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EGL 63 — An Introduction to Creative Writing: Facing the Blank Page

Quarter: Summer
Day(s): Mondays
Course Format: On-campus course
Duration: 6 weeks
Date(s): Jun 26—Jul 31
Time: 6:30—9:30 pm
Drop Deadline: Jul 9
Units: 2
Tuition: $475
Instructor(s): Matthew Siegel
Limit: 21
On-campus course
6:30—9:30 pm
Jun 26—Jul 31
6 weeks
Drop By
Jul 9
2 Units
Matthew Siegel
This course is designed to feed your ambition and enthusiasm, the parts of you that insist on seeing (and deserve to see) the blank page not as an empty well, but as a well-spring of opportunity. We will explore together how to revel in the possibility of new writing, spilling our black and blue ink across the clean, blank page. Student writers will examine and experiment with possibilities in fiction, poetry, personal essay, and forms that do not fit into any particular genre. Our course will remain very flexible to accommodate the needs of any writer looking to be inspired and to produce. We will read diverse texts on the creative process from writers including Mark Doty, Cheryl Strayed, Junot Díaz, Lorrie Moore, Kim Addonizio, Rainer Maria Rilke, and many more. Students will write short pieces as well as a longer piece to be workshopped. In order to facilitate lots of writing, students will engage with writing prompts and exercises designed to help generate fresh new work, including writing from photographs and mementos and responding to other forms of art such as modern dance and music. By the end of the course, students will have come to define a personal writing practice that nourishes their creative urges, passions, and intellect.

Matthew Siegel, Former Stegner Fellow, Stanford

Matthew Siegel is the author of Blood Work, winner of the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry. Blood Work was also a finalist for The Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection by the Forward Arts Foundation in the UK. Siegel’s poems and essays have appeared in The Guardian, Indiana Review, Mid-American Review, Ninth Letter, The Rumpus, Salt Hill, Southern Humanities Review, The Tusculum Review, Washington Square Review, and elsewhere. Siegel received an MFA from the University of Houston. He teaches writing at San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet (ISBN 0393310396)
(Required) Maggie Nelson, Bluets (ISBN 1933517409)
(Required) Jericho Brown, Please (ISBN 1930974795)
(Required) Lorrie Moore, Self-Help (ISBN 0307277291)
(Required) Jhumpa Lahiri, Interpreter of Maladies (ISBN 039592720X)
(Required) Lex Williford (ed), Touchstone Anthology of Contemporary Creative Nonfiction (ISBN 1416531742)