This introductory course will examine contemporary poetry, fiction and nonfiction, studying each form’s techniques, influences, and purpose, while also deriving meaning for them within our societal context, that is, how literature draws on, and subsequently speaks to, the larger world. We will ask the question, why write at all? We will consider what it means to be a writer today and make connections between readings, writers, and across genres. We will think about writing as and alongside criticism. We will read and discuss creative work as writers focused primarily on craft, in order to build new writing of our own. Writing exercises will complement our reading, granting us opportunities to generate new and interesting material that will, in some cases, manifest in our own work. Writing workshops will be a vital component of the course. We will revise aggressively.