In this creative writing workshop we’ll focus on the politics, poetics and powers of naming while we craft our own original works of poetry and creative nonfiction. We will read both historical and contemporary writing from a number of different movements and schools, including the New York School, New Narrative, Confessional, and New Sincerity, whose writers choose to name names as part of the writing process. We’ll consider what acknowledging coterie and in-crowds accomplishes for the writer, and we’ll ask what happens when the company we keep is named—or not named—in our work. We will ask: if proper poems and narratives were long written without proper names, what does it mean for a writer to look toward coterie and kinship and popular culture as part of the writing process? Is gossip a legitimate form of art? We will focus on the syntax of names as a frame with which to think about the works we read and the pieces we write. Students will be expected to complete regular writing and reading assignments, to workshop the writing of their peers, and to complete a final portfolio of original writing.