This workshop-style course will serve as an introduction to writing short fiction and poetry, with special attention paid to the ways writers can blur the lines between the two genres. Students will craft their own original pieces in this community-based classroom, where we will read and comment on each other’s work as well as on assigned readings (Claudia Rankine, Bhanu Kapil, Frank O'Hara and others) and the work of visiting writers (Sarah Rose Etter and others). We will focus on some of the main strategies used in fiction, such as characterization, dialogue, imagery, and language, as well as the forms of poetry, including sound, rhythm, syntax, and repetition. In addition to regular weekly workshops of student work, we will be using in-class exercises and experiments to push the boundaries of our own writing, exploring such hybrid forms as the prose poem and sudden fiction that question the lines we draw between verse and prose. Course requirements include thoughtful and committed class participation, regular writing assignments, and a final portfolio of fiction and poetry.