Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Creating Possibilities in Creative Non-Fiction and Poetry

ENGL 010.303
MW 2-3:30

Creative nonfiction is essays, memoirs, literary journalism, and related writings. Student work is the focus of discussion in this workshop, along with analysis of selected readings. Modes of creative nonfiction, narrative, structure, aspects of style, and other elements of craft are studied. Our focus in creative nonfiction includes writing about people and places as well as inventive approaches to the essay. In the section on poetry, the relationship between poetry and prose is explored, as well as writing “mini-essay” list poems, Haiku (as an editing tool for prose and poems), and prose poems. Scenes, vignettes, and slices of life are the building blocks of both creative nonfiction and poetry. Creative nonfiction differs from traditional nonfiction (and is related to poetry) because subjectivity is not only permitted, but encouraged. This lively workshop will explore the art and craft of writing and will attempt to push the boundaries of what can be done story-wise and otherwise. The goal is for students to submit one revised work for full class review, in addition to weekly peer-review, writing, and reading assignments. Students will keep a journal and will complete a final portfolio of 12-15 pages of revised work.

fulfills requirements