on the process of creativity and procedures for generating new writing. We expect students to experiment in forms and to explore the genres of fiction and poetry, including the ground between them. We also encourage students to find forums and audiences for their creative work by editing and printing small collections of writing and by reading, exhibiting, and performing their creative work.

Intro to Creative Writing is a reading, writing, and workshop course. We will read creative work from various genres (poetry, fiction, essays) and work that falls between or outside of genre categories (experimental prose, prose poetry, hybrid genre essays). Students are expected to do weekly readings from a variety of sources, complete regular writing assignments, offer creative work for class workshop and discussion sessions, and attend and participate in class. Writing assignments will cover writing in a variety of genres. We will also examine the relationship between creative writing, contemporary culture, and social issues. This will require that we all respect each others’ opinions and ideas and create a space in which everyone feels comfortable sharing and participating in discussion.

This course emphasizes the critical importance of the relation between reading and writing. Critical reading and creative writing; creative reading and critical writing… No matter how you parse these terms, reading and writing will be our primary modes of engagement in this course. Insofar as these two practices are inseparable, we will learn how to become better readers through our writing, and to become better writers through our reading. Reading assignments are not optional but are crucially important to writing assignments. Please see the list of assignments below to further understand the expectations for this course.