Department of English

CRW 325 • Personal Essay

33663 • Casares, Oscar H.
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm GAR 1.134
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CRW 325  l  Personal Essay

Instructor:  Casares, O

Unique #:  33663

Semester:  Spring 2016

Cross-lists:  n/a

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No

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

Description:  Students in this course will read, discuss, and write a wide range of personal essays.  Different from the persuasive and analytic essays students write for other classes, the personal essay is a literary genre related to the memoir and autobiography.  A major component of this form is the writer’s “voice” on the page, which we will spend a considerable amount of time identifying in various texts.  The goal here is for students to become more aware of the writer’s language, both in its tonality and rhythm, as well its impact on the reader, and then use this insight to write their own personal narratives.  Every student will write two personal essays that will be discussed in a workshop setting.  Students will revise one of these essays by the end of the semester.  During the workshop phase of the course, students will also write critiques for every essay discussed in class.

Requirements & Grading:  Essays 50%; Revision 30%; Class Participation (including critiques) 20%


CRW 325F • Fiction Writing

33670 • MCCONIGLEY, NINA S
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm CAL 221
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CRW 325F  l  Fiction Writing

Instructor:  McConigley, N

Unique #:  33670

Semester:  Spring 2016

Cross-lists:  n/a

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No

Only one of the following may be counted: CRW 325F, E 325 (Topic 1: Creative Writing: Fiction), 325F.

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

Description: Nabokov said, "Literature was not born the day when a boy crying "Wolf, wolf," came running out of the Neanderthal valley with a big gray wolf at his heels; literature was born on the day when a boy came crying, "Wolf, wolf," and there was no wolf behind him.” We are going to do something very dangerous in this class: we’re going to create new worlds out of our memories, thin air, and language, and we’re going to create real people out of language, and give these people the power to desire and think for themselves, the power to perform actions we may not have anticipated when we first created them. We’re going to strive to make these settings, characters, and plots so credible and engaging that we and others would prefer to spend our time exploring them than do just about anything else in the world. That’s a tall order, isn’t it? And we are going to do it all in a semester.

First, we’re going to learn as much as we can from other writers and creators, such as Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., who would tell his creative writing students that, in order to make their characters real, they need to make them want something right away, even if it’s only a glass of water. We are going to read and analyze a wide array of stories and argue over how these stories are structured, crafted, and made miraculous. Then, we will attempt, with great courage and trepidation, to write our own stories, create our own worlds.

In this class, we will focus on a different element of craft, from point of view to description, setting to dialogue, conflict, and more. There will be in-class exercises and short take-home assignments, some of which we will discuss in class. In the second half of the semester, students will each write a complete short story, which we will workshop. On the last day of class students will hand in short reading responses to individually selected books, identifying an element of craft that particularly interests them.

Texts: Method and Madness: The Making of a Story: A Guide to Writing Fiction, Alice LaPlante, W.W. Norton(Required); Students should also have a dedicated writing notebook.

Requirements & Grading: Short writing assignments: 40%; Longer Short Story: 30%; Attendance and participation: 20%; Short responses: 10%. No final exam.  Papers are due on the dates indicated.  Late submissions will not be accepted.  Attendance is required.


CRW 325P • Poetry Writing

33680 • Greiner, Corinne
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm CAL 419
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CRW 325P  l  Poetry Writing

Instructor:  Greiner, C

Unique #:  33680

Semester:  Spring 2016

Cross-lists:  n/a

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No

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:  Students will refine their ability to read and write poetry through analyzing model poems, creating and revising poems, discussing elements of poetry, exploring poetry exercises, workshopping poem drafts in class, evaluating poetry assignments in individual teacher conferences, and preparing a final project fascicle (a short collection).

Typically, each week will begin with a discussion of poems in the textbook, A Poet’s Craft, as well as other poetry and articles posted on Canvas.  The remainder of the week will consist of workshops in which students’ poems will be critiqued.  Students will provide both written and spoken feedback regarding their classmates’ poetry.

Text:  Finch, Annie. A Poet’s Craft. The University of Michigan Press, 2012. 736 pp.

Requirements & Grading:  Students’ final grade will consist of:  20%—five poems (one approximately every other week); 10%—revision of two poems; 30%—final project (fascicle of ten poems, including revised poetry); 20%—written workshop feedback (due at every workshop); 10%—pop quizzes on reading; 10%—attendance and spoken class participation.

Requirements & Grading:  Students’ final grade will consist of:  20%—five poems (one approximately every other week); 5%—revision of two poems; 5%—poetry exercises; 30%—final project (fascicle of ten poems, including revised poetry); 20%—written workshop feedback (due at every workshop); 10%—pop quizzes on reading; 10%—attendance and spoken class participation.

Final grades will receive a plus or minus if appropriate.


CRW 330 • Literature For Writers

33685 • Berry, Betsy A
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm NOA 1.110
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CRW 330  l  Literature for Writers

Instructor:  Berry, B

Unique #:  33685 & 33695

Semester:  Spring 2016

Cross-lists:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No

Flags:  Writing

Prerequisites: One of the following: CRW 325 (or E 325), 325F (or E 325F), 325M, 325P (or E 325P).

Description: “Literature for Writers” is a fledgling course, though new courses are frequently the perfect opportunity in which to create unique and vibrant writing. CRW 330, originally created for graduate creative writers, is only in its second semester at the undergraduate level, so we are all getting in on the ground floor of what I plan to be a memorable course. The class will introduce to creative writers literary readings that inspire, motivate, and encourage the best from one’s own work. Sportswriter Red Smith famously quipped “Writing’s easy. You just sit down at the typewriter and open a vein.” But focused assignments and professional advice on what to write and how to do so can make the job easier, ideally resulting in solid, memorable results. Thoughtful direction, motivation, and imaginative prompts that seek imaginative responses are tools of the trade that I will use to encourage the best writing from my students, forging a strong foundation for the future of your craft, what I like to call the writing life.

We will look with a careful eye at several successful writers whose prose offers highly “teachable” literature. We will focus on such strategies as point of view, voice, place, atmosphere, author imitation, character names and development, and of course plot. We will neither study nor be writing sci-fi, fantasy (gothic or otherwise), or YA (as in Young Adult).

Texts: We will most likely be using a textbook by the aptly named Francine Prose, Reading for Writers: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them. (I might also be using various writing examples and suggestions from Janet Burroway’s Imaginative Writing: The Elements of Craft, but this text will not be required.) We will also be reading Australian writer Kate Jennings’ novel Snake, a unique novel in its plot and telling, probably like nothing you have ever read. We will read from master stylist Ernest Hemingway’s first story collection, In Our Time, published when Hemingway was 27. We will also be reading a memoir, which is what I am working on in my own writing at present, so I won’t have a final choice in that important category until nearer the beginning of our course. I will post required course texts on Canvas when they are available.

Requirements & Grading: There will be weekly writing briefs, written responses to both the readings and my own writing assignment concoctions (which I try to make challenging, fun, and rewarding). One piece of writing will be initiated early and revised through the semester. Specifics will be outlined on the course syllabus, presently a work in progress.


CRW 330 • Literature For Writers

33690 • Unferth, Deb Olin
Meets MW 330pm-500pm PAR 302
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CRW 330  l  Literature for Writers [Certificate]

Instructor:  Unferth, D

Unique #:  33690

Semester:  Spring 2016

Cross-lists:  n/a

Restrictions:  CRW Certificate students

Computer Instruction:  No

Prerequisites: One of the following: CRW 325 (or E 325), 325F (or E 325F), 325M, 325P (or E 325P).

Description: Short Stories --

This is a new course. Originally created for graduate creative writers, this course is now offered at the undergraduate level. This class will introduce creative writers to “short shorts” or very short stories: stories under 1,000 words or so. It’s a playful, provocative form that came into its own in the 20th century and continues to surprise with its many unique approaches to form, style, and narrative. We will read and discuss them all semester.

Texts: We will read full books or selections from the following (tentative and subject to change): • Collected Stories, Franz Kafka • Collected Stories, Lydia Davis • Trout-Fishing in America, Richard Brautigan • Grapefruit, Yoko Ono • Two Kinds of Decay, Sarah Manguso • Atlas of Remote Islands, Judith Schalansky • The Voice Imitator, Thomas Bernhard.

Requirements and Grading: We will do in-class and take-home creative writing exercises as responses to the readings. Students will do presentations and hand in an end-of-semester original set of short shorts of their own creation.


CRW 330 • Literature For Writers

33695 • Berry, Betsy A
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm CAL 221
show description

CRW 330  l  Literature for Writers

Instructor:  Berry, B

Unique #:  33685 & 33695

Semester:  Spring 2016

Cross-lists:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No

Flags:  Writing

Prerequisites: One of the following: CRW 325 (or E 325), 325F (or E 325F), 325M, 325P (or E 325P).

Description: “Literature for Writers” is a fledgling course, though new courses are frequently the perfect opportunity in which to create unique and vibrant writing. CRW 330, originally created for graduate creative writers, is only in its second semester at the undergraduate level, so we are all getting in on the ground floor of what I plan to be a memorable course. The class will introduce to creative writers literary readings that inspire, motivate, and encourage the best from one’s own work. Sportswriter Red Smith famously quipped “Writing’s easy. You just sit down at the typewriter and open a vein.” But focused assignments and professional advice on what to write and how to do so can make the job easier, ideally resulting in solid, memorable results. Thoughtful direction, motivation, and imaginative prompts that seek imaginative responses are tools of the trade that I will use to encourage the best writing from my students, forging a strong foundation for the future of your craft, what I like to call the writing life.

We will look with a careful eye at several successful writers whose prose offers highly “teachable” literature. We will focus on such strategies as point of view, voice, place, atmosphere, author imitation, character names and development, and of course plot. We will neither study nor be writing sci-fi, fantasy (gothic or otherwise), or YA (as in Young Adult).

Texts: We will most likely be using a textbook by the aptly named Francine Prose, Reading for Writers: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them. (I might also be using various writing examples and suggestions from Janet Burroway’s Imaginative Writing: The Elements of Craft, but this text will not be required.) We will also be reading Australian writer Kate Jennings’ novel Snake, a unique novel in its plot and telling, probably like nothing you have ever read. We will read from master stylist Ernest Hemingway’s first story collection, In Our Time, published when Hemingway was 27. We will also be reading a memoir, which is what I am working on in my own writing at present, so I won’t have a final choice in that important category until nearer the beginning of our course. I will post required course texts on Canvas when they are available.

Requirements & Grading: There will be weekly writing briefs, written responses to both the readings and my own writing assignment concoctions (which I try to make challenging, fun, and rewarding). One piece of writing will be initiated early and revised through the semester. Specifics will be outlined on the course syllabus, presently a work in progress.


CRW 340F • Short Story Workshop

33699 • MCCONIGLEY, NINA S
Meets TTH 930am-1100am UTC 4.120
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CRW 340F  l  Short Story Workshop [Certificate]

Instructor:  McConigley, N

Unique #:  33699

Semester:  Spring 2016

Cross-lists:  n/a

Restrictions:  CRW Certificate students

Computer Instruction:  No

CRW 340F and E 341 may not both be counted.

Prerequisites: CRW 325F (or E 325F), or 325M.

Description: Practice in writing the short story, with study of contemporary models.

This course is designed for students who have already taken Fiction Writing (325F or 325M) and have a serious interest in writing fiction. Since the class is primarily a workshop, we will discuss student work for the majority of the semester.

Texts: This course is primarily a workshop, but we will also read some published stories for discussion of craft. Additional stories and handouts will be provided in class or posted on Canvas.

Requirements & Grading: You are required to write two short stories (each 8-15 pages) that will be discussed in a workshop setting and later revised. For all student work discussed in class, you will be responsible for writing detailed critiques (1-2 pages). Attendance is required. There will be no final exam.

Classroom participation, 20%; Two Stories, 80%


CRW 340F • Short Story Workshop

33700 • McCracken, Elizabeth
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm CAL 221
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CRW 340F  l  Short Story Workshop [Certificate]

Instructor:  McCracken, E

Unique #:  33700

Semester:  Spring 2016

Cross-lists:  n/a

Restrictions:  CRW Certificate students

Computer Instruction:  No

CRW 340F and E 341 may not both be counted.

Prerequisites: CRW 325F (or E 325F), or 325M.

Description: This is an intermediate workshop in fiction writing. Every class session, we will discuss one or two stories by students in the class, with generosity and with rigor. The goal is not only to help the authors see what is working and not working in their fiction, but also to think the most interesting things about fiction (ours and other people's) we can.

Requirements & Grading: Students will give classmates (and the teacher) at least a page of criticism on each story. Students will write two stories for class. You may revise one story for extra credit.

All work must be original—that is both your own work, and written for this class. Please do not recycle work written for other courses. Do not submit work written by other people, even substantially rewritten. That includes characters and scenarios: please, no fan fiction or alternate versions of other people’s published work.

Grading: 1st story 30%; 2nd story 30%; in-class participation 20%; written critiques 20%. To receive full credit for in-class participation, you must be present and vocal.


CRW 340F • Short Story Workshop

33705 • Casares, Oscar H.
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm GAR 1.134
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CRW 340F  l  Short Story Workshop [Certificate]

Instructor:  Casares, O

Unique #:  33705

Semester:  Spring 2016

Cross-lists:  n/a

Restrictions:  CRW Certificate students

Computer Instruction:  No

CRW 340F and E 341 may not both be counted.

Prerequisites: CRW 325F (or E 325F), or 325M.

Description: Practice in writing the short story, with study of contemporary models.

This course is designed for students who have already taken Fiction Writing (325F or 325M) and have a serious interest in writing fiction. Since the class is primarily a workshop, we will discuss student work for the majority of the semester.

Texts: Various texts posted on Canvas

Requirements & Grading: You are required to write two short stories (each 8-15 pages) that will be critiqued, and later revised for a workshop discussion. For all the other student work discussed in class, you will be responsible for writing detailed critiques (1-2 pages). Attendance is required. There will be no final exam.

Classroom participation, 20%
; Two Stories, 30%; Revisions, 50%


CRW 340F • Short Story Workshop

33710 • Unferth, Deb Olin
Meets MW 500pm-630pm PAR 302
show description

CRW 340F  l  Short Story Workshop [Certificate]

Instructor:  Unferth, D

Unique #:  33710

Semester:  Spring 2016

Cross-lists:  n/a

Restrictions:  CRW Certificate students

Computer Instruction:  No

CRW 340F and E 341 may not both be counted.

Prerequisites: CRW 325F (or E 325F), or 325M.

Description: This is an intermediate course in fiction writing for students working toward the creative writing certificate. Students will write three original stories of 7-12 pages each and write extensive comments (1-2 pages) on their classmates’ stories. All work must be original, written for this class, not for another class taken earlier or concurrently.

Texts: This course is primarily a workshop, but we will also read some published stories for discussion of craft. These stories will be posted on Canvas.

Requirements & Grading: Three stories (7-12 pages each) and writing critiques.

Story 1: 20%; Story 2: 20%; Story 3: 20%; writing critiques of classmates’ stories: 20%; class participation: 20%.


CRW 340P • Poetry Workshop

33715 • Saurborn, Laurie
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm CAL 419
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CRW 340P  l  Poetry Workshop

Instructor:  Saurborn, L

Unique #:  33715

Semester:  Spring 2016

Cross-lists:  n/a

Restrictions:  CRW Certificate students

Computer Instruction:  No

CRW 340P and E 341L may not both be counted.

Prerequisites: CRW 325M or 325P (or E 325P).

Description: In this course, we will write poems, we will read poems, and we will work together to seriously engage with the art to our highest capacities. Class meetings will include the workshop of student poems and the discussion of creative and critical work by practicing poets.

Texts: The Balloonists, by Eula Biss; The Art of Description, by Mark Doty; Seam, by Tarfia Faizullah; Mule, by Shane McCrae; Romey’s Order, by Atsuro Riley.

Requirements and Grading: Grades will be based on a final portfolio of original poems and revisions (40%); creative and/or critical exercises (30%); and class participation (30%).

Attendance is mandatory. More than three absences will negatively impact the final grade.


CRW 370H • Honors Creative Writng Project

33717 • Saurborn, Laurie
Meets TTH 930am-1100am MEZ 2.122
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CRW 370H  l  Honors Creative Writing Project

Instructor:  Saurborn, L

Unique #:  33717

Semester:  Spring 2016

Cross-lists:  n/a

Restrictions:  Creative Writing Honors

Computer Instruction:  No

Prerequisites: Consent of the honors advisor.

Description: The Honors Creative Writing Project is intended for advanced students in creative nonfiction, fiction, playwriting, poetry and screenwriting, those who have demonstrated a sustained commitment to writing and wish to work under supervision on a particular project to culminate in a final creative thesis. In addition to providing an opportunity for creative concentration, the CRW HP also allows students to further refine their analytical and critical capabilities through textual analysis, discussion, and in-class workshops.

Please note: A University Grade Point Average of GPA of at least 3.33 and a grade point average of at least 3.66 in program courses are required for the Honors Creative Writing Certificate to be awarded.

Tentative Texts: All texts are required, and all are available at the University Co-op. Supplemental handouts will be distributed in class. Students are responsible for bringing the books and handouts to class on the days they are discussed.

Eula Biss, The Balloonists • Italo Calvino, Six Memos for the Next Millennium • Mark Doty, The Art of Description: World into Word • Stephen King, On Writing • Ann Lauterbach, The Night Sky • Peter Turchi, Maps of the Imagination: The Writer as Cartographer

Requirements and Grading: Grades will be based on the final thesis of original creative work (40%); weekly creative and/or critical exercises (30%); and class participation (30%).

Attendance is mandatory. More than three absences may negatively impact the final grade.