- WTG 244 Creative Process
In Creative Process, students study their own creative process as well as what artists, writers, and filmmakers have shared about creative inspiration. The purpose of this class is to break boundaries and rediscover an easy relationship with the inner Muse. The primary textbook is The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. The Syllabus Reader contains material by a wide range of authors such as Annie Dillard, Jorge Luis Borges, Eudora Welty, Ann Patchett, Patricia Hampl, William Saroyan, John Ciardi, Frank Conroy, Virginia Woolf, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, Thomas Wolfe, William Stafford, Rainer Maria Rilke, Lu Chi, Mark Strand, Jane Hirshfield, Billy Collins, Elizabeth Gilbert, plus interviews with great authors by Bill Moyers and material from creativity experts Anne Lamott and Natalie Goldberg. A variety of guest lecturers working in different media will come to the class to discuss their work, career paths, and creative process. Students will keep a daily journal and engage in various creative projects during the course. As a final project, students produce a portfolio and can choose to participate in a group installation/exhibit on creativity. (4 credits) Prerequisite: ART, LIT, or MC major, or permission of instructor
- WTG 204 Introduction to Poetry Writing
In this course, you’ll learn how to read and assess a poem and construct your own poetry. We explore the building blocks of craft and technique in poetry — imagery, figurative language, sound devices, rhyme, rhythm, repetition, meter, point of view, and form. Our textbook is Frances Mayes’ The Discovery of Poetry: A Field Guide to Reading and Writing Poems. This course heightens the senses to illuminate the beauty in the most mundane corners of life and uncover the lost poems hiding in the attic of the mind. By the end, you have a collection of poems that you cherish and take with you on your journey forward. Prerequisites: WTG 192 or consent of the instructor.
- WTG 206 Introduction to Rhetoric
Rhetoric concerns itself with both creating and interpreting messages and cultural artifacts, emphasizing the value of understanding both one’s own and others’ perspectives when communicating with others. This survey course will help you improve your communication skills by examining the dynamic relationships between author and audience within their social contexts. We read and discuss articles by prominent thinkers in fields of rhetoric and communications studies, including genre theory, metaphor theory, feminist theory, cultural rhetoric, queer theory, rhetoric of the body, visual rhetoric, ecocriticism, and critical theory. Your final project calls on knowledge in the readings to dig deeper into the challenges and possibilities of human communication. Prerequisites: WTG 192 or consent of the instructor. (4 credits)
- WTG 220 The Personal Essay
The personal essay celebrates heart and mind, exploring age-old questions about the human experience. Students learn the history of the personal essay, reading examples of personal prose discussion in Oriental and classical Literature, then tracing the origins of the modern essay tradition to the European Renaissance with the work of Michel de Montaigne. Students learn about the range and freedom of this brief “formless form” by acquainting themselves with modern and contemporary masters: Mark Twain, Virginia Woolf, Zora Neale Hurston, Jorge Luis Borges, Flannery O’Connor, Annie Dillard, David Sedaris, Dave Eggers, Amy Tan, Mark Spragg, and more. The class also focuses on experimental, contemporary hybrids, tracing the relationship between the personal essay and flash nonfiction, the lyric essay, the “hermit crab” essay, and prose poetry. Students are encouraged to keep a daily journal in which they record memories, observations, insights, and reflections. Students also create a substantial portfolio of at least three personal essays, learning about prewriting, drafting, and revision in the process. Students are encouraged to find a natural, authentic personal voice, intimate yet not self-indulgent. In the specificity of personal reflection, it is possible to touch upon the universality of human experience. Prerequisites: WTG 192 or consent of the instructor. (4 credits)
- WTG 371 Writing to Publish
Writing to Publish is an advanced writing course designed to guide experienced writers through the publication process. This class teaches writers how to acutely edit their work, select a market for their work, and the intricate details about what publishers and editors are looking for. Upon completion, students will have submitted several pieces for publication. Prerequisites: WTG 192 or consent of the instructor. (4 credits)
- WTG 475 Creative Writing Studio
As a culmination of the BFA in Creative and Professional Writing, every BFA candidate enrolls in four consecutive studio courses, which provide concentrated, advanced level immersion in craft. Students receive in-depth, challenging feedback from faculty and peers as they push a body of work toward completion for an end-of-semester public reading. The workshop format hones the ability to critique the work of self and others and offers the opportunity for rigorous revision. Studio classes promote self-reliance as well as intensive self-discipline. Students are encouraged to reach beyond their boundaries, experiment, and keep an open mind.
Each Studio block offers master classes diving into the subtle mechanics of technique. Students attend panel discussions where professional poets and writers discuss creative process, the career of the writer, and publication. In the course of four BFA Studios, students develop a 30–60-page portfolio in a genre of choice. Each student works under the guidance of their monthly BFA Studio faculty as well as a board of faculty advisors. Students who want to work in more than one genre need permission from their faculty board. BFA portfolio work should be of publishable quality.
The aim is to create a body of work that can be submitted as a portfolio for an MFA application or for publication to literary magazines and chapbook competitions. The BFA studio provides the perfect preparation for publication and/or graduate work in creative writing, allowing students to immerse themselves in the professional writing life. Prerequisites: WTG 192, final semester, plus consent of the department chairs and the program director. (16 credits)