הפקולטה למדעי הרוח Faculty of Humanities



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הפקולטה למדעי הרוח

Faculty of Humanities

המחלקה לאנגלית

Department of English


תאריך עדכון: 13.2.11

שם הקורס: Creative Writing

מספר הקורס: 37-451-01

שם המרצה: Dr. Marcela Sulak
סוג הקורס: Seminar

שנת לימודים: תשע"ב סמסטר: 1 היקף שעות: 4
אתר הקורס באינטרנט:

א. מטרות הקורס (מטרות על / מטרות ספציפיות):
In this course we will develop the basic skills necessary for writing poetry, fiction and non-fiction, and for attentive and critical reading. We will develop our skills through workshops, and we will inform ourselves with readings drawn from up-do-date conversations about craft, and recent stories, poems and essays from practicing poets and writers. Among the many platitudes relevant to the craft of writing is Thomas Edison’s: Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. Which is to say that students are encouraged to make serious use of in-class workshops, and to practice their skills by giving constructive criticism to their classmates.

ב. תוכן הקורס: (רציונל, נושאים)
תכנית הוראה מפורטת לכל השיעורים: (רשימה או טבלה כדוגמת המצ"ב)

1. T March 2

Intro to the course



  1. Ode to the Invisible Man

  2. Unit of Measure by Sandra Beasley

  3. Disgust by Elizabeth Scanlon

  4. Taking a Reading by Sue Allison (Best American Essays 1-2)


2. Th March 4—read: “Image” 3-15; “The Ring of Time” 16-20; “poems” 26-30.

“Poetry” 309-318; “poems” 326-334

for March 9—replacement poems 9.4 (p. 317)
*3. T March 9— Workshop replacement poem 9.4 (p. 317) written from any of the poems we have read so far. Bring enough copies for your classmates. Be prepared to discuss what you discovered about the original poem as you wrote your replacement poem.
4. Th March 11— read: “Prosody” etc. 320-325 & “A Basic Prosody” in the appendix 375-382

John Milton from Paradise Lost, Book I, Lines 221-270



http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/20336

Wallace Stevens “The Idea of Order at Key West” http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15749

Marianne Moore “The Fish” http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/21070

Gerard Manley Hopkins “God’s Grandeur” http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15880

Edgar Allan Poe “Anabel Lee” http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/16055

William Blake “The Tyger” http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15523

W.H. Auden from The Age of Anxiety

for Thursday, March 18, write a poem in one of the prosodic styles above


Finish replacement poems workshop
5. T March 16Michael Collier will visit our class today

Read Michael Collier’s “One Utterance” and “An Exact Ratio” in Make Us Wave Back. (packet)

Poems (packet)

Be prepared to discuss the major themes and issues raised in the essays, and to examine how they are addressed in Collier’s poems.

Come prepared to ask Collier at least two questions based on the readings.
*6. Th March 18— prosody workshop

Write a short poem using either accentual verse (Auden), syllabic verse (Moore), blank verse (Stevens), trochaic verse (Blake), dactylic (Poe). Think about what the form allows you to express. Bring copies for all of your peers and for me. We will workshop the poems in class.


7. T March 23—prosody workshop #2
Passover break March 24- April 6 Over break, chose a person who has a distinctive voice (personality and manner of verbal expression). It can be someone you know, but it needn’t be. Have the person recount a meaningful experience, or obtain a letter they wrote to you or someone else. You will use this for workshop on April 13.
*8. Th April 8—— read “Voice” 37-58

Tony Barnstone



http://www.fishousepoems.org/archives/tony_barnstone/tony_barnstone_qa_on_the_genesis_of_three_poems.shtml

& excerpts from “Tongue of War” (handout)

Ai, “The Testimony of J. Robert Oppenheimer. A fiction” (handout)

Be prepared to discuss what makes the poems for today in terms of voice (what gives the poems a distinctive voice).


9. T April 13—workshop poems based on voice
*10. Th April 15—Workshop poems based on voice
T April 20—No Class. Independence Day
*11. Th April 22— “Character” 79-92

Gerald Stern— “Sunday Morning” (handout)

Stern “The Dancing” http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15437

“The Preacher [As if the one tree you love]” http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/20125

“Box of Cigars” http://www.poetryfoundation.org/archive/poem.html?id=30525

“Kissing Stieglitz Good-bye” http://www.poetryfoundation.org/archive/poem.html?id=171910

“Another Insane Devotion” http://www.poetryfoundation.org/archive/poem.html?id=26053

“The Jew and the Rooster are One” http://www.poetryfoundation.org/archive/poem.html?id=182309


Discuss how character is revealed in the above poems by 1. What one wears 2. What one remembers 3. What one throws away 4. What one buys. 5. What one does, 6. What one does not say or do, Etc.
*12. T. April 27Workshop

a short character sketch in the form of an essay or dialogue. This will be a character you will want to develop into a story later on. Use as prompts either 3.2, 3.4, 3.7 or 3.8


13. Th April 29— “Creative Nonfiction” 237-250

Diane Ackerman “Smell” from A Natural History of the Senses (handout)

Discuss methods of research and reportage

Select one culturally significant food, spice, beverage, article of clothing, leisure activity, etc. and develop a research plan. You will be asked to write an essay on this item, due May 6.

In class: be prepared to discuss your essay topic
14. T May 4 Read: “Setting” 131-142 & Sarah Vap, “Oskar’s Cars” http://www.blackbird.vcu.edu/v8n2/nonfiction/vap_s/oskar_page.shtml

Look at the way this essay explores deeper questions through a meditation on physical objects.

According to Burroway, “When a character is in harmony with his/her surroundings, the atmosphere suggested is static, and it will take a disruption of some kind to introduce the possibility of change. But when setting and character, background and foreground, are set in opposition to teach other, the process of discover and decision is already in motion, and we know we are in for a seismic or psychic shift” (142). Treating the object of your research as if it were a human being depict it in a harmonious environment; what will cause the disruption? Depict the character (your object of study) and its setting as in opposition or tension. Why are they in tension?
*15. Th May 6 workshop researched essays
16. T May 11—workshop researched essays
*17. Th May 13— Story” 167-173

View http://www.telbel.net/journal/category/inspiration/the_storyteller


Be prepared to put into words how the performance piece above “worked.” How does one image connect to the next image. To what would the author’s visible hand be an analogous? In class we will try to write a short piece that is somehow informed by (but not about) the process we see in the above link.
We will also discuss the difference between what you can say in a meditation (such as Sarah Vap’s “Oskar’s Cars”) and what you can say in a story. Is the performance piece a story or a meditation?
May 18-21 Shavuot Over Shavuot brainstorm about a plot for your story. On May 27 you will write a first scene and a crisis.
18. T May 25— — read “Fiction” 273-306

“Try This” 8.1, 8.2, 8.3 & 8.4

Share: Write a first scene and crisis (3 parts)

In the third person


*19. Th May 27-- Read Lorrie Moore, “Which is Moore Than I can Say About Some People” (handout)

Rewrite same scene and crisis in the first person



T June 1 -- Group 1 short story workshop
*Th June 3— —Group 2 short story workshop
*T June 8— Group 2 short story workshop
Th June 10 -- read Elizabeth Stroud, “Olive Kitterage” (handout) Read “Revision

Bring your stories so far for in-class exercises


T June 15—Final portfolio workshop
Th June 17—Final portfolio workshop
T June 22 –final portfolio workshop
Th June 24 –final portfolios due


ג. חובות הקורס:
חובות / דרישות / מטלות:
Journal—You will keep a daily journal. A journal is not a diary; it is the source from which you will draw when writing poems, essays and stories. Your journal should be capacious, but easily portable.

*Keep it on you at all times, if possible, and record interesting events, dialogues, or your ideas about them.

*You will also bring the journals to class in the event we do free writing.

*In the Burroway texts you will find exercises marked as “Try this.” Each week you should try AT LEAST two of the exercises.


Recycling—All the skills we will learn in this course are applicable to the three genres we will practice. Indeed, the purpose of the course is to allow us to exam how genres organize and inform our experience of depicted characters, images and events. To get the most out of class, the characters, scenes, events and moments of crisis and resolution that you have depicted in poems can and should be recycled in the essays and then, later, in the fiction stories. The purpose is both practical and pedagogical: practical, because in a single semester we do not have the time to write completely new scenes, characters and plots for three different genres. It is pedagogical because we will be examining the idea of genre—what one can do with particular genres, and which genres are most useful for telling which kinds of stories.
Workshop—on the days that we have workshop, you are expected to bring enough copies of your writing for every member of the class and for me. If you do not, we cannot discuss your work. If you are absent on a workshop day, you will not be given an alternative workshop date. You are expected to participate fully in the reading and discussion of your classmate’s work. Comments should be constructive and civilized.

Do not bring to workshop anything that is too close to you emotionally to hear discussed; do not bring in any work that you are not willing to change. Keep an open mind when the class is discussing your work.


Absences and participation—you are expected to come to class promptly and prepared to speak thoughtfully about the work we have read in class. After two absences, your final grade will be diminished by half of a letter grade for each absence. Excessive tardiness will count as an absence.
Final portfolio

A. Creative

You may emphasize your strengths in the final portfolio, but you must present at least two genres. You will be expected to turn in REVISED versions of the work you have submitted earlier for workshop. It may happen that what began as a poem has ended up as a short story or an essay. That is absolutely fine.
One page of poetry will count as two pages of prose. You must turn in at least 20 pages (or the equivalent).
You may turn in any combination of poetry, essay and fiction, but I will not count more than 15 pages of a single genre of prose, or more than 8 poems, toward the fulfillment of the final project.

B. Critical

Your creative work will be accompanied by a critical essay in which you 1) outline your creative goals for your final portfolio, 2) discuss what each of the genres you have selected influenced what you had to say and how you said it and 3) describe what you learned from any of the readings that helped you and what you learned from the comments you received in workshop.


מרכיבי הציון הסופי (ציון מספרי / ציון עובר):
Quizzes 10%

Workshop feedback & class discussion 25%

Final portfolio 65%

ד. ביבליוגרפיה: (חובה/רשות)
ספרי הלימוד (textbooks) וספרי עזר נוספים:
Janet Burroway, Imaginative Writing. The Elements of Craft, second edition

All readings listed refer to this text unless otherwise noted.



חומר מחייב למבחנים:



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