Spring 623 syllabus PDF



Unit 1: TIME

Tuesday, February 2nd      
Introduction to each other and course
Read: Syllabus, excerpt from Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, post to the blog with an excerpt from your favorite creative nonfiction for discussion

Thursday, February 4th
Continue introductions, class schedule
Reading discussion: Observation (& broccoli), favorite readings
Intro. to Winter short
Read: “The Pond in Winter” by HD Thoreau, “Winter” by Larry Sill, “Good Use for Bad Weather” by Donald Hall, & “Snow” by Jon Haines
Dress warm for Tuesday!

Tuesday, February 9th      
Reading discussion: descriptive writing & sensory details
Writing outside
Share writing outside exercise, discuss details
Watch: Treeline, directed by Jordan Manley, read “Poems about Trees” by K. Silem Mohammad,
(& “Hermann Hesse on What Trees Teach Us About Belonging and Life”), blog post

Thursday, February 11th     
Winter short due (Friday)
Reading discussion: form/style. film, deconstruction & generated texts
Make a valentine: generated poems & letters
Introduce Timeline
Read: “Of Memoir & Memory” by Robert Atwan & excerpt from Becoming by Michelle Obama

Tuesday, February 16th     
Reading discussion: memoir & memory
In-class work on essays            
Read: excerpts from The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr & Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson, blog post

Thursday, February 18th     
Reading discussion: reconstructing memory  
Read & watch: “Adventures in Depression” by Allie Brosh & excerpt from How to Ruin Everything by George Watsky (& Ted Talk: Lucky)

Tuesday, February 23rd   
Reading discussion: multimodal memoir
In-class work on essays
Rough draft for Thursday
Optional conferences
Read & watch: “My Father, Out to Sea” by Jaed Coffin & Ted Talk: "How long does it take to become an American?", blog post

Thursday, February 25th    
Reading discussion: the medium for the message
Workshop rough draft/revisions
Publishing timelines to blog
Listen: Podcast: “Bars, Blood, & Boxing in Southeast Alaska”

Tuesday, March 2nd
Timeline due (post to blog)
Sound & voices
Introduction to audio essays & technology
Listen & read: War of the Worlds by Orson Welles & “The ‘War of the Worlds’ Radio Broadcast was a Magnificent Fluke” by A. Brad Schwartz & Audacity tutorial

Thursday, March 4th       
Reading discussion: memoir, identity & voice
Interview activity/practice audacity
Listen: The Moth Playlist: “Stranger than Fiction”

Tuesday, March 9th
Reading discussion: meaningful… & funny?
Adding sound effects, music
In-class work on drafts
Listen: Podcast, Storycorps or This I Believe(s) of your choice, blog post

Thursday, March 11th
Reading discussion: audio & emotion
Sign up for conferences
Read: excerpts from And Here’s the Kicker (TBA), “How to Write Better using Humor” by Leigh Anne Jasheway & “7 Ways to Become a Master Humor Writer When You Don’t Think You Have a Funnybone” by Sarah Cy

Tuesday, March 16th
Reading discussion: Humor & voice
Work on audio essays
Read & listen: Excerpt from Wow, No Thank You: “We Almost Got a Fucking Dog” by Samantha Irby &“The Loft’s Wordplay: Samantha Irby reads ‘Ghost’”

Thursday, March 18th
Workshop audio essays/revision
Read & listen: interview with Samantha Irby & blog: "Bitches Gotta Eat"