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Elizabeth Cullingford, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Peter N LaSalle

Professor B.A., Harvard University, 1969, M.A., University of Chicago, 1972

Susan Taylor McDaniel Regents Professor in Creative Writing

Contact

  • Phone: 512-471-8113
  • Office: PAR 24
  • Campus Mail Code: B5000

Biography

Books:

The City at Three P.M. (forthcoming 2015)

What I Found Out About Her (forthcoming 2014)

Mariposa's Song (2012)

Tell Borges If You See Him (2007)

Hockey Sur Glace (1996)

Strange Sunlight (1984)

The Graves of Famous Writers (1980)

Awards and Honors:

Award for Distinguished Prose, Antioch Review

Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction

Richard Sullivan Prize in Short Fiction

O. Henry Award

Best American Short Stories

Sports Best Short Stories

Best of the West

Best American Fantasy

Best American Mystery Stories

Best American Travel Writing

National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship

Breakthrough Series Award

News Links:

Omnivoracious 

Bookslut.com Interview 

OC Weekly (L.A.) Review of Mariposa's Song

UT Links: 

Recipient of Flannery O'Connor Award

Honored by Antioch Review

CRW 325F • Fiction Writing

34850 • Fall 2014
Meets MW 500pm-630pm PAR 310
show description

Instructor:  La Salle, P

Unique #:  34850

Semester:  Fall 2014

Cross-lists:  n/a

Flags:  Writing

Restrictions:  CRW Certificate students

Prerequisites: One of the following: C L 315, E 603B, 316L (or 316K), 316M (or 316K), 316N (or 316K), 316P (or 316K), or T C 603B.

Description: The beginning of the course will stress the development of skills in the various aspects of narration, including writing description, probing character, and plotting. The latter part of the course will involve the writing and rewriting of a complete short story.

Texts: The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction, Cassill, ed.

Requirements & Grading: Four writing assignments: 90%; Attendance

E 385N • Creatv Writing: Wrkshp In Fict

36037 • Fall 2014
Meets MW 300pm-430pm PAR 310
show description

This is a creative writing course in fiction and poetry for students with graduate school status in any discipline, including those who are enrolled in a UT graduate creative writing program and wish to develop skills in a second genre in addition to their primary one.

There will be instruction in the essentials of fiction writing and poetry writing as well as in-class workshop discussion of student work. There will also be reading from three texts and discussion of some larger ideas concerning theory of writing, especially how the two genres—fiction and poetry—do influence each other.

Work will be due on three dates, and on each the student will turn in either a complete short story or a group of several (five or so) poems. A student will concentrate on either poetry or fiction, though if the student wishes, on one of the due dates work in the other genre may be turned in. For example, a poet might do two of the assignments in poetry and one in fiction. (Note: this is optional.)

Texts:

  1. The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction, editors Cassill and Bausch
  2. The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry, editor McClatchy
  3. Dreamtigers, Jorge Luis Borges (fiction and poetry)

Requirements & Grading: Restricted enrollment; contact department for permission to register. The grade will be a matter, essentially, of the quality of the written work.

Schedule:  See above.

E F325F • Fiction Writing

83175 • Summer 2014
Meets MTWTHF 230pm-400pm BEN 1.102
show description

Instructor:  La Salle, P

Unique #:  83175

Semester:  Summer 2014, first session

Cross-lists:  n/a

Flags:  Writing

Computer Instruction:  No

Prerequisites: C L 315, E 603B, 316K, or T C 603B.

Description: The beginning of the course will stress the development of skills in the various aspects of narration, including writing description, probing character, and plotting. The latter part of the course will involve the writing and rewriting of a complete short story.

Texts: The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction, Cassill, ed.

Requirements & Grading: Four writing assignments: 90%; Attendance and participation: 10%.

E 325F • Fiction Writing

35900 • Spring 2014
Meets MW 500pm-630pm PAR 103
show description

Instructor:  La Salle, P

Unique #:  35900

Semester:  Spring 2014

Cross-lists:  n/a

E 325 (Topic 1: Creative Writing: Fiction) and 325F may not both be counted.

Prerequisites: C L 315, E 603B, 316K, or T C 603B.

Description: The beginning of the course will stress the development of skills in the various aspects of narration, including writing description, probing character, and plotting. The latter part of the course will involve the writing and rewriting of a complete short story.

Texts: The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction, Cassill, ed.

Requirements & Grading: Four writing assignments: 90%; Attendance and participation: 10%.

E 355K • Advanced Creative Writing

36080 • Spring 2014
Meets MW 300pm-430pm CAL 21
show description

Instructor:  La Salle, P

Unique #:  36080

Semester:  Spring 2014

Cross-lists:  n/a

Prerequisites: English 341 or 341L.

Description: This is a course for advanced students in poetry writing and fiction writing.

There will be three dates on which work is due, and on each the student will turn in either a complete short story or a group of several (five or so) poems.  A student will concentrate on either poetry or fiction, though will be encouraged to submit work in the other genre on one of the due dates; for example, a poet would do two of the assignments in poetry and one in fiction (note: this is optional, and the student can choose to work in just a single genre).

Student work will be examined in class with workshop discussion.  There will also be reading from three texts, as well as discussion of some larger ideas concerning theory of writing, especially how the two genres--fiction and poetry--influence each other.

Texts: Magical Realist Fiction, Young and Holloman, eds. (actually an anthology of innovative fiction, not necessarily all magical realist); The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry, McClatchy, ed.; Dreamtigers, Jorge Luis Borges (fiction and poetry by Borges).

Requirements &Grading: Writing assignments 90%; 
Attendance and participation 10%.

E F325F • Fiction Writing

83525 • Summer 2013
Meets MTWTHF 230pm-400pm BEN 1.102
show description

Instructor:  La Salle, P            Areas:  IV / U

Unique #:  83525            Flags:  Writing

Semester:  Summer 2013, first session            Restrictions:  n/a

Cross-lists:  n/a            Computer Instruction:  No

Prerequisites: C L 315, E 603B, 316K, or T C 603B.

Description: The beginning of the course will stress the development of skills in the various aspects of narration, including writing description, probing character, and plotting. The latter part of the course will involve the writing and rewriting of a complete short story.

Texts: The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction, Cassill, ed.

Requirements & Grading: Four writing assignments: 90%; Attendance and participation: 10%.

E 355K • Advanced Creative Writing

35545 • Spring 2013
Meets W 300pm-600pm CAL 21
show description

Instructor:  La Salle, P            Areas:  IV / U

Unique #:  35545            Flags:  n/a

Semester:  Spring 2013            Restrictions:  n/a

Cross-lists:  n/a            Computer Instruction:  No

Prerequisites: English 341 or 341L.

Description: This is a course for advanced students in poetry writing and fiction writing.

There will be three dates on which work is due, and on each the student will turn in either a complete short story or a group of several (five or so) poems. A student will concentrate on either poetry or fiction, though on one of the due dates work in the other genre will be turned in. For example, a poet will do two of the assignments in poetry and one in fiction.

Student work will be examined in class with workshop discussion. There will also be reading from three texts, as well as discussion of some larger ideas in theory of writing, especially how the two genres--fiction and poetry--feed each other.

Texts: A Fine Excess, editors Gann and Herbert (an anthology of contemporary poetry and fiction); 
Jorge Luis Borges, Dreamtigers, (fiction and poetry).

Requirements &Grading: Writing assignments 90%; 
Attendance and participation 10%.

E 325F • Fiction Writing

35330 • Fall 2012
Meets MW 300pm-430pm PAR 105
show description

Instructor:  La Salle, P            Areas:  IV / U

Unique #:  35330 & 35335            Flags:  Writing

Semester:  Fall 2012            Restrictions:  n/a

Cross-lists:  n/a            Computer Instruction:  No

E 325 (Topic 1: Creative Writing: Fiction) and 325F may not both be counted.

Prerequisites: C L 315, E 603B, 316K, or T C 603B.

Description: The beginning of the course will stress the development of skills in the various aspects of narration, including writing description, probing character, and plotting. The latter part of the course will involve the writing and rewriting of a complete short story.

Texts: The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction, Cassill, ed.

Requirements & Grading: Four writing assignments: 90%; Attendance and participation: 10%.

E 325F • Fiction Writing

35335 • Fall 2012
Meets MW 500pm-630pm PAR 308
show description

Instructor:  La Salle, P            Areas:  IV / U

Unique #:  35330 & 35335            Flags:  Writing

Semester:  Fall 2012            Restrictions:  n/a

Cross-lists:  n/a            Computer Instruction:  No

E 325 (Topic 1: Creative Writing: Fiction) and 325F may not both be counted.

Prerequisites: C L 315, E 603B, 316K, or T C 603B.

Description: The beginning of the course will stress the development of skills in the various aspects of narration, including writing description, probing character, and plotting. The latter part of the course will involve the writing and rewriting of a complete short story.

Texts: The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction, Cassill, ed.

Requirements & Grading: Four writing assignments: 90%; Attendance and participation: 10%.

E F325F • Fiction Writing

83635 • Summer 2012
Meets MTWTHF 230pm-400pm PAR 310
show description

Instructor:  La Salle, P            Areas:  IV / U

Unique #:  83635            Flags:  Writing

Semester:  Summer 2012, first session            Restrictions:  n/a

Cross-lists:  n/a            Computer Instruction:  No

E 325 (Topic 1: Creative Writing: Fiction) and 325F may not both be counted.

Prerequisites: C L 315, E 603B, 316K, or T C 603B.

Description: The beginning of the course will stress the development of skills in the various aspects of narration, including writing description, probing character, and plotting. The latter part of the course will involve the writing and rewriting of a complete short story.

Texts: The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction, Cassill, ed.

Requirements & Grading: Four writing assignments: 90%; Attendance and participation: 10%.

E 355K • Advanced Creative Writing

35360 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm CAL 221
show description

Instructor:  La Salle, P            Areas:  IV / U

Unique #:  35360            Flags:  n/a

Semester:  Spring 2012            Restrictions:  n/a

Cross-lists:  n/a            Computer Instruction:  No

Prerequisites: English 341 or 341L.

Description: This is a course for advanced students in poetry writing and fiction writing.

There will be three dates on which work is due, and on each the student will turn in either a complete short story or a group of several (five or so) poems. A student will concentrate on either poetry or fiction, though on one of the due dates work in the other genre will be turned in. For example, a poet will do two of the assignments in poetry and one in fiction. 

Student work will be examined in class with workshop discussion. There will also be reading from three texts, as well as discussion of some larger ideas in theory of writing, especially how the two genres--fiction and poetry--feed each other.

Texts: A Fine Excess, editors Gann and Herbert (an anthology of contemporary poetry and fiction); 
Jorge Luis Borges, Dreamtigers, (fiction and poetry).

Requirements &Grading: Writing assignments 90%; 
Attendance and participation 10%.

E 385N • Creatv Writing: Wrkshp In Fict

35590 • Spring 2012
Meets T 600pm-900pm PAR 310
show description

Graduate Fiction Writing Workshop

Instructor: Peter LaSalle

Course Description:

This is a fiction workshop for graduate creative writing students, those in either the English Department program or the MCW program.

Writing will be turned in on three due dates spaced throughout the semester. The work for each date may be either a complete short story or an installment from a longer project (novel or novella), and the student will write a total of about forty pages of fiction. There will be discussion in class of the student writing.

There will also be reading from:

(1) A Fine Excess, eds Gann and Herbert, an anthology built around the ideas in William Gass's essay "The Music of Prose" concerning richness of language in fiction; the book includes mostly contemporary American writing.

(2) Magical Realist Fiction, eds Young and Holloman, an anthology of innovative fiction (the title is somewhat misleading, and actually much of the work isn't what usually would be considered "magical realism"), with stories by Faulkner, Woolf, Borges, Barthelme, Cheever, Bishop, Bombal, and García Márquez.

(3) An issue of a good literary magazine to be named (such as Agni, Tin House, or Antioch Review), for the class to examine together its contents; this should generate some discussion of literary magazines in general and how one goes about dealing with them (manuscript preparation, submission, etc.).

E 325F • Fiction Writing

35197 • Fall 2011
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm PAR 303
show description

E 325 (Topic 1: Creative Writing: Fiction) and 325F may not both be counted.

Prerequisites: C L 315, E 603B, 316K, or T C 603B.

Description: The beginning of the course will stress the development of skills in the various aspects of narration, including writing description, probing character, and plotting. The latter part of the course will involve the writing and rewriting of a complete short story. 

Texts: The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction, Cassill, ed.

Requirements & Grading: Four writing assignments: 90%; Attendance and participation: 10%.

E 325P • Poetry Writing

35212 • Fall 2011
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm PAR 302
show description

Prerequisites: Comparative Literature 315, English 603B, 316K, or Tutorial Course 603B.

Description: This is a beginning course in poetry writing. In the first half of the course there will be discussion of poetic theory as well as writing practice in several poetic forms, including prose poem, haiku, sonnet, and free verse. The second half of the course will essentially involve the student writing and revising about 15-20 pages of original poetry (with work submitted in two installments) and the workshop discussion of that poetry in class. There are two required texts, and the class will also read an issue of a literary magazine to be named, which should prompt some consideration of literary magazines in general and the cause of poetry they serve in America today.

Texts: The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry, J.D. McClatchy, editor; an anthology of poetry.

The Weather of Words, Mark Strand; essays on poetry.

An issue of a literary magazine to be named (such as Agni Magazine, Antioch Review or New England Review).

Requirements & Grading: Writing Assignments: 90%; Attendance and participation: 10%.

E 325F • Fiction Writing

35445 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 600pm-730pm CAL 221
show description

E 325 (Topic 1: Creative Writing: Fiction) and 325F may not both be counted.

 

Prerequisites: C L 315, E 603B, 316K, or T C 603B.

Course Description: The beginning of the course will stress the development of skills in the various aspects of narration, including writing description, probing character, and plotting. The latter part of the course will involve the writing and rewriting of a complete short story.

Texts: The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction, Cassill, ed.

Grading: Four writing assignments: 90%; Attendance and participation: 10%.

E 355K • Advanced Creative Writing

35635 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm CAL 221
show description

Prerequisites: English 341 or 341L.

Course Description: This is a course for advanced students in poetry writing and fiction writing.

There will be three dates on which work is due, and on each the student will turn in either a complete short story or a group of several (five or so) poems. A student will concentrate on either poetry or fiction, though on one of the due dates work in the other genre will be turned in. For example, a poet will do two of the assignments in poetry and on in fiction.

Student work will be examined in class with workshop discussion. There will also be reading from three texts, as well as discussion of some larger ideas in theory of writing, especially how the two genres--fiction and poetry--feed each other.

Texts: A Fine Excess, editors Gann and Herberty (an anthology of contemporary poetry and fiction); 
Jorge Luis Borges, Dreamtigers, (fiction and poetry).

Grading: Writing assignments 90%; 
Attendance and participation 10%.

E 325F • Fiction Writing

34550 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm PAR 302
show description

E 325 (Topic 1: Creative Writing: Fiction) and 325F may not both be counted.

Course Description: The beginning of the course will stress the development of skills in the various aspects of narration, including writing description, probing character, and plotting. The latter part of the course will involve the writing and rewriting of a complete short story.

Texts: The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction, Cassill, ed.

Grading: Four writing assignments: 90%; Attendance and participation: 10%.

Prerequisites: Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

E 380F • Literature For Writers

34980 • Fall 2010
Meets T 600pm-900pm PAR 210
show description

This is a course for graduate creative writing students, MA or MFA. It will examine the metaphysical element in a selection of modern and contemporary literature (prose, poetry, and drama) as well as in some painting. For our purposes, the metaphysical element will basically mean the creative imagination exploring, questioning, and ultimately—and very daringly—going beyond standard assumptions about time and space, dream and reality, etc., as perhaps true knowledge begins. The works themselves may be seen as the "messages" of the course's title.

The Reading:

I. Symbolism, Decadentism, Surrealism, etc.
    The Flowers of Evil, poems, Charles Baudelaire
    Nadja, a novel, André Breton
    Nightwood, a novel, Djuna Barnes

II. Borges and Bombal: The Buenos Aires Connection
     Labyrinths, stories and essays, Jorge Luis Borges
     New Islands, stories, María Luisa Bombal   

III. An Interlude with Painters
      Gustave Moreau, Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, Odilon Redon, Giorgio de Chirico, Paul Delvaux,           
           and René Magritte (paintings viewed on Web sites)

IV. Contemporary Messages
      Transparent Things, a novel, Vladimir Nabokov
      Collected Shorter Plays, Samuel Beckett
      The Lime Twig, a novel, John Hawkes
      Selected Poems, Mark Strand
      Best American Fantasy 2007, edited by Anne and Jeff VanderMeer, stories by Elizabeth Hand,    
           Kelly Link, Ramola D., Daniel Alarcón, and others. This anthology casts a pretty wide net in its   
           definition of "fantasy," to include much postmodern experiment and also what often falls under  
           labels such as "The New Weird."

Requirements:

Students will present weekly responses to the reading in class and will write two papers.

The first paper will be a personal essay on thinking about the metaphysical element in relation to the student's own creative writing. In the second paper, longer, the student will select a writer whose work seems metaphysical and examine that work according to ideas developed in the course, for the sort of engaging and even stylistically innovative essay about literature written by a creative writer and found in a literary magazine (rather than commentary that is simply functional, as maybe done for a research/analytical article in an academic journal).

E 325 • Creative Writing: Fiction-W

83270 • Summer 2010
Meets MTWTHF 230pm-400pm PAR 302
show description

Course Description: This is a first-level course in the writing of fiction. The beginning of the course will stress the development of skills in the various aspects of narration, including writing description, probing character, and plotting. The latter part of the course will involve the writing and rewriting of a complete short story.

 

 

Texts: The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction, Cassill, ed.

 

Grading: Four writing assignments: 90%; Attendance and participation: 10%.

 

Prerequisites: Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

E 325 • Creative Writing: Fiction-W

34725 • Spring 2010
Meets TTH 600pm-730pm PAR 302
show description

 

English 325    Creative Writing: Fiction

Instructor: Peter LaSalle, Spring 2010

The student will be responsible for about 30 pages of original writing. There are four due dates.

            The Dates:

                                    Thursday January 28--Description
                                    Thursday February 11--Character/Dialogue
                                    Tuesday  March 9--Plot
                                    Tuesday April 27--Final Story

All work should be a final draft, typed and with pages numbered; no need for a separate title page; use staple or paper clip to attach pages.

The beginning of the course will stress the development of skills in the various aspects of narration, including writing description, probing character, and plotting. The latter part of the course will involve the writing and rewriting of a complete short story. There will be reading from a text.

            The Text:

                        The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction, Bausch and Cassill, editors.

For more information, please download the full syllabus.

E 355K • Advanced Creative Writing-W

34865 • Spring 2010
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm CAL 221
show description

ENGLISH 355 K: Advanced Creative Writing

University of Texas, Spring 2010
Instructor: Peter LaSalle

This is a course for advanced students in fiction writing and poetry writing.

There will be three dates on which work is due, and on each the student will turn in either a complete short story or a group of several (five or so) poems. A student will concentrate on either poetry or fiction, though on one of the due dates work in the other genre will be turned in. For example, a poet will do two of the assignments in poetry and one in fiction.

            The dates:

                        Thursday, January 28
                        Thursday, February 25
                        Tuesday, April 13

Student work will be examined in class with workshop discussion. There will also be reading from two texts, as well as discussion of some larger ideas concerning theory of writing, especially how the two genres—fiction and poetry—influence each other.

            The texts:

                        1. A Fine Excess, editors Gann and Herbert
                                    (an anthology of contemporary poetry and fiction)
                        2. Dreamtigers, Jorge Luis Borges
                                    (fiction and poetry)

For more information, please download the full syllabus.

E 385N • Creatv Writing: Wrkshp In Fict

35395 • Fall 2009
Meets T 600pm-900pm CAL 419
show description

 

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