Introduction to Creative Writing: Through the 1619 Project
This introductory creative writing workshop offers an opportunity to hone creative writing skills through the revelatory framework of Nikole Hannah-Jones’s 1619 Project, with its entrance into our nation’s history through the year kidnapped African people arrived in what would become the United States. Studying the particular ways language functions (and the particular ways it fails) to express our own origin stories, students will read work by brilliant contemporary poets and essayists—including Hanif Abdurraqib, Claudia Rankine, Felicia Zamora, Danez Smith, Cathy Park Hong, Ari Banias, Tressie McMillan Cottom, and Claudia Rankine—and listen to the 1619 Project podcast, in order to investigate and describe our experiences of home and identity. In addition to in-class exercises, students will write, workshop, and revise poems and short prose throughout the semester. Through our study of this country’s foundations and present tense, we will explore narrative registers, hone craft, and engage the fraught marriage between personal and collective histories.