Creative Writing

CRW 3362 – Introduction to Creative Writing                 Spring 2006-Tinajero

Section: 18574 (Tues/Thurs 9-10:20)

Instructor: Robert Tinajero

Office: Library 521

Office Phone: 747-8728 (e-mailing is best)

Office Hours: Monday 3-4 and Friday 2-4 (making an appointment is best)

e-mail: rjtinajero@utep.edu (make sure to inlcude name and section number in subject line)

Required Texts:

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros  ISBN 0679734775

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

On Writing by Stephen King

Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri

You will also be asked to purchase small Xeroxed packets of poetry and short stories twice during the semester.  The packets will either be available at the UTEP Library (Goldmine printing which is on the bottom floor or at Paper Chase which is across from the Don Haskins Center)

Materials:

Loose-leaf binder with plenty of loose-leaf paper.

A blank-page, blank-cover, small book for your children’s poetry project

A blank journal (this I will purchase for you all)

Course Objectives:

Students will become familiar with the field of Creative Writing, with an emphasis placed on Poetry, Short Stories and Plays/Screenplays. The students will produce (1) a small book of Children’s Poetry along with other poems of their choosing, including one Formal Poem, (2) a short story and (3) a short play or screenplay.  Students will learn to write and discuss different forms of Creative Writing

Attendance:

It is very important that you attend each class period in order to participate in discussions, group activities and in-class assignments.  If you miss more than 3 classes you will be dropped. I make no distinction between excused and unexcused absences.  If you miss class you are responsible for obtaining class notes and assignments from fellow students. Being late or leaving early will count as half an absence.  Because you will be using the information we discuss in each class period, it is very important that you attend class.  20% of your final grade will include attendance and class participation.  If you are absent on the day work is due, it will be marked late and your grade will drop one letter grade (10 points).

Plagiarism:

Do not turn in someone else’s work.  I hope you are inspired by the writers we will be reading but you are to create your own, original work. Suspected cases of plagiarism and/or academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Students.

Grades:

Children’s Poetry Book and Poetry Packet                                 20%

Short Story (including draft)                                                       20%

Play/Screenplay                                                                        20%

Journal, Homework, In-Class Assignments, Poetry Reading         20%

Professionalism                                                                         20%

*the professionalism grade takes into account attendance, tardiness, class participation, in-class assignments, journal writings and overall conduct

[there will be a few opportunities for some extra credit]

Weekly Semester Calendar:

Week of…August 21

Introduction of class, myself and student introductions; journal writing

Introduction to Creative Writing (in context of University/World); Discuss Poems

[please buy all your textbooks and class material]

August 28

Poetry Introduction: Form, Imagery, Metaphor/Simile, Tone, Creativity

Open Form vs. Closed Form (formal) poetry; divesity of poetry; canon formation

Show Clip from Def Poetry series

[students: begin writing some new poems]

HOMEWORK: please bring a children’s poem that you enjoy

September 4

Children’s Poetry: Shel Silverstein, Dr. Seuss  and poems students brought in

Poetry: [from packet] Espada, Rumi, Giovanni, Zagajewski, Soto, Benn, Rozewicz, Mora, Tinajero

September 11

Continue reading and discussing from Poetry packet

Blog Commentary on www.blueletters.com.

HOMEWORK: Go to www.blueletters.com and click on “Blog.”  I will set a blog entry that asks you to respond to some of the poems we have read.  Each student must respond at least twice by the end of the weekend.  Don’t forget to include your name with the blog entry.

HOMEWORK 2: Continue writing your Children’s poetry and general poetry.  You will need to bring in 5 of each next week and make a copy for everyone in class including instructor. Only put your name on the the instructor’s copy.

September 18

Workshop:  Each student will bring 5 children’s poems and 5 general poems.  Poems will be discussed in small groups and as a class.

Workshop (day 2):  We will continue to discuss the poems brought in by the students.

September 25

Workshop: Continued discussion of students’ poems and some of instructor’s poems; clarify final project which includes Children’s Poems, General Poems and one Formal Poem.

***Poetry Projects are Due*** You will turn in your Chidren’s Poetry book and a small packet of your non-children’s poems

October 2

Read and Discuss “House on Mango Street” by Sandara Cisneros

Short Introduction to Short Story Writing: characters, plot, theme, structure, flow, dialogue, imagery, place, language, beginning to write, ending a story)

October 9

Read and Discuss portions of “On Writing” by Stephen King

Read and Discuss “A Temporary Matter” by Jhumpa Lahiri (in Interpreter of Maladies)

HOMEWORK: begin writing your short story (meet with me with any concerns)

October 16

Read and Discuss portions of “On Writing” by Stephen King

Read and Discuss “Sexy” by Jhumpa Lahiri (in Interpreter of Malaldies)

HOMEWORK: continue writing your short story (meet with me with any concerns)

October 23

Read and Discuss short stories from packet: “Hard Language,” “Miller Circle” and others

HOMEWORK: continue writing your short story (three copies of a draft of your story is due next week); only put your name on instructor’s copy

October 30

**Draft of Short Story Due**

Workshop: Bring 3 copies of the draft to class (only put your name on the instructor’s copy); we will exchange stories, write commentary and discuss the drafts

POETRY READING [I will set up a poetry reading at a local coffee house where you will be asked to read a few of your poems]

November 6

Workshop: continue to read and discuss each other’s short story drafts

HOMEWORK: your final short story drafts will be due next week

November 13

***Final Draft of Short Story Due***

Introdcution to Plays and Screenplays

November 20

Read and discuss scenes from “Romeo and Juliet” by Shakespeare

Read and discuss scenes from “Pulp Fiction” screenplay

(show scenes on video)

HOMEWORK: begin writing short screenplay

November 27

Read and discuss scenes from “Romeo and Juliet”

Read and discuss scenes from “Pulp Fiction”

(show scenes on video)

DAY OF FINAL EXAM

***Play/Screenplay Due***

Discuss Publishing and Careers in Creative Writing; also discuss resources for Creative Writers and MFA programs in Creative Writing

They wept together for the things they now knew

But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?

We are responsible for those who love us

A house all my own.  With my porch and my pillow, my pretty purple petunias. My books and my stories…

My soul is from elswhere/ I’m sure of that/ and I intend to end up there