English 100NF - Spring, 2021

Creative Writing: Nonfiction

Class Information

Instructor: Houston, Pam
Time: TR 3:10-4:30


Reading/Class Schedule for 100 NF, Spring 2021
T/R, 3:10-4:30, on Zoom
Instructor: Pam Houston
Office Hours: T/R 1:30-3:00

Expanded Course Description:
In this class we will explore several subgenres that exist within the extremely broad and unfortunately named category of nonfiction: the lyric essay, the memoir, and political and environmental journalism in particular. We will talk about how to make a beautiful essay as opposed to, say, a beautiful story or poem, and how we decide what material should take which form. We will talk about what we call "truth" in these complex political times, and how it figures into this genre we define by its negative. As in any class in artistic writing, there will be a great deal of focus on metaphor, lyricism, form and structure. We will discuss artistic choices available to the essayist such as point of view, tense, narrative stance, tone, scene versus summary, dialogue, beginnings and endings, and voice. Each student will be expected to turn in two new essays during the course of the quarter and turn in either a revision or a new essay at the semester's end. There will be reading assignments throughout the quarter and weekly writing exercises early on that will give way to workshop after a few weeks.


Students will be graded on the quality of the writing assignments and the revision they turn in, as well as on their participation in class discussion of both student work and the assigned reading material.


Several on line essays by Yuknavitch, Jensen, Akbar, Dungy and others, Links will be provided
Aftershocks, Nadia Owusu
How We Fight For Our Lives, Saeed Jones