LITR 3731: Creative Writing
Lecture Notes 

5th class meeting             

equinox > solstice

midterm / assignments

poetry: Alicia, instructor



poetry: J J Torres, Christy

reading discussion: Amanda


Thursday, 24 September: Fourth poetry workshop class + discussion of reading assignments

Reading assignmentThree Genres, ch. 11 (pp. 138-144)

Reading highlight: Amanda Pruett

1st Poetry Author: Alicia Costello

1st Author’s Discussion Leader: Veronica Nadalin

2nd Poetry Author: J J Torres

2nd Author’s Discussion Leader: Christi Wood

3 September-1 October: The following students are required to do Draft Exchanges for their poetry manuscripts: Paul Acevedo, Jackie Baker, Peter Becnel, Jeff Derrickson, Naomi Gonzales, Jennifer M. Leonard, Amanda Pruett, Karina Ramos, Hillary Roth, Faron Samford, Ryan Smith, Natalie Walker, Christi Wood

Models of poetry draft exchanges

Final email submissions for poetry + revision accounts due by noon Saturday 3 October (email anytime b/w 28 Sept. & 3 Oct.)

models of poetry submissions & revision accounts (2009)

Thursday, 1 October: first fiction workshop (presenters get extra time for poetry submissions)

1st Fiction Author: Faron Samford

1st fiction author’s Discussion Leader: Niki Bippen

2nd Fiction Author:  Natalie Walker

2nd fiction author’s Discussion Leader: Jeff Derrickson




ch. 11 (pp. 138-144) Poetry: From Craft to Art

138 craft = body of techniques—images, sound & rhythm, structure & order of material

art < own voice; depth, freshness, resonance

138 reading regularly and critically

139 > imitative? > read widely

139 x-how to books > poetry itself

139 record poems, play as drive

140 x-lengthy work sessions, > spare half-hour

regularity x waiting for ideal working time

140 explore new themes

141 try different forms

142 revise!

142 x-myth of inspiration [objectives]

142 x-tinkering > big questions

143 creative less inspiration than process

143 cliched image of writer in garret [objective]

143 support group; 7 ideal number

144 “That’s the way I intended it” > make a note






Leftover notes from previous classes

poetry submissions and replies

poetry submissions with either draft exchange reports or accounts due by email within 36 hours of this class meeting

that is, by Wednesday morning.

Review process:

I'll read your poem(s) and your reports or accounts, write a 1-3 paragraph response with a grade, and email this to you, probably before next class.

Welcome to reply to email. As questions, follow up, etc.

I try not to write too much, but if you want more feedback, I can usually offer it on request.

model assignments


problems so far:

Your poem needs to have a title!

You are submitting at least one poem +

either a draft exchange report (if you didn't present a poem in class)

or a revision account (if you did present a poem in class)

(Either way, you're submitting a poem with some account of its development and revision)



upcoming schedule--fiction workshops







(notes from 2005)

review reading

145 experiences, details > reshape: divide , mix, alter, transform


145 select what we need and invent the rest


146 x “untrue” > “seems true”


146 real life: jumble of unconnected events and repetitious activities


147 edit unconsciously


147 fictional totally liberated from experience as it happened



ch. 13 (pp. 155-166) Where Stories Come From


155 fresh material < own life, original, unique

what we know well + invent


160 one foot in circle of familiar + one foot reaching out



163 transformation: from facts to fiction


163 conscious transformation


164 transformation = psychic liberation


165 “Not even your best friend would read it”


165 junk details


165 fuse 2 people into single fictional charcter



Also, I intend to follow up on our previous workshop discussion  . . . .


How intensify the workshop critique? . . .

Can or should Discussion Leaders’ questions be suggested or formalized?

How many drafts?

What was your biggest problem? What do you want to improve?

Have some standard questions plus discussion leader free to ask questions

required questions

generic question / prompt that can be varied for the particular poem


I intend to draft an outline of generic questions for discussion leaders to follow and vary

If finish in time, send to next week's discussion leaders (Rachel Barton and Amber Buitron) for try-out

If promising, will adapt for fiction workshops