New Course: Hybrid Writing Workshop

Taught by Prof. Sulak, this creative writing workshop is a study of literary genres; what they do, how they work, how to write about them, and how to produce them. The course takes as its guiding principle the idea that genre distinctions are a question of degree, rather than category.  The first Western medical texts, histories and narratives were written in verse form. In Greece, poetic meter was described in dance steps. More recently, verse novels, such as Elizabeth Barrat Browning’s Aurora Leigh 1852, Vikram Seth’s 1986 Golden Gate, and Dereck Walcott’s Omeros (1990) have been surprising best sellers.  Prose poems, flash fiction, and lyrical essays further confound our attempts to separate genres, so do fictional memoirs and documentary poetry.  In this class, we will examine skills necessary in all forms of creative writing while addressing the most salient generic features of poetry, essays, and fiction, but we will understand that often distinctions are and can be artfully blurred.  While students may choose to write more traditionally recognizable poems, essays, and stories, our readings will encourage experimentation in hybridity. We will examine the expectations we bring to works of various genres, and we will write.  We will also discuss one another’s writing in class. This workshop is appropriate for graduate students in the literary translation track, students in the creative writing program, and upper-division undergraduate students.