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Courses: Spring 2018


CWL 500.S01 Introduction to Graduate Writing, Robert Reeves & Carla Caglioti. 
Wednesdays, 5:20-8:10 . (Class #  55159)  A seminar that introduces students to one another, the faculty, the program in Creative 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.   Please note: CWL 500 is a required course that should be taken in the first semester.
CWL 510.S01 Forms of Fiction: Novel, Ursula Hegi
Wednesdays, 2:20-5:10 (Class # 46324) As a reader—what do you look for in a novel? Why? What keeps you engaged? What turns you off? We’ll write a novel together, exploring several dramatic incidents before choosing one incident for the entire workshop.You’ll develop one character who is involved in this conflict, her/his pov of what happens, including how s/he experiences the other characters. As your material develops, we’ll discuss character and plot development, voice, point of view, dialogue that distinguishes between characters, description, significant details, authenticity, risk, tension and revision.

CWL 520.S01 Forms of Poetry: Prose Poem, Short-Short or “Couldn’t Finish,” Amy Hempel
Tuesdays, 5:20-8:10 (Class # 47929 ). In this course, we will read and discuss short-short stories and prose poems from several countries and centuries, drawing mostly from contemporary examples. Students will write frequently in one or both forms, after we look at the specific requirements of each, a variety of definitions, and differences and similarities.  As one practitioner noted, “The short-short is like a regular story, only more so.”

CWL 540.S01 Forms of Creative Nonfiction: Humor Writing, Patricia Marx
7 Saturdays, 11-5pm, 2/3, 2/17, 3/3, 3/24, 4/7, 4/21, 5/5. Make up date 5/12. (Class # 46647)
“Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility.”   James Thurber
“Comedy has to be based on truth. You take the truth and you put a little curlicue at the end.”  Sid Caesar
“Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die.”  Mel Brooks
“...An amateur thinks it's really funny if you dress a man up as an old lady, put him in a wheelchair, and give the wheelchair a push that sends it spinning down a slope towards a stone wall. For a pro, it's got to be a real old lady.”  Groucho Marx
“What is comedy? Comedy is the art of making people laugh without making them puke.”  Steve Martin
“You know, crankiness is the essence of all comedy.”   Jerry Seinfeld
“Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested and the frog dies of it.”  E.B. White
“Patty Marx is the best teacher in the Creative Writing Program.”  Patricia Marx
One of the above quotations is false.  Find out which one in this humor-writing workshop, where you will read, listen to, and watch comedic samples from well-known and lesser-known humorists, and complete weekly writing assignments. Students already working on projects are welcome to develop them.

CWL 560.S01 Topics in Literature: Epic Echoes, aka Plagiarism for Smarties, Susan Scarf Merrell  
Mondays, 5:20-8:10 (Class # 47571 Students will begin with Homer’s Odyssey and then go on to read a range of materials based on that work, including parts of Joyce’s Ulysses, and such books as As I Lay Dying, The Wizard of Oz, The Penelopiad, The Time Traveler’s Wife, Ransom and The Lost Books of the Odyssey. We will become proficient in recognizing the echoes of earlier work in more recent fiction, and students will also produce epic journey fictions of their own.

CWL 580.S01 Practicum in Arts Admin, Christian McLean.
Days and Times TBA (Class # 46328). 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 582.S01 Practicum in Publishing & Editing, Lou Ann Walker, Emily Gilbert
Wednesdays, 12-2:00P  (Class # 46326). Under the guidance of the faculty advisor, students will be exposed to the hands-on process of editing and publishing The Southampton Review . Permission of instructor and completion of at least 6 program credits required.

All Southampton classes are held in Chancellors Hall

Thesis - CWL 599.V01
Must have thesis planning form on file and approval of thesis advisor to register.   




Stony Brook Manhattan
535 Eighth Ave, 5th floor, 36-37th St.

CWL 530.S60 Forms of Fiction: Short Story, Susan Minot

Mondays, 5:20-8:10P (Class # 55161).As our 2013 Nobel Laureate Alice Munro recently said, the short story is “an important art, not just something you played around with until you got a novel.” Focus in this workshop will be on the building blocks of the short story: style, structure and content.  In class discussions of student fiction, we will focus on refinement of that style, on varieties of structure, with an eye to finding the subject best suited to each writer.  Strong editorial feedback will assist the students in both practicing editing on their fellow students, as well as learning the value of doing draft after draft in order to strengthen and focus the material of his or her concern. Mastery of one’s craft is our goal. Suggested outside reading will direct students to the masters, choosing from among: Anton Chekhov, Raymond Carver, Lydia Davis, Amy Hempel, Franz Kafka, Flannery O'Conner, John Cheever, Katherine Mansfield, Ernest Hemingway, Lorrie Moore, and James Salter. 


CWL 520.S60 Forms of Poetry: Poetry, Cornelius Eady   

Tuesdays, 5:20-8:10P (Class # 48459) Poets write, poets read. These two statements will be the emphasis of this advanced poetry workshop. You will be doing three things here: 1) writing and revising your own work (including exercises), 2) Doing close reading of the books assigned (including a reading list which will be generated by the workshop) 3) Interviewing visiting poets about craft, either via SKYPE or in person. The final in this workshop will be a chapbook of 10-20 of your best poems written and revised over the semester, due the last day of class. A secondary possibility with your chapbook might explore the various ways poetry can be performed. 


CWL 565.S60 Special Topics in Writing: The Memoir and Its Parts, Roger Rosenblatt ,  7 Saturdays, 11:00A - 5:00P (with break for lunch): 1/27, 2/10, 2/24, 3/10, 3/31, 4/14, 4/28. Make up date 5/12. (Class #55162). This course proceeds from the premise that good memoirs are made up of certain components: description, knowledge, emotion, thought, fantasy, and memory. The writing of each of these elements requires skills that can be looked at individually, one at a time. That's what we will do here. Students will produce pieces that describe someone or some thing; relate knowledge (historical, scientific, et al.); convey an emotion; express a thought or idea; tell a fantasy or dream; and offer a memory. Six pieces in all. After that, we will try to determine how the pieces fit into the memoir you are working on, or propose to work on. Underlying all this is the proposition that your memoir is not about you. Not just you. Rather, it is about the world you observe, understand, feel, think about, imagine and remember.  Put these parts together in the right order and proportions, and you should create a worthwhile book. 


CWL 570.S60 Advanced Writing Workshop: REDACTION: An anatomy of editing and self-editing, Daniel Menaker,  Wednesdays, 5:20-8:10P (Class #55163) This course will use student  prose writing, fiction or nonfiction, and also published texts, as subjects for editing--that is, improvement. The goal will be not only making texts better but also making them most closely consonant with the writer's intentions (knowable, in the case of student writing, implicit in published writing by others). Topics will include word choice, sentence structure and length, paragraph structure, consistency of "voice," and over-all composition. This course will be granular and exacting, and students should be prepared for close  and subtle analyses of the techniques of prose writing. 



Stony Brook Main Campus 

CWL190 Introduction to Contemporary Literature
S01 Tues/Thur, 2:30-3:50(Class # 54972), Anthony DiPietro. Topic: How to Fall in and out of Love in Modern Times
Boy meets girl—oldest story ever, we all know. And love comes in how many flavors? Unrequited, at first sight, tragic, familial, romantic, supernatural, polyamorous... So how do contemporary authors treat coupling and uncoupling and still find something unique to say? We’ll explore love in contemporary novels, films, poems, and essays to discover what’s similar and different across genres and eras. We’ll surprise ourselves at what defies our expectations. And we’ll write creatively and critically in response to the constantly shape-shifting theme, Amor.
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 : WRT 102
Prerequisite: CWL 202
DEC:      B
SBC:     HUM
3 credits

CWL 202 Introduction to Creative Writing:
S01 Mon/Wed/Fri, 8:00-8:53A (Class #54973),Alison King
S02 Mon/Wed 8:30-9:50 (Class #54974), Bryan Newell
S03 Mon/Wed/Fri, 10:00-10:53A (Class #54975), Lily Wann
S04 Mon/Wed/Fri 11:00-11:53A (Class #54976), Lily Wann
S05 Mon/Fri 1:00-2:20P (Class #54977), Sophie Rubenstein
S06 Tues/Thur, 8:30-9:50A (Class # 54978), HUM 1082, Zinnia Smith. Decisive Rebels: Autonomy and Lyricism in Creative Writing
S07 Tues/Thur, 8:30-9:50A (Class #54979), Nina Menchicchi
S08 Tues/Thur 10:00-11:20A (Class #54980), HUM 1082, Anthony DiPietro. Hands at Your Throat—Compelled to Keep Readin g
S09 Tues/Thur 10:00-11:20A (Class #54981), Natalie De Paz. The Art of Blah-Blah-Blah: Gleaning Meaning from the Innate. Have you ever thought about how language is just a bunch of blah-blah-blah? But, like, it means something! Do you have a running internal dialogue with your Self? Let’s talk about it. Let’s WRITE!
S10 Tues/Thur, 11:30A-12:50A (Class #54982), HUM 1082, Joanna Anderson.
With Eyes Open: Observation & Empathy  
S11 Tues/Thur, 4:00-5:20P (Class #54983), Marian Donahue
S12 Tues/Thur, 1:00-2:20P (Class #54984), Matthew Lehman. Trials and Errors
S13 Mon/Wed/Fri, 9:00-9:53A (Class #54985), Alison King
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
DEC:      D
3 credits

CWL 300 Forms of Creative Nonfiction
S01 Tues/Thurs, 10:00-11:20A (Class #54986), Caroline Deluca. Topic: Writing Life.
Through writing prompts and reading examples, we will consider what makes a powerful apology letter, a love letter, a eulogy, a toast, a personal statement, an essay that might actually effectively convey what you want to say to your kind of racist uncle on Facebook... We will look at how use of ethos, pathos, logos, memory and tone can help us compose the most commonplace and most important writing of our lives.
S02 Wednesdays, 4:00-6:50P (Class #54987), Neal Gabler, HUM 1082. Topic: Enlivening Nonfiction: The Personal Essay, Literary Nonfiction, and Biography
This course is designed to give students proficiency in three forms of non-fiction writing: the essay, literary non-fiction (with special emphasis on the work of Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, and Richard Ben Cramer), and biography (with special emphasis on Robert Caro). Students will read extensively in each of these forms, and write essays, long-form articles and biographical profiles.  Class sessions will be devoted to short lectures followed by rigorous analysis of assigned reading materials and of the students' own work.  Students will be graded on their attendance, their written work, including a final essay, article or profile, and on class participation.
Study of the genre through readings, discussion and regular submission of original work. Course explores methods for expressing the human condition made available through creative nonfiction, with examples from the tradition and exploration of the nature of fact, memory, subjectivity and perspective. Areas of study include Personal Essay, Memoir, Blogs and Alternate Forms, the Journal, Historical Inquiry and Social Commentary. Course may be repeated as the topic changes.
Prerequisite: CWL 202
DEC:      G
3 credits

CWL 305 Forms of Fiction

S01 Tues/Thur, 1:00-2:20P (Class #54988), Megan McAndrew.  Topic: Find Your Voice
This seminar, which is aimed at students working on a novel, memoir or short story collection, will explore the ways in which authors create distinctive voices. What makes a narrator compelling? How does the choice of first, second or third person affect tone? Why does point of view matter? Past or present tense? By analyzing selections from Amy Bloom, Francine Prone, James Hamilton-Paterson, Anthony Marra, Yelena Akhtiorskaya and others, and through critiques of students' work, we will address the fundamental challenge that faces all writers: The development of a narrative voice that will keep readers turning the page.  Note: This class has a heavy reading component.

S02 Thursdays, 4:00-6:50P (Class #54989), Amy Hempel. The Story you MUST write.
The approach to writing short fiction in this course will be based on a sense of urgency as much as the elements of a strong narrative.  That is, what is the story
you feel you MUST write?  What is your territory?  This question will be addressed along with discussion and examples of such key elements as character development,
voice, point of view, and more.  Students will be expected to submit two stories during the semester, and the instructor will provide contemporary stories that illustrate
some of the best ways to proceed in the short form.

S03 Mondays, 4:00-6:50P (Class #54990), Kaylie Jones.  A Toolbox for Creative Writing
This course is open to any student interested in creative writing (both memoir and fiction writing). Weekly writing prompts will be given, and your submissions (750 words max) will be discussed in class. We will be looking at the most important aspects of literary technique, such as building the dramatic arc of your story; starting your story in the right place; creating momentum through tension and conflict; how to best use dialog; how to use imagery to enhance the reader’s understanding of the scene; how to create an emotional response in your reader; how to conclude your story. Grading will be based on class participation and growth, and your willingness to revise according to your peers’ and my critiques. There will be no exam, but you will be responsible to submit a response to every prompt, and at least two revisions over the course of the semester.
S05 Wednesdays, 4:00-6:50P (Class #57848), Christian McLean
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
DEC:      G
3 credits

CWL 310 Forms of Poetry

S01 Mondays, 4:00-6:50P (Class #54992), HUM 1082, Natalie De Paz. Topic: Why are you copying me?  Why are you copying me?
Imitation flatters. Emulation educates! In this class, we will be reading and analyzing great contemporary poetry collections, discussing them together as a class, and then writing poems “in the spirit of” these great poets. We’ll also write reflections that discuss, in-depth, what exactly we learned from the greats and how we applied what we learned in crafting our original poems.

S02 Tues/Thur, 2:30P-3:50P (Class #54993), HUM 1082, Miranda Beeson. Topic: Humanity: Visible & Invisible
We will investigate that which can be seen, and the ineffable (that which cannot be seen),
in poems from 2000 BC to 2017 AD. Particular attention paid to poetic tools (metaphor, image, sound, line, form, juxtaposition) utilized in the creation of poems, including your very own. Building our awareness of that which is visible in poems (grammar, rhetoric syntax) will in turn, inform our understanding of what’s invisible (metaphor & meaning).

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, with examples from the tradition of such tools as metaphor and image, sound, line, form, and juxtaposition. Areas of study include Powers of Poetry, Bright Containers: Form & Meter, and Methods & Madness, a study of the philosophical vs. visionary strains in poetry. Course may be repeated as the topic changes.
Prerequisite: CWL 202
DEC:      G
3 credits

CWL 315 Forms of Scriptwriting
S01 Wednesdays, 4:00-6:50P (Class #54994), Soc Beh N118, Perry Blackshear, Screenwriting
S02 Mon/Fri, 1:00-2:20P (Class #54995), HUM 3014, Adam Armstrong, Screenwriting
S03 Tues/Thur, 5:30-6:50P (Class #54996), SocBeh N113, Michael Narkunski, Playwriting
Study of the genre through readings, screenings, discussion and regular submission of original writing for film or theater. Course explores methods for expressing the human condition made available through these collaborative media. Areas of study include Fundamentals of Dramatic Action, Visual Storytelling, Message Movies, Writing the One Act, and Extreme Events. Course may be repeated as the topic changes.
Prerequisite : CWL 202
DEC :     G
SBC :     HFA+, WRTD
3 credits


CWL 325 Forms of Science Writing

S01 Tuesdays, 4:00-6:50P (Class #54998), Lindsay Adkins. Topic: Poemetry.
Together, let’s explore poetic elements—in our own writing and in the work of renowned poets—through the lens of math. We’ll hone our writing practice through prompts, in-class activities, and take-home assignments—all with a mathematical flare. Each student will have multiple opportunities to receive feedback via classroom workshops and the professor. You will also attend a reading at the Simons Center for Geometry and Physics by the current science-inspired Poet-in-Residence. The class will culminate in a final short chapbook for each student, to be submitted to a literary magazine of their choice—based on where they think their work is most likely to be accepted.

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.
Prerequisite: 1 D.E.C. E and 1 D.E.C F or 1 SNW and 1 SBS; CWL 202
DEC:      H
3 credits


CWL 335 Topics in American Literature for Writers
S01 Tues/Thurs 11:30-12:50, Lou Ann Walker.  Topic: Ways of the Memoir
We could even retitle this course “Life: A Story.” In addition to reading new masters of the memoir form, you’ll be writing in order to discover themes in your life. We'll be touching on narrative subjects such as the reliability of memory, point of view, tackling the accuracy of dialogue, as well as how to portray other characters in your life—memoir is not just about the “I." You’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish during this semester.
A lecture for writers concentrating on one area of European literature, to be announced in the course schedule. The course may examine a historical trend in Western literature from multiple viewpoints, the rise of a specific genre, a social issue expressed in literature, or an issue in literary theory, as, for example, The Russian Novel; Classic Plots; Ibsen, Shaw and the Introduction of Feminism to Great Britain; Political Comedy on the Modern European Stage; and Reading Nature. The emphasis will be on scholarly analysis, but with engagement of student writers. Students may repeat this course as the topic changes.
Prerequisite: one D.E.C. B or HUM course
Advisory Prerequisite: CWL 190
DEC:      I
SBC:     GLO, HFA+
3 credits