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EGL 107 — Writing Through Struggle

Quarter: Winter
Day(s): Thursdays
Course Format: On-campus
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Jan 17—Mar 21
Time: 6:30—9:20 pm
Drop Deadline: Jan 30
Units: 3
Tuition: $665
Instructor(s): Caroline Goodwin
Limit: 21
Status: Open
6:30—9:20 pm
Jan 17—Mar 21
10 weeks
Drop By
Jan 30
3 Units
Caroline Goodwin
In a 2013 New Yorker interview, the memoirist Sonali Deraniyagala claimed that “writing is a much better quality of agony than trying to forget.” In other words, we can choose to take our pain and create meaning through language and community, or we can box it up and leave it on the shelf. It’s up to us. Whether we are stressed by the current political climate or we’ve experienced an individual difficulty or loss, the simple act of writing through struggle can bring purpose and satisfaction. In this course, we will read brief samples of literary art, from essays to short stories to contemporary poems. As we read, we will be mindful of how each writer has brought their own life to the page. Students will set a goal of freewriting to a prompt for a minimum of thirty minutes daily during the week. These prompts will challenge you to delve into your own experiences, exploring and expanding your personal truth into the three major genres of writing: creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. During the first half of the course, we will work in small groups and then move to the workshop process with the entire class. Students will complete the course with a preliminary manuscript and a clear idea of future steps for their work.

Caroline Goodwin, Former Stegner Fellow, Stanford

Caroline Goodwin’s poems and essays have been published in the New Republic, Junction Box, Puerto del Sol, PRISM international, and elsewhere. She is the author of the poetry collections Text Me, Ishmael; Trapline; Peregrine; and The Paper Tree. From 2014 to 2016, she served as San Mateo County’s first Poet Laureate. She received an MFA from the University of British Columbia.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Lisa Dale Norton, Shimmering Images (ISBN 978-0312382926)
(Required) Sonali Deraniyagala, Wave (ISBN 978-0345804310)
(Required) Kate Inglis, Notes for the Everlost: A Field Guide to Grief (ISBN 978-1611805505)