ENGL 285: Writers on Writing (VLPA)

ENGL 285: Writers on Writing

Professor Richard Kenney
Tues/Thurs 12:30 – 1:50 with a Wed discussion section
SLN 13655

Experiencing literature from the inside. Members of the creative writing faculty and other practicing writers discuss their poetry, fiction, and literary nonfiction, literary inspiration, artistic practice, and the writer’s life.

Class description

In this class the collective UW Creative Writing faculty, along with other visiting artists, 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 constellate a literary reading series. Discussion sections 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.

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.

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