UT Dallas Syllabus for crwt2301.002.11f taught by Leeann Derdeyn (lxd091000)

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CRWT 2301, Fall 2011, Section 002

CRWT 2301-002, Intro to Creative Writing LeeAnn Derdeyn, Instructor Email: [email protected] Course Syllabus Fall 2011, TR 4:00 – 5:15 Class location: FO 2.608 Office Number: JO 4.620 Office Hours: T 2:30 – 3:30, and optional M 11:30 – 12:30 by appt

NOTE: All matters associated with this course are subject to change at the instructor's discretion. Any and all changes will be communicated to students in writing. Course Description The ‘best’ creative works may be the best for various reasons. An aesthetic masterpiece may surprise us, intrigue us, invite insight. It may enable us to stand in for someone who is similar to or different from ourselves, or experience a world that is familiar or one which seems not our own. It may cause us to notice, or encourage us to appreciate, sympathize, empathize, question, judge or withhold judgment. It may catch us unawares with worded vision: the beauty of nature, a crafted object, a perfect stranger, or it may stir us with the power of our language: a shining detail, a beautiful sentence, a luminous paragraph or descriptive passage. The ‘best’ creative writing explores what it means to be human, the ways in which we find and lose ourselves, the ways in which we understand and misunderstand each other, the ways in which we reach out or withdraw through our senses and nonsenses. All that being said, how do we come to know more about ourselves and to better think and express ourselves and our aesthetic goals through creative writing? How do we become better persons—better readers, better thinkers, and better writers? ‘Intro to Creative Writing’ will primarily focus on creative works of Short Fiction and Poetry with a cursory look at Creative Non-Fiction. Since knowledge has been classed as declarative (what you know) and procedural (what you do with what you know), the organization of each class and the organization of the grading structure will take both into account. Thus, we will come at these genres through two modes: careful reading of other successful artists, and practice through emulation and innovation. Each class will begin with a discussion of the particulars of the outside readings. Your failure to answer questions will reflect in your final grade. We will then discuss the crafting aspects of form and content, technique and style pertaining to these readings. Next, we will move to the workshop portion in which each student assigned for the day will read briefly from the creative work, and the other students and I will respond critically to the work through expressions of interpretations, successes, confusions, suggestions, and so forth. I encourage you to submit finished pieces to journals at the end of the semester for publication.


CRWT 2301, Fall 2011, Section 002

Student Learning Objectives • Through careful reading, students will identify the major forms of poetry (sonnet, sestina, villanelle, ballad, limerick, haiku, free verse, etc) & elements of poetry: rhyme, meter, form, lyric voice, diction, description, imagery, comparison: analogy, metaphors & similes, contrasts, etc. Through careful reading, students will identify the elements of creative nonfiction and short fiction: plot, setting, characterization, viewpoint, voice (free indirect, interior monologue, stream-of-conscious, 1st/2nd/3rd person, omniscient or unreliable narrator), organization, show vs. tell, detail, etc. Students will use emulation, imitation, and innovation to apply the elements of poetry and fiction to their own writing. Students will learn to give, receive, and use productive and collaborative feedback from workshops in the production and revision of their creative work to achieve the best possible version of each work.

• •

Required Texts Woods, James. How Fiction Works. NY: FSG, 2008. ISBN 978-0374-17340-1 Bausch, Richard, and R. V. Cassill, eds. The Norton anthology of Short Fiction, 7th Ed. NY: Norton, 2006. ISBN 978-0-393-92611-8 (NOT THE SHORTER 7th Ed.) Perrine, Laurence, and Thomas R. Arp, eds. Sound and Sense, 8th Ed. Harcourt Brace: Ft. Worth, 1992. ISBN 978-0-155-826106 -- any addition 8th – 12th is okay. Ferguson, Margaret, Mary Jo Salter, and Jon Stallworthy, eds. The Norton Anthology of Poetry, 5th Ed. NY: Norton, 2005. ISBN 978-0-393-979206 Wiman, Christian. Hard Night. Port Townsend: Copper Canyon, 2005. ISBN 9781-556-592201 Recommended: A Grammar Guide of some sort. A rhyming dictionary of some sort. Students, if they own such devices, are allowed (not required) to bring laptop computers to class for note-taking purpose. Students may not be on websites or social networks during class. E-Learning: Assignments and grades will be posted to www.elearning.utdallas.edu Fall 2011 Assignments and Academic Calendar Thu, Aug 25 Introduction to the Course Discuss course syllabus and class expectations Discuss the basics of writing & workshopping Establish semester workshopping schedule


CRWT 2301, Fall 2011, Section 002

Tue, Aug 30

Thu, Sept 1 Tue, Sept 6

Thu, Sep 8

Creative Non-Fiction Christian Wiman’s ‚The Limit,‛ Verlyn Klinkenborg, ‚Water and Grasses,‛ Naeem Murr, ‚My Poet,‛ Jonathan Raban, ‚The Getaway Car‛ – e-learning Writing Assignment 1: Personal Experience Emulation – a trip that brought insight or a bildungsroman (coming-of-age) tale, not to exceed 3 pgs. Creative Non-Fiction (cont’d) Writing Assignment 2: Christian Wiman’s ‚The Limit‛ Short Fiction Wood, HFW – ‚Preface,‛ ‚Narrating‛ Bausch, NASF - James Joyce, ‚Araby,‛ ‚A Little Cloud,‛ ‚The Dead‛ Short Fiction HFW – ‚Flaubert & Modern Narrative,‛ ‚Flaubert & the Rise of the Flaneur‛ NASF - Sherwood Anderson, ‚I Want to Know Why,‛ D. H. Lawrence, ‚The Rocking-Horse Winner‛ Writing Assignment 3: two 1-pg beginnings of stories emulating some aspect of Joyce, Anderson, or Lawrence Workshop: Group A to post stories to E-Learning by Saturday Sep 10, 2 p.m. Last Class to drop w/o ‚W‛ Short Fiction HFW – ‚Detail‛ NASF - Anton Chekov, ‚The Lady and the Dog,‛ Virginia Woolf, ‚Kew Gardens,‛ William Maxwell, ‚The Thistles in Sweden‛ Workshop Group A (1) Short Fiction Workshop Group A (2 – 5) Workshop: Group B to post stories to E-Learning by Saturday Sep 17, 2 p.m. Short Fiction HFW – ‚Character‛ NASF - William Faulkner – ‚Barn Burning,‛ Eudora Welty – ‚Why I Live at the P. O.,‛ John Updike – ‚A & P‛ Workshop Group B (1) Short Fiction Workshop Group B (2-5) Workshop: Group C to post stories to E-Learning by Saturday Sep 17, 2 p.m. Short Fiction

Tue, Sep 13

Thu, Sep 15

Tue, Sep 20

Tue, Sep 27

HFW – “A Brief History of Consciousness”
NASF - Raymond Carver – ‚Cathedral,‛ Richard Ford – ‚Great Falls‛ Workshop Group C (1) Short Fiction Workshop Group C (2-5) Workshop :Group D to post stories to E-Learning by Saturday Oct 1, 2 p.m. Short Fiction Workshop Group D (1-5)

Thu, Sep 29

Tue, Oct 4

CRWT 2301, Fall 2011, Section 002

Thu, Oct 6

Tue, Oct 11

Thu, Oct 13

Tue, Oct 18

Thu, Oct 20

Tue, Oct 25 Thu, Oct 27

Poetry S&S: Ch 1“What is Poetry‛ NAP: ‚The Douglas Tragedy‛ 97, Wyatt, ‚They Flee from Me‛ 127, Spenser, Sonnet 75 ‚One day I wrote her name upon the strand‛ 194, ‚Epithalamion‛ 195, Sidney ‚Ring Out Your Bells‛ 212 HN: “Sweet Nothing” 3 Writing Assignment 4: Short Poem (< 1 pg.) w/ ironic or ambiguous moment Workshop: Group A & B to post poems to E-Learning by Sat Oct 8, 2 p.m. Poetry S&S: Ch 4 ‚Imagery‛ NAP: Hopkins ‚The Windhover,‛ ‚Pied Beauty‛ 1166-7 Workshop Group A Poetry NAP: Yeats ‚The Lake Isle of Innisfree‛ 1190, ‚The Wild Swans at Coole‛ 1192, Frost ‚Mending Wall‛ 1227 HN: ‚Darkness Starts,‛ ‚Why He Doesn’t Keep A Journal, ‛Poštolka‛ 15-18 Workshop Group B Workshop: Group C & D to post poems to E-Learning by Sat Oct 15, 2 p.m. Poetry S&S: Ch 5 ‚Figurative Language: Simile, Metaphor, Personification, Apostrophe, Metonymy‛ 60 NAP: Blake ‚The Sick Rose,‛‚The Tyger‛ 742-3, Arnold ‚Dover Beach‛ 1101, Dickinson ‚Wild nights‛ 1114 Workshop Group C Workshop Poetry Ekphrasis/Ekphrastic: Poems about a visual work of art NAP: Keats ‚Ode on a Grecian Urn‛ 938, Auden ‚Musée des Beaux Arts‛ 1471, ‚The Shield of Achilles‛ 1479, Lowell ‚For the Union Dead‛ 1603 Writing Assignment 5: All post a 1 pg. Ekphrasis to E-Learning by Sat Oct 22, 2 p.m. Write critiques only on your group, but read all Poetry Workshop Group A & B Poetry Ars Poetica: Poems about something else that are yet about making art NAP: Yeats ‛Adam’s Curse‛ 1190, Frost ‚The Wood-Pile,‛ ‚The Road Not Taken‛ 1232, Bishop ‚One Art,‛ 1527, Rich ‚Diving into the Wreck‛ 1797, Heaney ‚Digging,‛ ‚The Forge‛ 1899-1900, Graham ‚At Luca Signorelli’s Resurrection of the Body‛ 1967 HN: “Hard Night‛ 29, ‚Late Fragment‛ E-Learning Workshop Group C & D Workshop: Group A to post stories to E-Learning by Sat Oct 29, 2 p.m.


CRWT 2301, Fall 2011, Section 002

Tue, Nov 1

Short Fiction

Wood, HFW – “Sympathy and Complexity,” “Language”
NASF - Epistolary Narrative:, Kate Chopin ‚The Story of an Hour,‛ Julio Cortázar – ‚A Continuity of Parks,‛‚Letter to a Young Lady in Paris,‛‛Graffiti‛ posted on E-Learning Workshop Group A (5) **Last day to drop with a WP/WF** Short Fiction Workshop Group A (1-4) Workshop: Group B to post stories to E-Learning by Sat Nov 5, 2 p.m. Short Fiction Wood, HFW – ‚Dialogue,‛ ‚Truth, Convention, Realism‛ NASF - Ernest Hemingway – “Hills Like White Elephants,” Flannery O’Connor – “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” Franz Kafka – ‚A Hunger Artist,‛ Joyce Carol Oates – ‚How I Contemplated the World from the Detroit House of Correction and Began My Life Over Again‛ Workshop Group B (5) Thu, Nov 10 Short Fiction Workshop Group B (1-4) Workshop: Group C to post stories to E-Learning by Sat Nov 12, 2 p.m. Tue, Nov 15 Thu, Nov 17 Short Fiction Workshop Group C (2-5) Poetry: Iambic Pentameter Sonnets NAP: “Versification” 2027, Shakespeare ‚18,‛ ‚55‛, ‚65,‛ ‚116,‛ ‚130‛ 259-269, Donne ‚Batter My Heart, Three-Personed God‛ 320, Browning ‚How Do I Love Thee‛ 947, Hill ‚The Laurel Axe‛ 1835 Workshop Group C (1) Optional Workshop: All to post poem of your choice (<2 pgs) to E-Learning by Sat Nov 19, 2 p.m., critique Groups A & B, or Groups C & D, read all (This poem is optional for those who wish to workshop 1 more ‘free’ poem. Feel free to defer and spend your writing time on the sonnet. All must critique what is turned in from your groups.) Tue, Nov 22 Poetry Workshop Groups C & D poet’s choice Thu Nov 24 Thanksgiving Holidays (No Class) Workshop All to post iambic pentameter sonnet to E-Learning by Sat Nov 26, 2 p.m. Tue, Nov 29 Poetry Workshop Groups A & B poet’s choice

Thu, Nov 3

Tue, Nov 8


CRWT 2301, Fall 2011, Section 002

Thu, Dec 1 Tue, Dec 6

Poetry Workshop Group C & D Sonnets Poetry Workshop Group A & B Sonnets Schedule appts to turn in portfolios in my office during finals time Reading Day No Final – Turn in Final Portfolio

Thu, Dec 8 Final

Note: Midterm grades are due Friday, October 21st (normally by 10:00 a.m. – exact time may vary). Final grades are due no later than Wednesday, December 19th. Grading Emulations, Imitations, Innovations (Assignments) Short Fiction 1st Drafts Poetry 1 Drafts

15% 15% 15% 25% 15% 15% 100%

Portfolio Critiques of Peers’ Work Participation Total

(I will use the +/- system in grading as stipulated by The UTD Undergraduate Catalogue, 2010-12.) Requirements Requirements include attendance, submission of new creative work that has been meticulously proofread (spelling, grammar & sentence structure DO matter to me), engaged participation in all critical discussion, generous written commentary on your peers’ stories and poems, and the submission at term’s end of a final portfolio. All work is due the class period assigned on the syllabus (excepting Saturday submissions).

Workshops The art produced in this class is both public, and intended to be read by other people. Because you are not writing for yourselves in this class, you must be willing and open to constructive criticism of your creations. Writers need to understand how others read and interpret their work, and yet, art does not require conformity to the audience’s (reader’s, viewer’s, editor’s, etc) expectations. Feedback should be honest, careful, considerate, helpful. To use a medical analogy: a surgeon unwilling to cause a patient pain or hurt will be ineffective, but a surgeon failing to provide anesthetics or staunch the patient’s bleeding cannot effect a cure either. A patient untreated, traumatized, or dead has little chance for improvement.

CRWT 2301, Fall 2011, Section 002

Short Fiction Your creative work will allow me to assess your procedural knowledge as you attempt first in your writing to emulate and imitate (not in a plagiaristic manner), and then to innovate. You should aim for ~ 20 pgs for each short story. Flash fiction is a great genre but not what will we will be working on. The stories may be related if you are working towards a novel, but they certainly do not need to be so (nor would I prefer it). Poetry One iambic pentameter poem (Shakespearean, Italian/Petrarchan, Spenserian) Two poems of your choice (not to exceed 2 pgs in length) Critiques One pg single spaced, 12 pt. font, 1‛ margins of productive response to your peer’s creative work. Assignment Descriptions Emulations, Imitations, Innovations: All assignments submitted to E-Learning Assignment #2: Analysis: Christian Wiman, “The Limit” You will write an analysis of the rhetorical & craft strategies and techniques used by a writer in constructing a short essay. The purpose of this assignment is to think and write critically about a text. The skills you use in this exercise will also apply to your critical responses to your peers’ work, as well as helping you construct, assess, and edit your own work. To begin your analysis, look at the different rhetorical choices, and other writing strategies, such as the writer’s backing of a claim, his use of logos/pathos/ethos, use of evidence, logic (or logical fallacies), address of counterarguments, organizational strategies, style, humor, and/or tone. Consider other writerly choices, such as setting, high/low diction, show vs. tell, imagery. Who is his audience? What is his purpose for writing? What risks has he taken, and have those paid off (i.e., what are the successes and failures of the piece)? Choose an approach and be selective: you cannot cover all of these elements in a single paper. You should have a thesis about the essay and elements of its rhetoric—it may be a nuanced thesis that does not conclude the essay is entirely good or entirely bad. Remember that this piece is composed by a published, respected writer who has quality to his writing; at the same time, you may find gaps in the writing, disagree with the logic or approach, or find significant concerns that are not addressed


CRWT 2301, Fall 2011, Section 002

by the piece. Do not summarize what the writer says—we have all read the same essay. Be sure to proofread your essay for technical errors, and submit to E-Learning. Course Portfolio (E-Portfolio) Due Date: Our regularly scheduled Finals timeframe (by appt in my office) The course portfolio is a complete collection of the work you have done during the semester. It is an opportunity for you to assess your progress as a writer, and evaluate those areas in which you still need work. The complete portfolio will include the following: 1. Reflection Essay: A 750-1,000 word reflection essay examining your work. The essay should address these questions for each of the two short stories and three poems you submitted during the semester. 2. Copies of your critical responses to your peers’ work 3. Copies of both drafts & final works of your: ◦ 2 workshopped Short Stories ◦ 3-4 workshopped Poems (Iambic Pentameter Sonnet and two others) ◦ Analysis of ‚The Limit‛ & all other assignments (Keep in mind that the Reflection Essay serves as a guide to help me evaluate your portfolio. It is your chance to direct my attention to what you have done best, as well as explain weaknesses in your pieces, demonstrating an awareness of how you might improve. This is not an argument for me to positively evaluate you. Rather, it is an opportunity to reflect on the individual assignments as well as your work as a whole.) Some things the reflection essay might address include: • Creative Choices you made • Changes of direction you made in the process of writing • Felicities that were accidental • Patterns you seem to have in your writing • Revisions and differences between drafts • Challenges or problems with specific assignments • Artists or individual works that influenced you • What you learned • What still needs practice • How you look at the craft of writing and your particular aesthetic of writing differently than when the semester began • How your writing has changed • How your writing process has changed

CRWT 2301, Fall 2011, Section 002

Course Policies
Late Work Late work will not be accepted. No excuses of illness, technical difficulties, or any other exigencies will be entertained.

Attendance While the University allows you three absences, the format of this class requires your presence. An absence on the day you are presenting your creative work will skew our entire schedule. Being late to class is disruptive and inconsiderate to your professor and your peers. Please avoid absences and tardies, and note that these will have a major impact on your grade. Personal Communication Devices Turn off all cell phones, pagers, and other personal communication devices before the start of class. Do not use such devices during class. Room and Equipment Use Tampering with or destroying any of the computers, printers, modems, or wiring in the classroom is strictly prohibited. Violations will result in disciplinary action by the Dean of Students’ office. Hacking a door code and entering a classroom without the instructor’s permission constitutes criminal trespass. The Director of Rhetoric and Writing will pursue action through the Dean of Students’ Office and/or the UTD Police Department against any student who engages in such behavior. The Director of Rhetoric and Writing will also pursue action against students who are caught attempting to enter a room without permission (i.e., entering possible number combinations in an attempt to open a classroom door).

University Policies Standard University policies can be found at this web location: http://go.utdallas.edu/syllabus-policies You are responsible for accessing and understanding them.


CRWT 2301, Fall 2011, Section 002

I have read the policies for CRWT 2301.002, and understand them. I agree to comply with the policies for the Fall 2011 semester. I realize that failure to comply with these policies will result in a reduced grade for the course or other disciplinary actions.


Signature: ______________________ Date: ________________________

Name (print): __________________________ UTD e-mail address: __________________________


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