English 141

Modes of Writing (Exposition, Fiction, Verse, etc.): Creative Reading/Creative Writing through Criticism, Short Fiction, and Poetry

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Session Course Areas
1 Summer 2018 Muhammad, Ismail
TuTh 2-5 Dwinelle 182 C

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In this class, we’ll explore the links between reading and writing. How is reading related to our creative writing practices? Is reading important to understanding our interests, talents, and methods as creative writers? How can we become better creative writers by honing attentive and creative reading practices?

In this class, we’ll try to think through these questions by reading literary critical essays that dwell on the experience of reading. Each essay will be paired with creative work. We’ll approach pieces by novelists and poets who do both creative and critical writing like Hilton Als, Zadie Smith, Namwali Serpell, Phillip Roth, James Baldwin, Kevin Killian, Dodie Bellamy, LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka, Henry James, June Jordan, Lydia Davis, and Fred Moten. By reading these authors on the experience of reading, we can investigate how their reading and interpretive practices are entwined with their creative writing practices.

Every student will be required to workshop three pieces of original writing: one (creative) literary critical essay in the style of the authors we will read; a short story; and a collection of at least five poems. By working across these three genres, we can investigate how genre distinctions sometimes fail, and what we can gain by allowing criticism, prose, and poetry to cross-pollinate one another.

This course will be taught in Session C, from June 19 to August 9.

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