Course Description:

Through the act of careful attention, we will practice creating narratives out of real-world subjects. Creative nonfiction is a crafted representation of life. Many of the techniques we use come from the fiction writer’s repertoire, such as how to structure scenes, how to maintain momentum and tension, and how to incorporate dialogue. We also rely heavily on the poet’s sensibilities, paying particular attention to the rhythms and sounds of language as well as to the careful use of images and metaphors. We research. We tell important stories, and think through whose stories are ours to tell. We come to understand aspects of both ourselves, and the world, just a bit better. Through this course, students are challenged to develop their practice and understanding of the craft of creative nonfiction, improve their critical skills in the reading of nonfiction by others, and gain increased depth and flexibility in their writing of prose. This course concentrates on conventions, techniques, terminology, concepts, critiques, and theories within contemporary creative nonfiction, all with the understanding that the very best way to learn and improve is to practice. Read, write, look inward, and also direct the gaze out.