Fall 2011 Creative Writing Courses

English 010.301 Creative Writing: Fiction and Poetry Deborah Burnham TR 1:30-3:00
English 010.302 Creative Writing: Exploring the Possibilities of Fiction and Poetry Lynn Levin W 2:00-5:00
English 010.303 Creative Writing: Literary Journalism and Memoir Jamie-Lee Josselyn M 2:00-5:00
English 010.601 Creative Writing Michelle Taransky W 5:30-8:30
English 112.301 Fiction Writing Workshop Max Apple T 1:30-4:30
English 113.301 Poetry Writing Workshop Gregory Djanikian T 1:30-4:30
English 113.401 Poetry Writing Workshop Herman Beavers W 2:00-5:00
English 115.301 Advanced Fiction Writing Karen Rile M 2:00-5:00
English 116.401 Screenwriting Kathleen DeMarco M 2:00-5:00
English 116.402 Screenwriting Keir Politz R 4:30-7:30
English 116.601 Screenwriting Keir Politz T 4:30-7:30
English 117.301 The Arts and Popular Culture Anthony DeCurtis R 1:30-4:30
English 121.301 Writing for Children Elizabeth Van Doren T 1:30-4:30
English 121.601 Writing for T(w)eens Melissa Jensen M 5:30-8:30
English 122.301 Writing/Bookmaking Erin Gautsche R 10:30-12:00; F 1:00-3:00
English 130.401 Advanced Screenwriting Kathleen DeMarco W 2:00-5:00
English 135.301 Creative Nonfiction Writing Max Apple R 1:30-4:30
English 135.302 Creative Nonfiction Writing Jay Kirk T 1:30-4:30
English 135.303 Creative Nonfiction Meredith Broussard W 2:00-5:00
English 135.401 Peer Tutoring ValerieRoss TR 10:30-12:00
English 135.601 Creative Nonfiction Writing Kathryn Watterson T 5:30-8:30
English 145.301 Advanced Nonfiction Writing Stephen Metcalf M 2:00-5:00
English 145.302 Advanced Nonfiction Writing Lise Funderburg R 1:30-4:30
English 157.301 Introduction to Journalistic Writing Rick Nichols R 1:30-4:30
English 158.301 Journalistic Story-Telling Dick Polman M 2:00-5:00
English 159.301 Political Commentary: Writing in the Blog Age Dick Polman W 2:00-5:00
English 165.301 Writing Through Art and Literature Kenny Goldsmith R 1:30-4:30
English 412.640 Archaeology of Fiction Kathryn Watterson R 5:30-8:10
English 415.641 Research for Writers Meredith Broussard T 5:30-8:10

Descriptions

English 010.301
Creative Writing: Fiction and Poetry
Burnham
TR 1:30-3:00

In this class, we’ll read personal essays, mostly contemporary American, and poems from all over. The readings are structured to emphasize the contrasts among various structures. We’ll read some essays that are built along traditional lines (chronological, logical, etc.) and some that are segmented and less linear. You’ll write several short essays and one longer piece, drawing from your experience in idiosyncratic and unpredictable ways. You’ll also write very short responses to the readings that will form the core of a writer’s notebook, useful in generating more writing.

We’ll read some very contemporary and some very old poetry structured like lists, without the familiar organizing principles of rhyme and closed endings. We’ll also read and write poems in what are accurately called “obsessive forms”, poems that contain, magnify and alter their subjects. We’ll read, and write, prose poems and perhaps some forms of your own design.

The class is structured along familiar discussion/workshop designs. You’ll be responsible for presenting your work periodically, and for responding to the work of others in writing and in class. If you have questions, please feel free to write me: dburnham@english.upenn.edu

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English 010.302
Creative Writing: Exploring the Possibilities of Fiction and Poetry
Levin
W 2:00-5:00

This workshop-style class is an introduction to the pleasures of the writing process. Students will benefit from in-depth readings and constructive critical support in a class that fosters a community of writers. We will spend half the semester writing poems, and the other half writing fiction. Some of each meeting will be devoted to reading poems or a short story by established authors, with the emphasis on reading as writers rather than scholars. Experimentation and revision will be encouraged. Class participation and attendance are vital. We will have some brief in-class writing exercises and a variety of take-home assignments designed to help students generate and shape work. Students will turn in a final portfolio of 15 or so pages, which will include both poetry and prose. We will also write some brief (up to one page) responses to work read and written in class.

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English 010.303
Creating Characters in Literary Journalism and Memoir
Josselyn
M 2:00-5:00

This interactive workshop will focus on the way a writer constructs characters in journalistic profiles, memoirs and personal essays. Students will examine – through their own work and others’ – how nonfiction writers must shape information to render people on the page in a way that is accurate, honest, and engaging.

Much of this workshop will be spent on the “I” character. How do we portray ourselves, both when we’re at the center of our stories and when we’re on the edges looking in? How do we decide what to include and how do we justify what we exclude? We will look to the writers Joan Didion, Phillip Lopate and others for help when we need it.

The majority of class time will be spent discussing student work. Revision will be essential. An email listserv will be used to discuss readings and other topics. In addition to writing assignments throughout the semester, students will complete a final portfolio of approximately fifteen pages of revised work.

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English 010.601
Creative Writing
Taransky
W 5:30-8:30

We often think of poetry and memoir as those forms of writing which capture the “voice” of their authors through expressing one's innermost feelings. This course works to first explain, and then reverse that model: we will learn to write creatively from the outside in. We will read the work of modern and contemporary writers who write poetry and memoir out of materials that exist outside of the self (including mathematical equations, court testimony, movies, newspaper articles, and Google searches). Students will explore individual and group writing experiments that employ collage techniques, methods of random generation, and new media technologies as a part of our active investigation of how poets and memoirists are discovering and enacting new relationships between writing and self-expression. These alternative ways of thinking about language, and subject matter will help us situate our writing acts in relation to our selves as we call attention to, and challenge, the continued consignment of one voice to one author and individualized writing practices. At semester's end, students will turn in a final portfolio including poetry and prose pieces, and a letter which will serve as a critical introduction to the work.

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English 112.301
Fiction Writing Workshop
Apple
T 1:30-4:30

The class will be conducted as a seminar. Every student will write three stories during the semester; each story will be discussed by the group. The instructor will, from time to time, suggest works of fiction that he hopes will be illustrative and inspirational but there will be no required books. Attendance and participation are essential.

Students who have completed and taken pleasure in a fiction writing course need not submit writing samples. Others please submit brief samples to: maxapple1@verizon.net. Permit from the instructor is required.

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English 113.301
Poetry Workshop
Djanikian
T 1:30-4:30

A course for students who have had some experience writing poetry but who wish to improve the rhythm and expressiveness of their language, and who may want to see the things of this world in new relationships and, perhaps, with a broader vision. Students will be asked to write every week, and to discuss and respond to the works of classmates and established poets. A final portfolio of revised poems will be required at the end of the course. Students interested in taking the class should submit three poems to Gregory Djanikian via email at djanikia@writing.upenn.edu Permit from the instructor is required.

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English 113.401
Poetry Workshop
Beavers
W 2:00-5:00

This workshop is intended to help students with prior experience writing poetry develop techniques for generating poems along with the critical tools necessary to revise and complete them. Through in-class exercises, weekly writing assignments, readings of established poets, and class critique, students will acquire an assortment of resources that will help them develop a more concrete sense of voice, rhythm,prosody, metaphor, and the image as well as a deeper understanding of how these things come together to make a successful poem. In addition to weekly writings, students will be asked to produce a final portfolio of poems and to participate in a public reading.

Students who wish to participate in this workshop should submit 3-5 poems (none longer than 30 lines) to Herman Beavers, 127 Bennett Hall/6273. In addition to your name, please provide a phone number or e-mail address where you can be reached. Permission of the instructor is required for registration in this course.

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English 115.301
Advanced Fiction Writing
Rile
M 2:00-5:00

This special section of English 115 (Advanced Fiction Writing) will provide serious fiction writers the opportunity to envision their own work from both sides of the editorial desk. The class will feature face-to-face visits with editors from four contemporary literary magazines, both established and emerging. During these classroom visits, students will have a chance to pick an editor's brain about his/her magazine's philosophy and agenda, and to learn about the challenges of editing and producing a literary magazine in the 21st century.

Throughout the semester, students will write and present their own short stories for class critique (approximately 30-45 pages total). There will be some potential opportunity to workshop student stories during the editors' visiting days. Students will also write informal weekly responses to class readings. The reading list will consist of the content of the chosen magazines.

This class is open to students who have completed English 112 and/or English 115, and others on a case-by-case basis. To be considered for admission to this class, please send a sample of your recent literary fiction and a brief statement explaining your interests in writing literary fiction. Email to: krile@writing.upenn.edu.

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English 116.401
Screenwriting
DeMarco
M 2:00-5:00

This is a workshop-style course for those who have thought they had a terrific idea for a movie but didn't know where to begin. The class will focus on learning the basic tenets of classical dramatic structure and how this (ideally) will serve as the backbone for the screenplay of the aforementioned terrific idea. Each student should, by the end of the semester, have at least thirty pages of a screenplay completed. Classic and not-so-classic screenplays will be required reading for every class, and students will also become acquainted with how the business of selling and producing one's screenplay actually happens. Students will be admitted on the basis of an application by email briefly describing their interest in the course to kathydemarco@writing.upenn.eduPermit from the instructor is required.

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English 116.402
Screenwriting
Staff
R 4:30-7:30

This is a workshop-style course for those who have thought they had a terrific idea for a movie but didn't know where to begin. The class will focus on learning the basic tenets of classical dramatic structure and how this (ideally) will serve as the backbone for the screenplay of the aforementioned terrific idea. Each student should, by the end of the semester, have at least thirty pages of a screenplay completed. Classic and not-so-classic screenplays will be required reading for every class, and students will also become acquainted with how the business of selling and producing one's screenplay actually happens. Students will be admitted on the basis of an application by email briefly describing their interest in the course to the instructor.

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English 116.601
Screenwriting
Staff
T 4:30-7:30

This is a workshop-style course for those who have thought they had a terrific idea for a movie but didn't know where to begin. The class will focus on learning the basic tenets of classical dramatic structure and how this (ideally) will serve as the backbone for the screenplay of the aforementioned terrific idea. Each student should, by the end of the semester, have at least thirty pages of a screenplay completed. Classic and not-so-classic screenplays will be required reading for every class, and students will also become acquainted with how the business of selling and producing one's screenplay actually happens. Students will be admitted on the basis of an application by email briefly describing their interest in the course to the instructor.

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English 117.301
The Arts and Popular Culture
DeCurtis
R 1:30-4:30

"Writing About the Arts" is a workshop-oriented course that will concentrate on all aspects of writing about artistic endeavor, including criticism, reviews, profiles, interviews and essays. For the purposes of this class, the arts will be interpreted broadly, and students will be able -- and, in fact, encouraged -- to write about both the fine arts and popular culture. Students will be doing a great deal of writing throughout the course, but the main focus will be a 3000-word feature story about an artist or arts organization in Philadelphia (or another location approved by the instructor) that will involve extensive reporting, interviews and research. Potential subjects can range from a local band to a museum, from a theater group to a novelist -- all of which students have written about in previous classes.

Class meetings will include detailed discussions of the students' own writing, as well as that of the instructor and other writers whose work appears in magazines, newspapers and journals. A considerable effort will be made to have the course be as professionally focused and "real time" as possible, so current stories in the media will frequently be the subject of class discussion and critique. A number of writers, critics, journalists, editors and other media types will visit the class to share their work and experiences with the students, and to participate in the discussions. It should be emphasized that, in discussing the work of fellow students, courtesy and respect will be as much required as candor.

Those interested in taking the course should email as soon as possible one or two samples of their best prose to Anthony DeCurtis at ADeCurtis@aol.com. Applicants can also mail their work directly to the instructor at: 875 West End Avenue, Apt 10G, New York, NY 10025. Also include your name, undergraduate class, and the telephone number where you can be reached. Permit from the instructor is required.

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English 121.301
Writing for Children
Van Doren
T 1:30-4:30

This is a course for students who have always thought it would be easy, fun, interesting, or rewarding to write a children's book. In the class we will discover that it is anything but easy, definitely fun and interesting, and ultimately rewarding to do so. The class will be conducted as a seminar, using a wide variety of published children's books in all genres -- picture books, chapter books, young fiction, older fiction - as examples of successful and maybe not-so-successful books for young readers. We will discuss the major question of what makes a good book for children and the importance of creating compelling characters, a good plot, excellent pacing, a distinctive voice, and an appropriate theme with the goal of each student refining an existing project or beginning work on a new one. There will be at least one reading and one writing assignment each week. Exercises will include writing picture books for the very young as well as stories for older readers. No previous experience in writing for children is required but students will be admitted on the basis of an application by email that includes a brief description of their interest in the course and a writing sample of no more than five to ten pages. Please email applications to Mingo Reynolds at mingo@writing.upenn.edu

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English 121.601
Writing for T(w)eens
Jensen
M 5:30-8:30

Maybe it was the boy wizard, or the noble vampire, but however it started, something big has happened with young people and books. In this course, we will explore the growing world of Young Adult fiction. Students will develop their own projects: honing their voice, creating believable plot, characters, and language, all directed at adolescent and teen readers. We will examine subgenres: Fantasy, Historical, and Romantic. We will read established works and discuss what makes a successful Young Adult novel. One session will be devoted to the business of getting that novel published: navigating the world of agents and editors, proposals and rejections. Students will be expected to complete a series of weekly writing exercises, and to discuss them in class. These will include both themed assignments from the instructor and portions of their final project. By the end of the term, students will have completed a minimum of three chapters (or approximately thirty pages) and a comprehensive outline of their novel.

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English 122.301
Writing/Bookmaking
Gautsche
R 10:30-12:00; F 1:00-3:00

An introduction to creative writing for artists’ books and bookmaking projects. Students will learn numerous handmade book techniques and complete exercises on writing in conversation with book forms, as well as learn the basics of handset type and the letterpress. Field trips to local exhibitions, the Rare Books Library’s collection of artists book, and both creative and historical readings will complement the course. Students will complete a “book” project as part of their final exam.

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English 130.401
Advanced Screenwriting
DeMarco
W 2:00-5:00

This is a workshop-style course for students who have completed a screenwriting class, or have a draft of a screenplay they wish to improve. Classes will consist of discussing student's work, as well as discussing relevant themes of the movie business and examining classic films and why they work as well as they do.

Classic and not-so-classic screenplays will be required reading for every class in addition to some potentially useful texts like What Makes Sammy Run? Students will be admitted on the basis of an application by email.

Please send a writing sample (in screenplay form), a brief description of your interest in the course and your goals for your screenplay, and any relevant background or experience. Applications should be sent to kathydemarco@writing.upenn.edu.

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English 135.301
Creative Non-fiction Writing
Apple
R 1:30-4:30

Each student will write three essays and the class will offer criticism and appreciation of each. There will be some discussion of and instruction in the form, but the course will be based on the student writing. Attendance and participation required.

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English 135.302
Creative Non-fiction Writing
Kirk
T 1:30-4:30

In this course students will learn to observe and record what they see when they travel. They will explore a popular form of writing and practice it in their own daily activities. The familiar will become strange and new as they return home, walk through the campus, visit Center City or explore an ethnic community in order to write accounts of what they see. They will, in the process, learn about themselves but without that preoccupation with the self alone that marks much student writing. They will see themselves in the mirror of "the other". The course will explore famous works by travelers who visited the USA as a means to see the familiar through foreign eyes, such works as Alexis de Tocqueville's "Democracy in America" (1835), Charles Dickens' "On America and the Americans" (ed. Michael Slater), G.K. Chesterton's "What I Saw in America" (1922). Jonathan Raban's "Old Glory: An American Voyage" (1981) and the expatriate who returns like Bill Bryson's "I am a Stranger here myself: Notes on returning to America after twenty years" (1999).

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English 135.303
Creative Nonfiction Writing
Broussard
W 2:00-5:00

For many writers, inspiration comes from everyday life. In Philadelphia, we are fortunate enough to have an unparalleled bounty of inspiration around us-from our eccentric local celebrities to our world-class researchers to our rich history (zoos, ice cream and America all originated here). Students in this nonfiction writing workshop will create stories inspired by the people, the landscape, the ideas and the institutions of Philadelphia. We will discuss the ways that notable writers like Joan Didion, Calvin Trillin, Janet Malcolm and Joseph Mitchell turned everyday life into engaging narratives. As in all creative writing classes, the focus will be on creating, revising, and becoming your own best editor.

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English 135.401
Peer Turoring
Ross
TR 10:30-12:00

This course is intended for capable writers who possess the maturity and temperament to work successfully as peer tutors at Penn. The course emphasizes the development of tutors' own writing through the process of collaborative peer-criticism, individual conferences, and intensive sessions on writing, from mechanics to style. The class meets twice weekly; tutors also work two hours weekly in the Writing Center or elsewhere, and confer regularly in small groups or one-on-one meetings with the instructor. Tutors are required to write five short papers, eight one-page peer reviews, and two responses to readings. Additionally, students keep a journal and give two class presentations. CWIC-affiliated course.

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English 135.601
Creative Nonfiction: Finding Voice
Watterson
T 5:30-8:30

Our voices as writers take shape in the complex ground of our inner landscapes, seeded by our lives as children, our family dynamics and myths, and our cultural, psycho/social connections. In this writing workshop, we will explore the impact of “identity”—primarily race, class and gender—as it informs the way we convey our experiences and personal truths to the world. Students will read a variety of authors to gain insight into various ways writers build narratives to make sense out of the conflicting histories and memories that influence the progression of their lives. Students will conduct interviews, do research, writing exercises and visualizations to generate ideas, and to develop and revise personal essays, articles and opinion pieces.

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English 145.301
Advanced Non-fiction Writing
Metcalf
M 2:00-5:00

This class is an intensive course in creative non-fiction writing. It is offered on the presupposition that no bright lines divide reporting from criticism, profiling from reviewing, and that the best cultural journalists practice all of these, sometimes all at once. By way of example, we will read and study representative (and inspiring) works by the old masters (Lytton Strachey, Edmund Wilson, George Orwell), the mid-century moderns (Dwight MacDonald, Kenneth Tynan, early Pauline Kael and Tom Wolfe) before moving on to our best contemporaries (Joan Didion, Janet Malcolm, Adam Gopnik, Claudia Roth Pierrepont).

Along the way we’ll try to answer the salient question of non-fiction journalism: How do you coax the essence of a person or an idea or a body of work to reveal itself to you? How do you reveal that essence to your reader? To get to the heart of the painter David Salle, Janet Malcolm interviewed Salle on and off for two years. To capture the essence of the Reagan White House, Joan Didion conducted no interviews, relying instead on her own astonishing skills as a political and social clairvoyant.

One overriding goal of the class will be helping each of us discover what blend of skills –reporting, researching, voice-driven critique –best suits each of us as writers (instructor included). An additional focus will be the actual practice of engaging editors via your pitch letter –i.e., how does your email emerge out of the mass of daily anonymous correspondence, and engage a harried and overworked gatekeeper?

Ideally, every student will leave this class a.) with a firm sense of the canon of great recent non-fiction writers; b.) with a developing confidence of their own particular strengths as a non-fiction writer, and c.) with a total grasp of how to pitch a good idea. To that end, the writing assignments will include one reported piece (with interview), one review, one “critical profile,” and a sample pitch letter.

. The class will be visited regularly by practitioners from Slate, The New York Times, The New Yorker, etc.

Those interested in taking the course should email by attachment as soon as possible one or two samples of their best prose to Molly O'Neill at mollyo@writing.upenn.edu
Include the last 4 didgits of your SS#. Permit is required by the instructor.

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English 145.302
Advanced Non-fiction Writing
Funderburg
R 1:30-4:30

Creative nonfiction essays, at best, celebrate curiosity, observation, prejudice, and other idiosyncrasies of the human condition. They use reportage and the literary techniques of fiction in the service of compelling real-life stories. In this workshop-style class you will write and revise four essays (1200-1500 words each).

Aside from some general guidance, the subject matter of your work is deliciously open and up to you. I am, however, available to help shape and steer and urge you away from the overly solipsistic. Take advantage of the city that surrounds you; the questions and answers you've stumbled across; the way life has surprised you, held you captive, or set you free. Subjects can range from the Reading Terminal at lunchtime, an open mike night, a Howard Johnson's counter on a rainy afternoon, a contentious dorm meeting, the bird outside your window, or a visit home.

In assignments, class exercises and discussions of the readings, we will address technical issues such as narrative/thematic tension, transition, character development, dialogue, point of view, characterization, imagery, metaphor, as well as the skills of interviewing, structure, tone, style, and personal voice. We will use your (and occasionally my) work as the bases for discussion. Since I am a full-time freelance writer, you will also be subjected to my wit and wisdom about the publishing world.

The core aim here is to get a group of student writers writing, and to have you stretch beyond what you know by grappling with the revision process and sharing work with the class. Class participation is vital and expected.

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English 157.301
Introduction to Journalistic Writing
Nichols
R 1:30-4:30

This class will focus on the meat and potatoes of journalism - how to identify, report and write clear and effective news stories. How do you decide what the story is? How do you structure it? How do you frame questions? How do you know what to leave out? How do you know what's fair? We will cover the building blocks, then write profiles and features, as well as columns, commentary and opinion pieces. This is a newswriting exercise at heart. But its lessons are not limited to old-school newspapering: They can be applied to journalism whatever its form, and in fields far beyond - anywhere, in fact, where keen observation, concise expression and vivid language are of the essence.

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English 158.301
Advanced Journalistic Writing
Polman
M 2:00-5:00

This is a how-to course for talented aspiring writers--how to write well in the real world; how to hook the reader and sustain interest; how to develop the journalistic skills that enable a writer to gather, sift and report information. The instructor will share his own real-world experience, as a full-time working journalist for the past three decades. He will be joined on occasion by eminent journalists- including several star journalists from the New York Times--who will address the class and appear at mandatory forums to be held at the Kelly Writers House.

Even though students will read and critique some famous practitioners of non-fiction writing-among them, Gay Talese, Tom Wolfe, Michael Herr, Truman Capote and Richard Ben Cramer--along with contemporary newspaper storytellers that include the instructor (a national correspondent for the Philadelphia Inquirer), the emphasis will be on the students' own writing.

The goal is to inspire students to tap their own potential, gain fresh insights, and feel comfortable enough to share their assigned work-both short and long pieces-with others in the class over the span of the semester. Students will write all kinds of non-fiction pieces, from personal memoirs to long-form features about anything from the Philadelphia scene to campus issues and events. The topics are less important than the craftsmanship; anything can be a great read if it's written and reported well.,P. Journalistic issues, both practical and ethical, will also be addressed--among them: how to decide who to interview, and how to handle an interviewee; how to use (and not use) the Internet; when to use (or not use) anonymous sources.

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English 159.301
Political Commentary: Writing in the Blog Age
Polman
W 2:00-5:00

A primer on writing about U.S. politics, in an era of major technological upheaval and serious voter polarization. Today's 24/7, wi-fi'd, blogging environment - along with the rise of new conservative media - are changing the ways that writers cover politics and deliver the information. The course will put all these trends in a historical context, tracing the changes that have occurred during the four decades since Theodore H. White wrote The Making of the President 1960. Students will write in different formats, including: the traditional straight story, commentary, and blogs. Outstanding and controversial work, from writers such as author Richard Ben Cramer and Hunter S. Thompson, will be studied. The course, taught by a veteran reporter of four presidential campaigns, is also valuable for followers of politics who want to become more discerning readers.

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English 165.301
Writing Through Art and Literature: LANGUAGE and HAPPINESS in the Work of Stefan Sagmesiter
Goldsmith
R 1:30-4:30

Stefan Sagmeister, the award-winning graphic designer who has collaborated with artists such as Lou Reed and Talking Heads, will be the subject of large exhibition at Penn's Institute of Contemporary Art focusing on the recurrent themes of LANGAUGE and HAPPINESS in his work. Sagmeister has pioneered the concept of graphic design as a way of living a free, happy, and creative life, providing a new take on the 20th century idea of the intersection of Art and Life.

Our writing seminar will explore the graphic design techniques pioneered by Sagmeister -- words inscribed on the body, the use of unorthodox and handwritten fonts, the merging of language, fashion, and graffiti -- and translate them onto the page as explorations into new possibilities for creative writing. We will trace the histories of visual language both on and off the page in various mediums including poetry, graphic design and visual art. In literature, we will investigate the use of visual lanaguage from medieval illuminated manuscripts, to the spatialist works of Stéphane Mallarmé, Zaum, and Futurist visual poetry, mid-century concrete poetry, and contemporary uses in electronic and web-based media; in graphic design, we'll explore the split between clean high modernism and messy expressionistic post-modernism; and in the visual arts, we'll look at the uses of language in conceptual art, body art, as well as in propaganda and political art. And of course, we'll examine the Sagmeister-inspired ways that HAPPINESS and JOY can inspire our own written explorations.

This year-long creative writing class, given as a collaboration of CPCW and the ICA, will use the Sagmeister's works as a basis to inspire a wide variety of written, spoken, and recorded works by participating students. Students will be encouraged to develop correspondent methods of responding to the ICA's exhibitions, specifically in conjunction with an exhibition. The class will involve monthly trips to New York City to attend concerts, museums and lectures. The students will have access to the most cutting-edge artists today via class visits and studio visits. English 165 will culminate in a publication co-sponsored by the ICA and CPCW.

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English 412.640
Archaeology of Fiction
Watterson
R 5:30-8:10

This writing workshop is an archeological dig for the layers of experience, thought, sensation, and fantasy buried in your own imagination that inspire the creation of your stories. In this seminar, you will have the opportunity to excavate stories you want to tell by using the tools of writing and dreaming, improvisation, visualization, and mindfulness. Every week, you’ll do writing exercises to spark new connections. You will also explore the elements of literary fiction that invite readers to step into the interior dreams that can be seen, tasted, felt, and experienced through the sense details that take us there. We will mine a deeper understanding of the art and craft of writing, including choices about structure, plot, character-development, dialogue, point of view, style and voice, by reading short stories by a wide range of authors, including Alice Munro, John Edgar Wideman, Annie Proulx, Charles Johnson, Jamaica Kincaid, Jumpa Lahiri, and Langston Hughes. From them, you can learn a great deal about your own work by paying attention to theirs and applying the lessons you learn. This will be a semester of sharing, listening, reading, thinking, watching your own mind and writing, writing, writing. The workshop will include in-class exercises; take-home exercises; daily free-writing, close-readings, an in-depth study of three works by one author; oral presentations; class participation, and critique workshops in which you will read your work aloud and receive feedback designed to help you approach revision as an art.

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English 415.641
Research for Writers
Broussard
T 5:30-8:10

Writers are nosy. We want to know what happened, and then we want to know why, and how, and where, and what it smelled like. Good writing demands details. Finding these details… well, that can be the fun part. Research for writers involves poking through archives, asking people for stories, and looking at alternate interpretations of historical events. It involves answering all kinds of questions for ourselves and our readers: If W.E.B DuBois were a character in a short story, what would he wear? On Juneteenth, what was the weather like in Beaumont? Can a sonnet be biographical, and if so are the facts correct? In this class, you will learn the research methods employed by scholars, journalists, and super-sleuths. The class is intended for poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers, though journalists and documentary filmmakers may apply. We will read writers like Zora Neale Hurston, Marilyn Nelson, and Colson Whitehead to examine how writers use research in their work; we will talk to oral historians, archivists, and museum curators about how to mine the past for ideas. Be prepared to choose a topic early in the semester and research it thoroughly. Your final project, a creative piece in your choice of genre, will be informed by your discoveries.

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