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Courses: Fall 2015



CWL 500.S01 Introduction to Graduate Writing 
Robert Reeves and Carla Caglioti
Wednesdays, 5:20-8:10 pm (Class #89231)
A seminar that introduces students to one another, to the faculty, to the program in Writing and Literature, and to issues in contemporary writing. Offered in conjunction with the “Writers Speak” lecture series. Students will attend the regular series of readings sponsored by the Writing program and meet at weekly intervals under the direction of a faculty advisor to discuss and write about topics raised in the lecture series, as well as issues generated from seminar discussions and assigned readings.

CWL 510.01 Forms of Fiction: Investigating the Short Story 
Susan Merrell
Tuesdays, 5:20-8:10 pm (Class #89230)
The class will examine the short story from structural, historical and psychological angles. Reading widely across the genre while producing their own stories, students will develop a conscious set of rules for story craftsmanship.

CWL 510.S02 Forms of Fiction: Short Fiction
Jessica Soffer
Thursdays, 11:20-2:10 (Class #) This course will focus on reading and writing short fiction. Each class will be divided into two parts: craft (analysis of published works, prompts, discussion) and workshop. There will be particular emphasis on revision. Jessica Soffer is the author of the bestselling novel,  Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots. Her work has appeared in  Granta, The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Real Simple, The Wall Street Journal, Vogue  and on NPR’s  Selected Shorts.

CWL 520.S01 Forms of Poetry: Sound
Julie Sheehan
Wednesdays, 11:20-2:10 pm (Class #89232)
In this adventurous writing—and reciting—poetry workshop, we’ll tap into both the written and oral traditions to focus on the sounds a poem makes. We’ll work with the rhythms of found sound, with syncing sound and body language, with call and response, and with any other forms of rhyme, chime and repetition we can invent. We will also explore conventions of sound familiar to us from the page. We will not always be distributing paper copies of our poems to the other participants in this workshop, but will frequently take the opportunity to listen, to rely on—and hone—our ear, just as poets have for centuries. 

CWL 535.S01 Writing in Multiple Genres: Imagining What You Know
Roger Rosenblatt
Mondays, 2:20-5:10 (Class #96147)
A workshop in the uses of the imagination in different forms of writing. Students will produce both comic and serious pieces, including satires, parodies, fantasies, fables, essays and stories.

CWL 540.S01 Forms of Creative Nonfiction: The Essay
Neal Gabler
Mondays, 5:20-8:10 (Class #89873)
The essayist Philip Lopate has written that the "work of essayists is vital precisely because it permits and encourages self-knowledge in a way that is less indirect than fiction, more open and speculative." This course is designed to give students proficiency in conceptualizing, structuring and writing various forms of essays -- the critical essay, the informational essay, the biographical essay, and the personal essay, with emphasis on the last of these. Students will read and analyze essays by Lopate, Joseph Epstein, Anne Lamott, Anne Dillard, David Foster Wallace, and many others, and in pursuit of self-knowledge, they will write essays of their own in each of the categories.
CWL 560.S01 Forms of Literature : But I Know What I Like: Modern British and American Poetry
Roger Rosenblatt
Tuesdays, 2:20-5:10 (Class #91771)  
This is a course in modern poetry that helps you understand and develop your taste in a variety of poets. Classes will consist of the close reading and discussion of selected poets, such as Yeats, Auden, Elizabeth Bishop, Langston Hughes, Sylvia Plath, Richard Wilbur, Seamus Heaney, Anne Sexton, William Empson, Wallace Stevens, Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones), Margaret Atwood, Frost, Dylan Thomas, Wilfred Owen, Robert Lowell, and others. We'll take a look at the lives of these poets, but mainly we'll study the work. At the end of term, students will be asked to create an anthology consisting of twenty-five modern poems by several poets, and to write a ten-page introduction analyzing some of the poems they selected, and explaining their choices. These anthologies may be organized in any way the student wishes: by a theme shared by the poems, by form, by tone, by subject matter, by attitude, or by nothing more orderly than the student's eclecticism. At the end of the course, each student will have produced a little book that demonstrates his/her taste in modern poetry.
CWL 570.S01 Advanced Writing Workshop
Lou Ann Walker
Thursdays, 5:20-8:10 (Class #82535)
The focus is on a project in progress and the development of an existing manuscript, be it a memoir, novel, collection of essays, YA novel, or short story collection. This workshop on structure is open to students who are pursuing a book-length project. Readings will be individually selected. Strongly recommended for students working on thesis.
CWL 580.S01 Practicum in Arts Administration
Christian McLean
Wednesdays, 11:00A-12:50 (Class #89626)
The essentials of arts administration, to include assisting in the coordination of reading and lecture series, planning and administering conferences, or other writing and arts administration activities. Permission of instructor and completion of at least 6 program credits required.
CWL 581.S01 Practicum in Teaching Writing
Julie Sheehan
Wednesdays, 2:20-5:10 (Class #91590)
This course, offered in combination with an undergraduate creative writing course, CWL 202, Intro to Creative Writing, on Wednesdays, 5:20-8:10, provides hands-on experience and instruction in the basics of writing pedagogy, including designing writing assignments, sequencing assignments, motivating writing, writing skill development and evaluating writing. Students will also be given a preliminary overview of the major theories driving composition pedagogy. Limited to 8 students. Permission of instructor and completion of at least 6 program credits required.


Thesis - CWL 599

Must have thesis planning form on file and approval of thesis advisor to register.

- All Southampton classes are held in Chancellors Hall




CWL 510.S60 Forms of Fiction: Short Story, Melissa Bank
Tuesdays, 5:20-8:10 (Class #89874)
You are going to be expected to work very hard in this workshop—maybe harder than in any workshop you’ve ever taken. You’ll be writing in class, first of all, however painful or impossible that may sound. (I’ll supply optional prompts, if that’s any comfort.) I wouldn't do it if it didn't lead to great things: this almost accidental or inadvertent writing can take you to the writing you're meant to do--the fiction only you can write--and uncover gifts you didn't even know you had. Of course you'll also be submitting your stories or novel in progress, and a roomful of generous and sympathetic readers will humbly offer their subjective responses.

CWL 520.S60 Forms of Poetry: What the Unmade is Made Of (Building a Poet's Lexicon), Mark Doty
Seven Fridays and One Saturday, 10:00A - 4:00P ( with break for lunch as follows:  Fri. 9/11 NYC; Fri. 9/25 SH; Sat. 10/10 NYC; Fri. 10/16 SH; 10/30 SH; 11/6 SH;  11/20 NYC; and 12/4 NYC  (Class #96795). 
“Sometimes I go to fabric stores,” wrote Sandra McPherson, “to see what the unmade is made of.” Every poet does something like this, looking into the materials the world has to offer us, in search of both metaphor and vocabulary, enlarging our sense of what is. It’s always to a poet’s advantage to know the names of things — so that, in the writing process, we have more and more to draw upon as we try to say what it’s like to live, how it feels to be ourselves. 

We’ll spend a part of each class meeting visiting a different site, looking for what interests and engages us, both in materials and in language; in fact, I’ll ask you to collect, as it were, the names of things, keeping a notebook of new words you learn during the semester. Among the places we’ll go are the trim- and fabric shops of lower midtown Manhattan, and The Center for the Book Arts. to find out about paper, book binding, and printing processes. We’ll visit a church where an expert who tunes, restores and plays pipe organs will demonstrate his work, as well as other sites you’ll hear about later. At each meeting, we’ll read and discuss contemporary poets whose work bears a relation to ideas and themes suggested by the site we’re visiting. You’ll be asked to bring a new poem of your own that makes use (in any way you like) of the previous meeting’s site visit, and we’ll read and discuss those together. 

I think of this class as a sort of exploratory language lab, one where the lexicons we encounter can fuel new  writing for all of us, lead us to connect experience and language in ways we haven’t tried yet, and perhaps we’ll  discover some unexpected possibilities. It’s also an opportunity to go out looking, both in New York City and on the South Fork, since our meetings will be divided roughly equally between the two, and going out looking is, for the poet, essential research.  Each meeting will be from ten till four, more or less, with a break for lunch. Some of our site visits may require some travel time, but we’ll figure it out.    

CWL 530.S60 Forms of Scriptwriting: Introduction to Playwriting, Marsha Norman.  Three-weekend Intensive, Saturdays and Sundays 10:00A - 6:00P (with break for lunch): 9/5-9/6, 10/17-10/18, 11/14-11/15, final manuscript due 12/12 (Class #89584) . Regular submission, discussion, and analysis of students’ work in one or more contemporary areas of scriptwriting, with special emphasis on writing for film and theater. Topics have included Advanced Playwriting, Screenwriting, Fiction into Film, Musical Book, and Adaptation.

CWL 530.S62 (Class #91665) FS: Art of the Screenplay with Annette Handley Chandler
Mondays.  Understand the craft of screenwriting through the examination and deconstruction of screenplays and films. This weekly seminar will offer the basics of screenwriting craft including the elements of drama: story structure, character development/arc, conflict, scene construction/juxtaposition and dialogue and an intensive, interactive workshop for the development of individual scripts.  

CWL 565 .S60 Special Topics in Writing: Susan Minot
Mondays 5:20-8:10P (Class #90839). In this exploration of fictional styles, we will be reading literature, and students will do small writing exercises to be discussed in class. The books assigned will be chosen with an eye to fictional modes and innovation. Among them, to be decided:  Lydia Davis, John Williams, Jenny Offill, Anne Carson, Raymond Chandler, Amy Hempel, Denis Johnson, Anton Chekhov, Franz Kafka, Raymond Carver, Jane Gardam, James Salter, Rachel Cusk, John Cheever. The exercises will be given with an eye to expanding students’ horizons—within themselves.
CWL 570.S60 Advanced Writing Workshop: Kaylie Jones.
Wednesdays, 5:20-8:10 (Class #91030)
The focus is on work in progress and the development of an existing manuscript, be it a memoir or a novel, or a collection of interconnected essays/stories. The fundamental issue in all book-length works is narrative momentum. What makes this happen? Our primary focus will be on point of view and on profluence — the story building tension that keeps the reader reading and wanting to turn the pages. The workshop is open to students who are pursuing a book-length project and who want to be exposed to the work of others in varying genres. It is strongly recommended for students preparing for the thesis.
CWL 580.S01 Practicum in Arts Administration, Carla Caglioti.
Mondays, 4:00-5:00P (Class #96686)
Arts Administration takes the disparate threads of literary artists, literary events, audiences and business strategies and weaves them together to create a sustainable community for the arts.  This practicum will be a hands-on exploration of the question, “If You Build It, Will They Come?” 
            We will look at the opportunities and obstacles in building sustainable arts programming in Manhattan.  The class will be given a budget from which to research, develop, schedule and market a literary arts program with the goal of building community and establishing traditions for Manhattan.  This practicum will introduce participants to the “business of the arts,” providing an overview of the types of work that arts administrators do and the current issues and trends arts management professionals face. By the end of the course, students will have developed an understanding of the critical areas which arts administrators must manage, including budgeting, marketing/publicity, fundraising, audience development, surveying and analysis, scheduling, and contracts.  Permission of instructor and completion of at least 6 program credits required.

- All Manhattan classes are held at 101-113 East 27 Street, 3 floor




CWL 202D-S01 Introduction to Creative Writing: Ikwo Ntekim
            Wednesdays, 5:20P - 8:10P (Class #94841) CHANCLR HALL 237
Creative writing workshop in multiple genres, from fiction to poetry to scriptwriting, intended to introduce students to the basic tools and terminology of the fine art of creative writing. Participants also read contemporary works, give a public reading, and attend Writers Speak, the Wednesday reading series. This course, offered on the Southampton campus, is required for the minor in creative writing. Prerequisite: None

The free SBU shuttle runs regularly to and from the Student Activities Center at SBU to Chancellors Hall on Southampton campus, and is revised each semester to fit with the courses being offered at Southampton. Visit for the schedule.




CWL190B- S01 Introduction to Contemporary Literature
            Tues/Thur, 10:00A-11:20A (Class #96132), Jennifer Lobaugh
Seminar surveying recent works in a genre or topic, to introduce students to poetry, creative nonfiction, fiction or a combination of selections focusing on a particular theme. Participants will develop skills of interpretation and analysis through reading and writing about contemporary literature.  Required for the minor.
Prerequisite: Completion of DEC A
CWL 202-D (ARTS) Introduction to Creative Writing:
S02 Mon/Wed, 8:30-9:50A (Class #96134), Marc Perrin
S03 Mon/Fri 1-2:20P (Class #96135), Emmett Haq
S04 Tues/Thur, 8:30-9:50A (Class #96136), Jacqueline Henry
S05 Tues/Thur 10-11:20A (Class #96137), Nora Decter
S06 Tues/Thur, 11:30A-12:50P (Class #96138), Alison Fairbrother 
S07 Tues/Thur, 1:00-2:20P (Class #96139), Alison Fairbrother
S08 Mon/Wed/Fri, 10:00-10:53A (Class #96140 ), Shannon Mowdy
Creative writing workshop in multiple genres, from fiction to poetry to scriptwriting, intended to introduce students to the basic tools and terminology of the fine art of creative writing. Participants also read contemporary works, give a public reading, and attend a reading series. This course, offered on both Southampton and main campus, is required for the minor in creative writing. Prerequisite: None
CWL 305G-S01 Forms of Fiction
S01 Tues/Thur, 11:30A-12:50P (Class #96141), Nora Decter
S02 Mon/Wed, 8:30-9:50A (Class #), Emily Gilbert
Study of the genre through readings, discussion and regular submission of original work. Course explores methods for expressing the human condition made available through fiction, with examples from the tradition that illustrate point of view, character development, dialogue, plot, setting, theme, motif, and other elements. Areas of study include Short Story, Novella, The Popular Novel, Graphic Novels and Writing Funny.  Prerequisite: CWL 202

CWL 310G-S01 Forms of Poetry 
            Tues, 4:00-6:50P (Class #), Julianne Jones
Study of the genre through readings, discussion and regular submission of original work. Course explores methods for expressing the human condition made available through poetry.   Prerequisite: CWL 202
CWL 325G-S01 Forms of Science Writing: Texting Texts—Writing with and about Technology
            Thurs , 4:00-6:50P (Class #96142), Kaitlin Williams
Regular submission, discussion and analysis of students' work in one or more areas of science writing in order to examine the impact of science and literature on one another. Areas of study include Introduction to Science Writing, Environmental Writing and the Media, and Elegance & Complexity: Researched Writing and Writing the Interview. Course may be repeated as the topic changes. Prerequisites: CWL 202,  DECs E and F or 1 SNW and 1 SBS.
CWL 335K Topics in American Lit for Writers: Queering the Canon—Adventures in Contemporary LGBT Lit
Tues/Thur 10-11:20A (Class # 96143), Jennifer Nissley
A seminar for writers concentrating on one area of American literature, to be announced in the course schedule. The course may examine a contemporary or historical trend in American literature, the rise of a specific genre, a social issue expressed in literature, an issue in literary theory, or any other exploration of American pluralism as, for example, Ethics and the Crime Novel; Varieties of American Humor; Southern Renaissance; and Contemporary Poetry Wars. The emphasis will be on scholarly analysis, but with engagement of student writers. Students may repeat this course as the topic changes.

An entire semester dedicated to queer literature? Really? Indeed! Queer voices have gone ignored in discussions of contemporary literature for various reasons. To atone for this, we will spend the next fifteen weeks immersed in the issues of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender identity, experiences, theories, and politics. To do this, we will read, analyze, and debate a diverse array of short fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction written by (mostly) queer authors on queer topics. Our goals are not to simply know which authors have contributed to the queer canon, but how these works fit into the larger historical and political context in which they were written.