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Creative Writing 05 Abstract Colours

Spring 2020

CRW 210 Bilingual Fiction Writing: Novella- Juana Moriel- Payne

Latin American Novella of the Boom and Post-Boom

In Latin America, the universal literary genre of the novella has had a unique development. It has had a lively progress, from the Iberian tradition to the early 19th Century, and again, from the mid 20th Century to the early 21st Century. Readings will include pre-boom ovellas of José Joaquín Fernández de Lizardí and Alejo Carpentier, boom novellas of Álvaro Mutis, Gabriel García Márquez, G. Cabrera Infante, Julio Cortázar, and post-boom novellas of Ana Lydia Vega, Roberto Bolaño, and Laura Restrepo. Students will analyze these in order to understand how Latin American writers transformed this universal-literary genre according to their own realities.  At the same time, students will analyze the genre’s form and structure. Students will write their own novellas using mechanisms of the short story and the vovel: a technique that combines intensity and expansion, elements that show contrary forces, and create a specific-unique rhythm, as Judith Leibowitz says in Purpose in the Novella.

  • Joaquín Fernández de Lizardí, The Itching Parrot/El periquillo sarniento
  • Alejo Carpentier, The Road to Santiago/El camino de Santiago
  • Álvaro Mutis, The Snow of the Admiral/La nieve del admiral
  • Gabriel Garía Márquez, The Incredible and Sad Tale of Innocent Eréndira and Her Heartless Grandmother/ La increíble y triste historia de la candida Eréndira y de su abuela desalmada.
  • G. Cabrera Infante, I Heard Her Sing/ La escuché cantar
  • Julio Cortázar, The Pursuer/ El perseguidor
  • Ana Lydia Vega, Miss Florence’s Trunk/El baúl de Miss Florence
  • Roberto Bolaño, Distant Star-Estrella distante
  • Laura Restrepo, The Scent of Invisible Roses/Olor a rosas invisibles

Students can read and write in either English or Spanish.

CRW 233: Creative Non-fiction Writing- JoAnna Novak

"Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly," writes MFK Fisher. And sharing writing about food is equally intimate, conjuring sensations and memories, evoking experience and heritage. In this course, we'll read and write about all things gustatory, guided by the works of writers such as Elizabeth David, Richard Olney, Gabrielle Hamilton, Adrian Miller, Holly Hughes, Anthony Bourdain, and more. Creative non-fiction offers students the opportunity to explore several platforms for expression that may include memoir, essays, and articles. Students draw on public and private events to create stories, offer informed commentary, satire, and comedy. The course will culminate in a portfolio of short-form non-fiction.

CRW 240: Fiction Writing II- JoAnna Novak

Weird. Unnerving. Strange. Disarming. How does horror reflect the real and how does the real depict horror? In this course, we'll read texts that straddle fictive modes (realism, horror) to take the reader on gripping, unforgettable journeys. Course texts will include short fiction and novels by writers such as Brian Evenson, Chris Dennis, Mariana Enriquez, Alma Katsu, Melanie Golding, Dan Bevacqua, Amanda Goldblatt, and Samanta Schweblin. Through both reading and writing, this class considers point of view, pacing, tone, structure, and setting. The course will culminate in a portfolio of short stories.  

CRW 246 Poetics – Johnny Payne

This course will ground you in conventional poetics and the Western tradition in poetry dating back to the 15th century up to the modern. We’ll look at rhyme schemes and types, meter, and verse form including such prosodic elements as enjambment, assonance, consonance, and other aspects that contribute to a well-made poem. This approach is meant to complement free-form and experimental approaches. We will focus on the sonnet, ode, ballad, sestina, villanelle and elegy as forms. Though you will write multiple poems, this is not merely a workshop. Rather, you will be assigned intensive reading in theory and poems, as well as practice in creative exercises that allow you to understand and emulate these challenging forms, in the hope that they will shape your sense of poetics and of the great and varied history of Western poetry that has endured alongside more recent developments in the genre.

Paul Fussell, Poetic Meter and Poetic Form
Robert Hass, A Little Book of Form
Mark Strand and Eavan Boland, The Making of a Poem
Willis Barnstone, Six Masters of the Spanish Sonnet