Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fiction Workshops, Botticelli Staff, Anyone Interested in Sending Work Out

A huge magazine that just started this "best starts" feature and is directing it towards new writers.
Some great prompts:
Art & Lit interactive journal:

addictive as baked-kale chips. (Seriously, try one and see if you can quit.)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


T 09/22 Discussion Harlem Renaissance and Langston Hughes.
Be able to tell what Billie Holiday’s song Strange Fruit is about.

Homework: More Jazz Age authors (you’ve already read a little Hemingway). Lots of stuff to look at and read over. I want you to be able to discuss the time, Zelda’s art, as well as the texts we will be discussing in class.

Overview of era:

Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald:

For fun:
Flapper Radio

H 09/24 Discussion Jazz Age.

Homework: Introduction to Modernism
Read: Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot

P.S. Please note and begin planning for your assignment due on October 8 at the beginning of class.

T 09/29 Modernism
Homework: Wallace Stevens selections:

H 10/01 Modernism continues

T 10/06 TBA

H 10/08 Discussion and

Response to one of the pieces we have not discussed in class. For this assignment, I would like for you to respond with a poem, short story, dramatic monologue, scene, letter or essay form to one of the pieces we have read for class or (with my approval) a piece from the time period that was not assigned. Your responses should be a minimum of five-hundred words. If you choose to respond in poetry (say formal verse) you will need to write the poem and then a two hundred word “process” piece that explains how the work influenced yours, what artistic decisions and deviations you made, formal strategies or the decision to work against form are all things that you might address. These assignments will be letter-graded and are expected to be typed, proofread and edited before they come to me.

A Little Lighter Music

For some flapper-radio selections, you might have this playing as you do your Jazz Age reading.

Literature Class Song you need for question on syllabus for Thursday

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Safety of Objects Part 2

will run today in Kinney 213 at 2 p.m.
T-H students interested in continuing the video should let me know and we'll schedule a viewing time for next week (after I check to see that I can rent it from somewhere--which should be possible.) I thought maybe we'd bring snacks, beverages, popcorn? and finish up.

Have a wonderful weekend. It's good bicycling weather. Enjoy.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Select from these:

1. Write a piece with passages that are both disconnected and connected at once. (Interpret broadly.)

2. Choose three of the songs that you saw and implement some portion of their rules or scenarios into a story.

3. Take this trigger: The man rolled around on makeshift roller-skis, two planks of wood, four coasters, and some lovely champagne suede shoes nailed on to the appartus
or this one: In the middle of the floor a bed, around the bed, a crowd and every so often....

Write for two hundred words minimum from one of these take-off points.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Week of September 15-19 Literature Class

T 09/15 The Jazz Age The Harlem Renaissance.
For some perspective, a little bit of timeline:
Homework: Read all of the biography and poetry of Langston Hughes on this link (main text in center and right links, you don't need to read all of the prose pieces on the left, but they are very interesting.)
I have only one for the assigned reading:
to introduce you to The Harlem Renaissance.
Be ready to discuss his work, themes, formal strategies, etc.

H 09/17 Discussion Harlem Renaissance

Friday, September 11, 2009

An Idea of What an Art School Online Literary Magazine Can Look Like


Tues-Thurs. I had the impression that you did not have a letter for our Strange People author. If I was wrong and you did, let me know. Otherwise, I felt we had a pretty productive convo about that.

Since next week is interrupted by the Cage performance, let's work on writing exercises this week and preparing for your first workshops. This means that your first stories will be due with copies on Tuesday 09/22 & Wednesday 09/23 (Groups One). Obviously, I expect sufficient copies stapled and ready to be distributed at the start of class on those days. (Regardless of when I choose to have you hand them out, I would like them (the copies) and you (the authors) in seats, and on time on the day of handouts.

These first stories should be anywhere from three-five pages minimum. They can be a series of shorter pieces interconnected or not. They can be the start of a much longer piece.

Any additional questions, please feel free to ask. Have a wonderful weekend. -s

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

General notes:

Reading list for fiction workshop coming soon.

Complete syllabus for literature, too.

Please be sure to be on time with all writing and reading assignments as it gets very confusing to collect in class and over email. In the future, I really will accept no late assignments, so again, be mindful and if you're confused about when something is due or what to do, ask me. or in class.

Week of September 7-11 Literature Class

09/08 Discussion of Hemingway and dialogue. What is a white elephant? Why that title, etc.
Homework: Read "A Mark on the Wall" by Virginia Woolf.
& "Battle Royal" by Ralph Ellison.

09/10 Discussion of Woolf and/or Ellison. What is the conflict in these stories? How does it compare with what we have already read?

Week of September 7-11 WRITING FICTION

09/08 (T &H class)
09/09 (M & W)
Discussion of stories we read and distribution of "Strange People" for reading tonight.
We will begin workshopping a week from Thursday/Friday so Group One will have stories due, with copies by Thursday/Friday (09/15, 09/16) of next week. Group Two on Thursday/Friday. Group Three on the Tues/Thur of the following week, and so on.
The second class of this week will involve "workshopping" the story I hand out today in class. I will post guidelines for workshopping and you will treat this story (letter to author and all,) as if it is a workshop piece. We will have on "field trip activity" for the Thursday class (the John Cage event) and that might affect our schedule in the T-H class, I'll let you know how exactly.)

09/10 09/11
Workshop of "Strange People". Bring in annotated copies, letter to author and be prepared to discuss the story as if the author were a class member and in attendance. You will begin class by swapping your letters and discussing them as a group and voting on the "most helpful letter" and talking about why. Then we'll move into workshop.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Week of September 1-4 Literature Class

09/04/09 Friday

Discussion of stories.

Fiction Workshop In-Class Assignment plus Weekend Reading Homework

Ten Minute Spill

Write a ten passage piece. The story must include a proverb, adage, or familiar phrase such as: "she's a brick house, between the devil and the deep blue sea, one foot in the grave, at stitch in time saves nine, don't count your chickens before they hatch, the whole nine yard, a needle in a haystack, etc.) You must change the phrase in some way. You must also use five of the following words in your piece:

cliff needle voice whir blackberry cloud mother lick

The reading assignment for the weekend is:
How to Become a Writer by Lorrie Moore

The Last Unseen Window in the Last Unseen Car by Bruce Holland Rogers

Come to class prepared to thoroughly discuss both. Bring in comments, observations etc.
I would like each of you to be prepared to answer the questions:
which point-of-view are each of these written from? and which verb tense?
Consider how effective these choices were in illuminating the stories and be willing to discuss why they did or did not work for you.

For the T-H class, we will discuss this Tuesday.
For the W-F: Wednesday

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Optional creative writing assignment

(200 Words each)

1. Write about something repugnant as if it were beautiful.
2. Write about something beautiful as if it were ugly or disgusting.