English 50 — Introduction to Creative Writing


Home

Courses 

English 50 

Policy 

Homework 

Workshop Groups 

Workshop Schedule 

Workshop Guidelines

Contact

A Syllabus of Sorts (Spring 2010) – REVISED
(subject to change at the whim of the instructor)

 

Texts:
Frances Mayes, The Discovery of Poetry 

Dinty W. Moore, The Truth of the Matter
Josip Novakovich, Fiction Writer’s Workshop
William Zinsser, On Writing Well

Please note: The pagination of The Discovery of Poetry differs from printing to printing.  Please use color coding to determine the correct pages to read.

 

Week one: Intro to Nonfiction
Tuesday 1/12

Course introduction: fumigation of preconceived notions.

Nothing is real, and nothing to get hung about...

Thursday 1/14

Moore, chapters 1 & 2

Zinsser, chapters 1 & 11

[to the top]

Week two: Foundations
Tuesday 1/19

Moore, chapter 3

David Sedaris, “The Drama Bug” (Moore 229-235)

Zinsser, chapters 2 & 3

Thursday 1/21

Moore, chapter 4

Zinsser, chapters 4 & 5

[to the top]

Week three: Framework

Tuesday 1/26

Moore, chapter 5

Zinsser, chapters 6 & 7

Thursday 1/28

Moore, chapter 6

Zinsser, chapters 8 & 9

[to the top]

Week four: Forms and Formations

Tuesday 2/2

Moore, chapter 7

Lucy Grealy, “Mirrorings” (Moore 157-166)

Zinsser, chapter 14

Thursday 2/4

Moore, chapters 9 & 10

Zinsser, chapter 10

[to the top]

Week five: Nonfiction Wrap-Up

Tuesday 2/9

Peer review/workshop

Thursday 2/11

Peer review/workshop

[to the top]

Week six: Intro to Poetry

Tuesday 2/16

Nonfiction due.  

Mayes, ix-xviii

Let me count the ways of looking at a blackbird.

Blues and haiku

Thursday 2/18

Mayes, 1-14 & 457-463 / 1-15 & 479-486 / 1-16 & 567-572

Tim Seibles, “Meep,” “A Jitterbug for Spring,” “After All,” and “Dogs” (electronic reserve)

Sherman Alexie, “Water” 

Gary Snyder, “Four Poems for Robin

[to the top]

Week seven: Words

Tuesday 2/23

Mayes 24-47 / 25-50 / 35-59

Langston Hughes, “Harlem Sweeties” (Mayes 445-446 / 466-467 / 528-529)

Elizabeth Bishop, “The Fish” (Mayes 53-55 / 55-57 / 67-68)

Arthur Sze, “Mushroom Hunting in the Jemez Mountains" (Mayes 61 / 64 / ?)

Frank O’Hara, “Today” (Mayes 62 / 65 / 78)

Sylvia Plath, “Words” (Mayes 62-63 / 64-65 / 78)

Gary Snyder, “Hay for the Horses” 

Thursday 2/25

Mayes, 64-75 & 82-104 / 66-77 & 85-108 / 79-90 & 99-122

Wallace Stevens, “Study of Two Pears” (Mayes 78-79 / 80-81 / 93-94)

Walt Whitman, “The Runner” (Mayes 82 / 85 / 99)

Dylan Thomas, “The Force that Drives Through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower” (Mayes 105-106 / 109-110 / 126-127)

Charles Simic, “Fork” (Mayes 127-128 / 133 / 148)

Robin Becker, “Giacometti’s Dog” (Mayes 400-401 / 418-419 / 475-477)

Allen Ginsberg, “In Back of the Real

Julia Spicher Kasdorf, “A Family History” and “Mennonites

[to the top]

Week eight: Rhyme and Repetition

Tuesday 3/2

Mayes, 158-171 & 176-191 / 165-179 & 184-201 / 189-202 & 213-234

Walt Whitman, “I Hear America Singing” (Mayes 191-192 / 201 / 234-235)

Juliana Spahr, “Things” (electronic reserve)

Gwendolyn Brooks, “We Real Cool” 

On “We Real Cool” an interview with Gwendolyn Brooks

Thursday 3/4

Mayes, 239-242 and 255-274 / 251-253 & 266-287 / 279-282 & 303-322

William Carlos Williams, “Poem” (Mayes 277 / 290 / 326) and “To a Poor Old Woman” (Mayes 281 / 294-295 / 329-330)

Allen Ginsberg, “A Supermarket in California” 

Allen Ginsberg, “Howl 

Walt Harrington “The Shaping of Her Dream” (electronic reserve)

[to the top]

Spring Break 


Week nine: Poetry Wrap-Up

Tuesday 3/16

Peer review/workshop

Thursday 3/18

Peer review/workshop

[to the top]

Week ten: Intro to Fiction

Tuesday 3/23

Poetry due. 

Picture yourself on a boat on a river, with tangerine trees and marmalade skies…

Thursday 3/25

Novakovich, chapter one

Rick Moody, “Demonology” and “Wilkie Fahnstock, The Boxed Set” (electronic reserve)

[to the top]

Week eleven: Setting & Character

Tuesday 3/30

Novakovich, chapter two

T. Coraghessan Boyle, “Greasy Lake” (electronic reserve)

Sandra Cisneros “The Monkey Garden” (Novakovich 310-313)

Thursday 4/1

Novakovich, chapter three

Sherman Alexie, “The Only Traffic Signal on the Reservation Doesn’t Flash Red Anymore” and “Because My Father Always Said He was the Only Indian Who Saw Jimi Hendrix Play ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ at Woodstock” (electronic reserve)

[to the top]

Week twelve: Plot & POV

Tuesday 4/6

Novakovich, chapter four

Tobias Wolff, “Bullet in the Brain” (electronic reserve)

Mary Hood, “How Far She Went (electronic reserve)

Thursday 4/8

Novakovich, chapter five

Susan Minot, “Lust” (electronic reserve)

Robin Hemley “Reply All” (Novakovich 278-285)

[to the top]

Week thirteen: Nuts & Bolts

Tuesday 4/13

Novakovich, chapter six

Tim O’Brien, “The Things They Carried” (electronic reserve)

Thursday 4/15

Novakovich, chapters seven & ten

Ha Jin, “A Composer and His Parakeets” (Novakovich 266-277)

[to the top]

Week fourteen: Description & Revision

Tuesday 4/20

Peer review/workshop

Novakovich, chapter eight

Ethan Coen, “Have You Ever Been to Electric Ladyland” (electronic reserve)

Thursday 4/22 Peer review/workshop

[to the top]

Week fourteen: Description & Revision

Tuesday 4/27 Individual conferences, revision, and peer review
Thursday 4/29

Fiction due.

Portfolio due.

Course evaluation.  

Tearful good-byes.

[to the top]

 

 

 

Paul M. Kellermann             
Office: 147 Burrowes Building  
          (formerly known as 157 Burrowes)
Mailbox: 139 Burrowes Building
Phone: 865-3949 (office)
          867-4214 (home)
E-mail: pmk8@psu.edu
Office hours: Tuesday 12:45-2:15, Friday 2:30-4:00, and by appointment

 

Last updated 13 January 2014
pmk8@psu,edu

printer-friendly format