251: Introduction to Creative Writing
link to schedule
Office Hours: MWF
AND Friday 2:00-3:00 p.m. (4th floor of the CUB)
This class introduces students to the three
major writing genres--poetry, fiction, and nonfiction--and challenges
the literary landscape with the goal of centering multicultural and
diverse narratives. We will learn to speak and listen in a
community-oriented atmosphere, and we will share our experiences
through various forms of writing. Although students will be required to
complete written prompts throughout the semester, much of the course
will focus on performance-based work meaning we will practice the
delivery of writing, or voicing work from the page. Because of our
multicultural theme this particular creative writing course also lends
itself to examining various forms of social constructions of gender,
race, and ethnicity and how they operate in American culture.
Addonizio and Dorianne Laux, The
Poet's Companion: A Guide to the Pleasures of Writing Poetry
- Patricia Smith, Incendiary Art
- Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give
- Ocean Vuong, Night
Sky with Exit Wounds
- A Writing Journal
week I will assign
you a participation grade that reflects how involved you are in the
includes bringing your books and writing journals to
class, participating in class discussion, and sharing your work
(or supporting the work of others; if you don't want to read, that's
okay, but you will need to provide some strong finger snaps). Your
participation grade will be the average of these
You will complete twelve writing prompts during the semester. These
prompts will help you prepare for poetry readings and group slam
activities. They will also give you ideas on how to enter a poem, how
you navigate its heavy pull, how to find its proper shape. There are
twelve prompts due during the course of the semester. I'm gonna say you
can throw out two at the end of the semester because I understand life
happens and you get busy. The other ten prompts need to be typed and
ready to hand in when they are due. I will accept late work with
penalty, but I probably won't provide comments.
(20%): You are all writers this semester and need to keep your
writing (at least the early drafts) in one place. You could do
this on a laptop, but nope. We're going to use pencil and paper.
Listen, I'm not telling you this because I read a study or have some
scientific proof about the damages of writing poems on a computer,
but writing with a pencil feels different and it's just got to
change the way your brain processes information. I'm not saying one way
it better than another, but we're going to do some of our writing in a
journal. So get a journal (a good size is 6x9 inches) and make sure to
write in it and bring it to class every day.
(10%): You will write an imitation of one of Patricia Smith's
Incendiary Art poems and we will turn them into a class anthology at
the end of the semester. Everyone will get a copy of the anthology.
Group Slam Performance (20%): You
will break into groups of four, construct a slam poem, and present it
as a group at the end of the semester. We will work on these poems in
class workshops so pay attention to the schedule and note the days we
meet to work on group slam activities.
Portfolio/Final Performance OR
Portfolio/Cover Letter (20%): At the end of the semester
everyone will turn in a portfolio of work that samples your writing
from two genres (poetry, fiction, or nonfiction). In addition to your
portfolio of work, you have an option to perform on of your pieces at
the end of the semester (this can include a group slam) or write a 3-5
page cover letter that explains your revision process and your vision
as a writer. If you chose to perform, you are welcome to perform as an
individual as well as in a group, but honestly I don't even know how I
would calculate that into your grade yet. So assume there will be some
form of extra credit. If you are struggling in this class, you can
complete the performance and the cover letter, but make sure to talk to
Regular Attendance: Because
we depend on each other's support, attendance for this class is
are allowed three unexcused absences without penalty. This includes
absences due to illness, death, and imprisonment. The only unexcused
absence is a school-related absence, which means you have to be on the
volleyball team or something. After three unexcused absences, I will
deduct 10% of the final grade. After
students will receive an F in the course. Every three tardies equals an
absence. It is your responsibility to let me know when you are late.
Otherwise, you will be marked absent.
Accomidation Policy: We are
committed to providing assistance to help
you be successful in this course. Reasonable accommodations are
students with a documented disability. Please visit the Disability
Center (DRC) during the first two weeks of every semester to seek
or to qualify for accommodations. All accommodations MUST be approved
the DRC (Admin Annex Bldg, Rooms 205). Call 509 335 3417 to make an
with a disability counselor.
WSU Safety: Classroom and campus safety are of paramount
Washington State University, and are the shared responsibility of the
campus. WSU urges students to follow the "Alert, Assess, Act"
protocol for all types of emergencies and the "Run, Hide, Fight"
response for an active shooter incident. Remain ALERT (through
observation or emergency notification), Assess your specific
and ACT in the most appropriate way to assure your own safety
safety of other if you are able).