top of page



You will notice that there are days and entire weeks with no specified activities, assignments, or homework.  I have intentionally left these calendar slots blank to leave us room to respond to specific learning needs. Unless otherwise specified, class DOES meet on days that nothing is on the calendar.


Readings listed below that are not in your textbook are linked. Just click and read.


Unit 1: Poetry*********************************************
Week 1: Introduction

Reading: CW 1-17; Lamott 1-32; “The Rider” and “Dickhead

Tuesday: Review of syllabus and course policies. What is creative writing? What is poetry?

Thursday: Discuss reading. Sensory elements exercise. In-class writing exercise.*


Week 2: Generate

Reading: CW 20-50; “Slow Dance” and “Heaven

Tuesday: Read sensory poems aloud. Seed assignment: Write a short poem about just ONE of the sensory items that we listed in class.* Write a short poem that is an ode or love poem to someone or something unexpected.*

Thursday: Group poetry exercise (couplets*). Seed assignment: Take one of the couplets that we wrote in class and respond to it—not with poetry, just plain prose. Write a single paragraph*.

Week 3: Generate

Reading: CW 50-63 (skim; I don’t expect you to memorize these or work with form). “Blue Line Incident” and “Roma”; Lamott 33-39

Tuesday: Discuss sound qualities, rhythm, and voice. Voice and dialogue exercise. Seed assignment: Write a short exchange between two people, a conversation like the ones in “Blue Line” and “Roma.”*

Thursday: In-class bdelygmia exercise. Assignment: Look through your seed pile and find something you’d like to develop. Your seed pile at this point should contain all of the exercises listed above with asterisks. Write two short poems.


Week 4: Workshop

Reading: "How to Read a Poem" and "What is Workshop"

Tuesday: Poem 1

Thursday: Poem 2: Assignment: Polish your poems for submission. Specifications: Submit your two poems in a double pocket folder. Include the original seed assignment for each one and any earlier revisions. Include a letter of transmittal.


Unit 2: Fiction********************************************
Week 5

Reading: "Forever Overhead,"  "Near Taurus," and "Escape from Spiderhead"

Elements of Fiction Cheat Sheet

Tuesday: Poetry due (2 poems). Bonus! Listen to Garrison Keillor read Carrie Fountain's poem "Heaven" on The Writer's Almanac.



Week 6




Week 7




Week 8

Tuesday: In-class writing exercise Build-a-story.


Week 9:

Tuesday: Hit-Man exercise. Fiction assigned. Please print three copies of this evaluative rubric and bring them to class along with three copies of your fiction piece for peer editing on Thursday.

Thursday:Peer editing for fiction.


Week 10: Spring Break



Unit 3: Creative Non-Fiction*****************************
Week 11

Reading: "Grammar Lessons: The Subjunctive Mood"

Tuesday: Short story due

Thursday: Elements of Voice Exercise



Week 12

Reading: "The Pain Scale"    and "What is Creative Non-fiction?"


Thursday: Easter break--class does not meet.


Week 13

Reading:  "The American Male at Age Ten"

Tuesday: Read creative non-fiction exercises aloud. Assignment: choose your Creative Non-Fiction piece for peer editing. Bring four clean copies to class on Thursday along with four copies of the evaluative rubric that we used for fiction (see link from week 9).

Thursday: Peer editing.


Unit 4: Final Projects**************************************
Week 14

Tuesday: Essays due (5 pages)



Week 15






Week 16

Tuesday: Bring an electronic copy of your favorite poem to class. We will work on poetry bookmarks to hand out to people for National Poem in your Pocket Day. Bonus: As part of SEU's community of writers, we will use the back side of our bookmarks to invite people to the release party for Sorin Oak and Arete.

Thursday: Final portfolios due

**It's National Poem in your Pocket Day! Bring a stack of copies of your favorite poem to give as gifts to surprised passersby. We will leave class early to go to the first part of the celebration at the Sorin Oak where people will be reading poetry aloud. You can read your own poetry or something that you just really like. SEU's poet in residence, Carrie Fountain, will be there.***



Finals Week: There is no final for this class



bottom of page