College of Humanities and Social Sciences

ENGH 497: Topics in Creative Writing

ENGH 497-001: Book Beasts
(Spring 2013)

01:30 PM to 02:45 PM TR

Nguyen Engineering Building 1109

Section Information for Spring 2013

This is the course where writing gets into a big party with visual art, conceptual art, graphic design, handmade books, posters, and maybe even a walk in the country. We will practice techniques of textual collage and cut-up; erasure; visual and concrete poetry; abecedarian, mesostic, lipogram and other “constrained” forms; the making of alternative narrative itineraries by visual means; and the production of simple hand-made books. You will write poems and very prose, create small books and outdoor texts. Some projects can only be completed as poems; others can be completed as poems or as short fiction or nonfiction/memoir. Some may require collaboration with classmates. Reading will include many model texts (and objects) and some secondary reading on the history and theory of what we are practicing. Class time will include workshop critique, writing exercises, techniques for making simple books, and discussion of our reading. (Please note that though you may use your computers & printers to create or print your poems, or components of your poems, this is not a course in computer graphics, hypertext, flash, or other electronic formats for textual art.) Some of your projects will be conventional in the sense that they will consist of words printed on paper; others will be handmade and non-reproducible. Bring a sense of adventure and a love of words—including the sound, the look, and the history of words. Those with skills in bookmaking, printing, graphic design or visual arts will find good use for them, but such skills are not required. Grades based on the depth of your engagement with new forms and new ideas of what “poetry,” “writing,” “narrative,” and “art” might be—via weekly writing and class discussion; written reflections on creative process; and a couple of larger or more complex original projects at semester’s end. Application to this class is required by the university catalog. Send an e-mail listing your creative writing courses or other relevant background, plus a single attachment containing five poems or a story to stichy@gmu.edu. Questions about the course also welcome. You can see a few books made by past students in the big red cabinet outside the English Department, 4th floor of Robinson A, and at http://bookbeastsgallery.pbworks.com/FrontPage.

ENGH 497 001 is controlled. Please email instructor at stichy@gmu.edu for permission to enroll.

Course Information from the University Catalog

Credits: 3

Intensive practice in creative writing and study of creative process. Workshop course. Concentrates on specialized literary type other than short story or poetry such as playwriting, screenwriting, children's literature, travel literature, autobiography, gothic novel, or translation. Notes: For students already writing original creative work. Students must submit typed manuscript at least one week before registration. May be repeated within the term for a maximum 6 credits.
Recommended Prerequisite: ENGL 396/ENGH 396 or equivalent and manuscript review. Enrollment is controlled. Contact instructor for manuscript guidelines.
Schedule Type: Lecture

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes.

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