Creative Writing 101

Tuesday, 10/13. Shredded Text Day. For Tuesday we read a few brief excerpts from Naked Lunch (Dr. Benway’s “aesthetic surgery,” and “have you seen Pantopon rose”) plus four selections from Gentle Reader! a collaborative book of poetry written by Joshua Beckman, Anthony McCann and Matthew Rohrer. If you’ve never heard of this book, it’s because …

Creative Writing 101

(for previous installments in this series, click here) WORK DISCUSSED THIS WEEK: “Ancestral Legacies,” “On the Subject of Fiction Based on Non-Ficton,” and “The Gun Lobby” – all by Jim Shepard. My goal for this week was to give the class another sense of the scope of writerly possibility. This time, instead of pairing different …

Creative Writing 101

(for previous installments in this series, click here) WORK DISCUSSED THIS WEEK: “Two Boys” by Lorrie Moore & “Water Liars by Barry Hannah Tuesday, 9/29 – “Two Boys.” I’m not a huge Lorrie Moore fan. I don’t dislike her, but I’ve had Birds of America taught to me several times and it just never…grabs me. …

Creative Writing 101

[ WORK DISCUSSED: Tuesday (9/22) – Adrienne Rich, five poems and an essay. Thursday (9/24) – “New York” by Tony Towle; “Texas” by Padgett Powell; “Babalu-Aye” by Eva Talmadge;” writing exercise.] I never know how to start the class off. Or anyway that’s how it feels. I usually arrive in the room a few minutes …

Creative Writing 101

For Thursday (9/10) we read “My Dog is a Little Obese” by Ellen Kennedy, “How to Date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl or Halfie” by Junot Diaz, and “To His Coy Mistress” by Andrew Marvell. The theme was DIRECT ADDRESS and INSTRUCTION. As on Tuesday, we spent most of the time on the fiction piece. I …

The Terrible Satisfactions of Fan Fiction (and Writing Who We Know As Fan Fiction)

In the late 90s, I was obsessed with a television show on USA Network, La Femme Nikita,* which was vaguely based on the wonderful French movie La Femme Nikita and the horrible remake Point of No Return. The show centered around Nikita, a woman who was forced into being a government agent for a nefarious …