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Haverford College
Department of English


Concentration in Creative Writing

The Creative Writing Concentration entails the taking of two courses in creative writing (only one of which is counted toward the major) and the writing of a senior thesis composed of an original creative text (usually poetry, fiction or drama) and a rigorous critical introduction. Students interested in completing the Concentration will apply for acceptance in the Spring semester of their Junior year by submitting a portfolio of creative work to the department Chair by March 2. Each portfolio will be read closely by the departmental Concentration Committee, and its author will be granted admission to the Concentration if the committee feels that the work suggests his/her readiness to generate a substantial literary project.

291 Poetry Writing: A Practical Workshop HU
Students will write a poem a week, usually following an assignment that focuses on a particular strategy or form, from dramatic monologues to prose poems to sonnets. Students will present their work for discussion and friendly critique by the workshop, and will be encouraged to revise their work over the semester. There will be some in-class writing exercises but most writing will be done outside of class. Light reading assignments will include modern and contemporary as well as older poetry. There will also be a mini-session on the business of poetry. Prerequisite: Writing sample required for consideration.

292 Poetry Writing II- Contemporary Voices HU
In this course, which is intended for both experienced and beginning writers, students will write a poem a week, often focusing on a specific strategy or form. The class will also read and discuss six books of variedstyles and subject matters by contemporary poets: James Wright s The Branch Will Not Break, W.S. Merwin’s “The Rain in the Trees,” Louise Gluck's “Wild Iris,” Alice Notley’s “Mysteries of Small Houses,” John Ashbery’s “Houseboat Days,” and James Tate’s “Shroud of the Gnome”. Prerequisite: Writing sample required for consideration.

293 Fiction Writing: From the Conventional to the Experimental HU
This course invites students to read and write across a spectrum, starting with recognizably conventional short stories and heading into so-called "experimental" territory. We'll look at how traditional modes of story-telling have been both honored and disrupted by twentieth-century writers. Readings will feature such authors as Martin Amis, John Barth, Jorge Luis Borges, Italo Calvino, Robert Coover, Lorrie Moore, Tillie Olsen, and H.G. Wells. Students will perform their own experiments with plot structures, narrative stances, and linguistic strategies through the fashioning of two short-short pieces and two longer stories. Prerequisite: Writing sample required for consideration.

294 Fiction Writing HU
This course invites students to explore how human subjectivity is evoked in fiction. We ll read numerous short stories, as well as provocative essays on neuropsychology by such authors as William James and Oliver Sacks. Students will experiment with strategies for depicting mindscape in two short-short pieces and two longer stories. Enrollment limited to 15. Prerequisite: Writing sample required for consideration.