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Fall 2009 Undergraduate Course Schedule

>>>Fall 09 advanced workshop & master class rosters are posted here.

V39.0815 Creative Writing: Introduction to Fiction & Poetry
Section 1, Chrissy Malvasi, MW 9:30am-10:45am
Section 2, Carrie Hohmann, MW 12:30pm-1:45pm
Section 3, John King, MW 3:30pm-4:45pm
Section 4, Jasreen Mayal, MW 4:55pm-6:10pm
Section 5, Brian Trimboli, MW 4:55pm-6:10pm
Section 6, Austin LaGrone, TR 9:30am-10:45am
Section 7, Sarah Dimick, TR 12:30pm-1:45pm
Section 8, Amy Bergen, TR 3:30pm-4:45pm
Section 9, Sara Schneider, TR 4:55pm-6:10pm
Section 10, Monica McClure, TR 4:55pm-6:10pm
Section 11, Scott Reding, MW 12:30pm-1:45pm
Section 12, Kimberly Waid, TR, 12:30pm-1:45pm
Section 13, Sam Beebe, TR 8:00am-9:15am
Section 14, Tusia Dabrowska, TR, 9:30am-10:45am
Section 15, Georgie Devereux, TR, 12:30pm-1:45pm
Section 16, Stephen Weiss, MW 8:00am-9:15am
Section 17, Amy Bonnaffons, MW 9:30am-10:45am
Section 18, Sativa January, MW 9:30am-10:45am


V39.0816001 Intermediate Fiction Workshop
Elissa Schappell, F 11:00am-1:30pm
Workshop description forthcoming.
Prerequisite: V39.0815, V39.9815, V39.0818/9, V39.9818/9, or equivalent.

V39.0816002 Intermediate Fiction Workshop
George Foy, M 3:30pm-6:00pm
This workshop starts with the premise that when a writer picks up a pen or opens a laptop to start a story, he or she breaks the connection with “normal” time and space to enter a storyworld in which anything is possible. Such a world, if well constructed, will like other complex systems start to generate and follow its own rules and acquire independent life. Too often, writers are prevented from taking advantage of this freedom by straitjacket expectations or fear of failure. In this class the idea is to vanquish fear, and use any technique or character as long as it works to create a believable world peopled by living characters, described in prose that takes wing. We will explore microfiction, non-linear narrative, illustrated narrative, fiction as street theater, plus traditional short stories. In past classes students have submitted stories written to self-destruct, narratives posted on street corners, images with fables enclosed. In past classes we have created (in theory at least) literary movements. We will examine issues such as writing in a state of siege, historical fiction, setting, research, and point of entry. Writing exercises (a story written from the point of view of a flea, or of a different gender) will be used routinely to flex literary muscles. Examples of fiction techniques will be drawn from stories and poems by authors such as Tim O’Brien, Ben Marcus, Donald Barthelme, Marie Howe and Amy Hempel, as well as Hawthorne, Neruda, Rilke and Salinger. Students will be expected to read these works and critique them. We will occasionally review elements of craft (point of view, motivation, pacing, voice, etc.). Each student will submit at least two stories for workshopping during the term, and revise them for a class book at term’s end. Prerequisite: V39.0815, V39.9815, V39.0818/9, V39.9818/9, or equivalent.

V39.0816003 Intermediate Fiction Workshop
Jonathan Rabb, W 2:00pm-4:30pm
This course will tackle all the usual suspects in short fiction and the long form, from character to place, conflict to cadence, remembering that fiction – or perhaps any kind of writing – is purely idiosyncratic. The voice you find is yours; the stories that compel you are yours; the ideas you grapple with are yours; and the struggle to resolve all those issues is ultimately yours and yours alone. That is why this is a workshop. You will be spending most of your time writing and critiquing in order to shape a very personal approach to fiction. Please do not underestimate the vital role critique plays in refining your own work. If you learn to critique well, you begin to see your own fiction in a new and expansive light. Prerequisite: V39.0815, V39.9815, V39.0818/9, V39.9818/9, or equivalent.

V39.0816004 Intermediate Fiction Workshop: Literature of Resistance
Maaza Mengiste, TR 11:00am-12:15pm
We live in a world where people everywhere are fighting to maintain or assert their sense of self amidst shifting laws, alliances and borders. Whether it’s the War on Terror, gay rights, immigration reform, international wars, classism, racism, gender politics or family strife, this course will explore the literature these struggles have produced. Our task will be to learn to expand our own writing beyond the simple conflict-driven plot of good vs. bad, to a more complex and real understanding of the existence of both in everyone. You will be challenged to consider the blurry lines between fiction and nonfiction. Prerequisite: V39.0815, V39.9815, V39.0818/9, V39.9818/9, or equivalent.

V39.0817001 Intermediate Poetry Workshop
Matthew Rohrer, MW 9:30am-10:45am
This course will thrust students headlong into the dark cobwebby interiors of the modern poem.  We’ll look closely at how modern poems are actually put together, considering such elemental concerns as image, voice, structure, etc.  And we’ll also look at several revolutions in thinking about what poems are.  Students will also investigate the mysterious other world poems often inhabit through the fantastical works of such poets as Henri Michaux, Vasko Popa, Nicanor Parra, and others.  Writing exercises derived from the techniques of each poet will help us dig beneath the surface to uncover what in the world is going on.  Students will leave this course with a deeper understanding of what makes the modern poem go. And combined with the generous and critical attentions of the workshop, students will come to the same understanding of their own work. Prerequisite: V39.0815, V39.9815, V39.0818/9, V39.9818/9, or equivalent.

V39.0817002 Intermediate Poetry Workshop
Miranda Field, MW 11:00am-12:15pm
“[W]e’re born as poets from this wound that is inflicted on us by other poets’ poetry,” says Belarusian poet, Valzhyna Mort. Seamus Heaney puts it this way: “You hear something in another writer’s sound…that delights your whole nervous system in such a way that your reaction will be, 'Ah, I wish I had said that, in that particular way.'” The emphasis in this workshop will be on students’ own work—but since poems come as much from other poems as from life, we will also explore ways of openly inviting the influence of other poets. So essential to this workshop is the idea of poems-growing-out-of  other-poems, that we will even try our hand at blatant mimicry at times, as we pursue an understanding of how certain poems haunt us.  We will take apart some amazing ‘word machines’ (to paraphrase William Carlos Williams), and seek out the ghostly elements in those machines—those ineffable vibrations that made Emily Dickinson “feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off.” Prerequisite: V39.0815, V39.9815, V39.0818/9, V39.9818/9, or equivalent.

V39.0817003 Intermediate Poetry Workshop
Catherine Barnett, F 12:00pm-2:30pm
This rigorous intermediate workshop focuses on student writing and asks students to practice new ways of reading and responding to poems. In the first half of the semester we work as a group and read shared texts; in the second half, each student selects a poet, with the instructor’s guidance, and studies this poet’s life and work in great depth, preparing an oral presentation and letting the poet’s work guide his or her own creative work. We’ll try to explore the unknown in terms of the more unknown, as poet Brenda Hillman advises. 
The class is focused on process over product. Prerequisite: V39.0815, V39.9815, V39.0818/9, V39.9818/9, or equivalent.

V39.0817004 Intermediate Poetry Workshop: Writing as Reading, and Vice Versa
Craig Morgan Teicher, M 6:30pm - 9:00pm
Poems are conversations we have when we're alone.  Even if we take workshops and talk about poems in all our free time, at last, it's just a piece of paper and a reader or writer.  And it turns out reading and writing aren't really separate activities, more like two halves of the same motion, like inhaling and exhaling.  With this idea, the notion that when we read or write we are participating in a conversation going on between our heads and words on paper, in mind, this workshop will focus on how to see poems from established poets--including Robert Frost, W.S. Merwin, DA Powell, Brenda Hillman and others--from the inside, as if you had written them, and how to read your own poems from a critical distance. The goal will be for you to become better readers and writers at the same time. Prerequisite: V39.0815, V39.9815, V39.0818/9, V39.9818/9, or equivalent.

V39.0825001 Intermediate Creative Nonfiction Workshop
Maria Laurino, F 11:00am-1:30pm
Workshop description forthcoming.
Prerequisite: V39.0815, V39.9815, V39.0818/9, V39.9818/9, or equivalent.

V39.0820001 Advanced Fiction Workshop
Fiona Maazel, R 12:30pm-3:15pm
Workshop description forthcoming.
Prerequisite: V39.0815, V39.9815, V39.0816, V39.0818, V39.9818 or equivalent. 4 points.

V39.0820002 Advanced Fiction Workshop:
Narrative Art from the Inside Out
Darin Strauss, T 3:30pm-6:10pm
Our class will emphasize shop talk: how to begin a story, say, and how to introduce a character. And we'll take up such questions as, “What is the relationship of plot to sub-plot? How does one hold the reader's attention?” Of course, in Art, rules must be flexible—but I ask my students to think of writing in strategic terms; each story-telling decision needs to make tactical sense. With that in mind, we'll examine—with so much esprit de corps as to arouse envy—the tenets of the Art of Fiction. Prerequisite: V39.0815, V39.9815, V39.0816, V39.0818, V39.9818 or equivalent. 4 points.

V39.0820003 Advanced Fiction Workshop
Irini Spanidou, W 6:30pm - 9:15pm
The emphasis of this course is on the discovery, encouragement and development of the students’ individual voices so that the style each voice dictates can be shaped allowing form to follow function.  The focus is not on theory of craft but on each case in point.  Whatever works is right: a story that fulfills its intentions justifies its means.  Rather than forcing a piece of writing into formulaic “perfection,” the aim is to facilitate its clarity and momentum, and to bring out its truth (the felt reality between the lines), enabling the work to achieve a cohesive, organic whole—a structure unique as the voice that engenders it. Prerequisite: V39.0815, V39.9815, V39.0816, V39.0818, V39.9818 or equivalent. 4 points.

V39.0830001 Advanced Poetry Workshop

Mark Rudman, M 2:00pm-4:45pm
Workshop description forthcoming.
Prerequisite: V39.0815, V39.9815, V39.0817, V39.0819, V39.9819 or equivalent.
4 points.

V39.0830002 Advanced Poetry Workshop

Matthew Rohrer, F 12:00pm-2:45pm
This course is designed to plunge students head-first into the world of contemporary poetry.  Besides workshopping each others’ poems, students will read a different book of contemporary poetry each week, and present it to the class. We will discuss the books as writers, not literature students; we’ll want to figure out what each poet is doing, how he or she does it, and how we can do that.  Writing exercises derived from the readings will help us get into the poets’ heads.  Poets’ heads we will get into will include Tao Lin, Terrance Hayes, Matthea Harvey, John Yau and others. Prerequisite: V39.0815, V39.9815, V39.0817, V39.0819, V39.9819 or equivalent. 4 points.

V39.0830003 Advanced Poetry Workshop
Robert Fitterman, F 11:00am-1:45pm
In 1871, Arthur Rimbaud declared that “the invention of the unknown demands new forms,” and for over 100 years innovative poets have been beckoned to uncover or invent forms for the unknown or for their own present condition.  New times require new forms, and in the tradition of the avant-garde and experimental writing, this course will introduce you to several new poetic strategies and to the poets who employ them. In addition to workshopping, each week we will write poems in-class that are inspired by or modeled after the strategies we study. Some of these experiments might include: sampling, procedural writing, mixed media, collaboration, conceptual writing, appropriation, etc. The course also requires that you present your writing 2-3 times during the semester, participate in a collaborative project, and turn in a small “book” of your writing at the end of the term. Prerequisite: V39.0815, V39.9815, V39.0817, V39.0819, V39.9819 or equivalent. 4 points.

V39.0850001 Advanced Creative Nonfiction Workshop

Rachel DeWoskin, R 3:30pm-6:10pm
In this reading and writing workshop, students will write three essays and create chapter outlines for memoirs. Through careful revision of your pieces, we will work to turn them into chapters of a book, making sure each succeeds both on its own and as part of a larger future work. Our goal will be to build context -- exploring personal narrative toward expanding anecdote and observation into universal meaning. Readings include Bechdel, Danticat, Malcolm X, and Nabokov. Prerequisite: V39.0815, V39.9815, V39.0816, V39.0818, V39.9818 or equivalent. 4 points.

V39.0870001 Master Class in Poetry: EGO CIRCUS

Anne Carson & Robert Currie, W 11:00am-1:45pm
Workshop description forthcoming.
Prerequisite: V39.0815, V39.9815, V39.0817, V39.0819, V39.9819 or equivalent.
4 points.