Writers on Writing
ENGL 285 (VLPA)
T 12:30-1:50 p.m., TH 12:30-1:20 p.m.
In this class the collective UW Creative Writing faculty, along with
other visiting artists, will remember in public why they do what
they do. On ten sequential Tuesdays, they will speak in depth about
what interests them most, including the ways and means of poetry,
fiction, nonfiction, and the joys and vagaries of inspiration,
education, artistic practice, and the writing life. Thursdays will
constellate a literary reading series. Discussion sections will be
scheduled in between.
Serious curiosity is the only requirement for admission. Students
will be expected to attend all talks, do the assigned reading,
respond to problems and exercises posed by the lecturers, and
participate vigorously in the ongoing conversation. By the end, they
will have had a disciplined brush with literate passion, practiced
imaginative methods at the point of the pencil, learned something
about books from people who write them, and gained a practical sense
of the artist’s way of knowing the world.
Conceived as a perpetual work-in-progress, according professors full
freedom in designing their respective contributions, the course will
find its coherence in the conversation we leap to make of it. Sample
topics: What Is It? or, Ars Poetica; Forms of Poetry, Forms of
Thought; Mythos-Minded Thinking: From Proverbs to Parables, Stories
as Metaphors in Motion; Odd Autobiography; Reading the New; Literary
Collage & Blurring Boundaries; The Writing Life; The Revision
Process; Closing Words.
No required text. Readings will be posted online or handed out in
class. Grading will be based equally on reading (by quiz and
conversation), writing (solutions to assigned prompts), and
participation (attendance and discussion).
Repeat: this course is intended to bring infectious literate passion
within earshot of as many people as possible at the University of
Washington. No formal prerequisites. Everyone is invited.