All WRT courses are restricted to graduate students in the Michener Center’s MFA program or graduate students in our affiliated programs in English, Theatre or RTF, unless special permission is granted. Click for other departments’ workshops in fiction, poetry, playwriting, or screenwriting.
WRT 380w: Poetry Workshop
Monday, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
FDH Seminar Room
Your own writing is the text for this course. Together we will scrutinize your poems with traditional, experimental, and developing discourses in mind. Bring poems to class that are rough, with something at stake. We will begin by sight-reading single poems, asking:
What is the strategy of your poem? Is there an argument? Is it / how is it voiced? Is there a structure? What is its form trying to accomplish?
Advancing to poems-in-portfolio, we will ask:
Is there an inquiry being shaped that fulfills the destiny of a polished manuscript? What activities of the “poetic” could travel into other literary genres and other art forms?
Your portfolios will be due one week before they are discussed so that we may study them.
We will investigate your relationship to historical and current practices. One of the subtexts of this course will regard our assumptions about truth and beauty, which abound in Middle Eastern, European, African, and Asian thought as much as in British romanticism. What is the current thinking about truth and beauty in American poetry, and how are these inherent assumptions, their substitutes, or their counter-arguments represented in your work?
WRT 380W: FICTION WORKSHOP
Wednesday, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
FDH Seminar Room
The good news and the bad news is: there are no rules. When it comes to writing, a piece of fiction succeeds or fails only depending on how it obeys its own rules, when it teaches the reader how to read and enter the particular fictional world. In our workshop, students will read each other’s work with generosity and optimism and rigor, to understand each piece’s best intentions and try to help the author to fulfill them-to learn, in other words, not only how to be critics, but how to read our own work critically. We will discuss in class and in conference both the smallest details of writing fiction as well as its loftiest aims.