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MFA Registration Information FA QTR 17

The Pre-Registration Process for FA QTR 17 begins August 7. Registration begins August 14. Current students must post their registration response in the MFA Students group in Canvas. New students should email their MFA Advisor with their registration response. Beth Mead is the MFA Advisor for students whose last names begin with A-L; Gillian Parrish is the MFA Advisor for M-Z.

MFA Class Schedule & Registration Info FA QTR 17

CLASS SCHEDULE & COURSE INFO:

To view course descriptions, class types, and textbook info, click on the arrow to the right of each class title below. Click the arrow again to collapse class info.

Online classes begin October 2; online first assignment info, preview date, and requirements can be viewed here. The on-campus cluster begins September 27; the cluster first assignment can be viewed here and in the class listing below.

Online classes are 3 credit hours each; the On-Campus Cluster is 9 credit hours. At least 6 credit hours are required for financial aid/student loan eligibility. 

Read the Registration Info Email and all linked info before posting your registration response in Canvas. Contact your MFA Advisor with any questions. 

Editorial Assistant Opportunity for Issue 8 of The Lindenwood Review

IMF 51400 - Fundamentals of Writing for the MFA - Patricia Feeney

Class Type: Fundamentals/Mechanics + Teacher Prep

Course Description: Students in this course study and practice fundamental writing skills and the mechanics of writing, including grammar basics, common punctuation mistakes, sentence-level editing, and MLA format. Along with weekly assignments, students will write one formal academic essay. Assignments are structured to be useful for personal skill-building as well as for preparation to teach freshman-level composition and related introductory writing classes at the college level.

Textbook: 

IMF 51400

Start Date, Preview Date, First Assignment, & Requirements

IMF 54108 - Publishing Creative Writing - Nicole McInnes

Class Type: A "How-To" course focused on the practicalities of the business of being published

Course Description: How do you find a literary agent? How does a manuscript get sold? What are the differences between large and small publishing houses? How do you navigate the complex world of publishing contracts? What happens before and after your book hits the shelves? We’ll explore these questions and a host of others during our time in Publishing Creative Writing. Open to writers in all genres and categories (whether your work is currently ready for submission to agents and editors or not), this course focuses on all stages of the publishing process—from polishing, formatting and categorizing your work to crafting the query letter to working with agents and editors and navigating the psychological challenges of pursuing and achieving publication.

Textbook: 

IMF 54108

Start Date, Preview Date, First Assignment, & Requirements

IMF 52801 - Prose Poetry - Kelli Allen

Start Date, Preview Date, First Assignment, & Requirements

Class Type: Workshop

Course Description: Fiction writers rejoice! Poets get ready to break rules. It’s time to play with prose poetry! Line breaks? No, Ma’am. Meter? No, sorry, Sir. Stanzas and couplets and tercets? Not here, Friends. This course will offer the fiction writer, the poet, and the nonfiction writer equal opportunity to explore one of literature’s great oddities, and most vital prose conventions—the prose poem. Prose poetry is a room wherein all genres meet, sit down and whisper, gossip, and expose the secrets only visible when the writers are drunk with possibility and desire for Invention! In writing prose poems you will keep company with Rilke, Borges, Paz, Kafka, and Forche. The form is wild, its hair a tangled mass of image and sentence, story and character. It plants its hooves in narrative and bucks convention when it snorts metaphor into the cold morning air. In this course we will read critical essays dissecting the craft and building of these poetic beasties, and we will create and workshop our own prose-poem animals. If you write stories, this course is for you. If you write poems, this course is for you. If you live in the world as a writer, this course is for you.

Textbook: 

IMF52801

Start Date, Preview Date, First Assignment, & Requirements

IMF 52706 - Asian Poetry - Anothai Kaewkaen

Class Type: Literature & Workshop

Course Description: 

Moon in the Eastern Chamber: Survey & Workshop of Asian Poetries

Since the turn of the last century, movements in American poetry have often looked East for inspiration. Pound developed his Imagist aesthetic through working with classical Chinese poems; his translations had an influence on American free verse for decades to come. Elliot referenced Sanskrit hymns in The Wasteland, and Merwyn’s poetry continues to be informed by Eastern authors.

In this course, we will survey works from three classical Asian traditions—Chinese, Japanese, and Thai—to understand the cultural contexts they come from, their concerns and conventions, their structures and symbolism. We’ll also read contemporary English-language poetry that engages these traditions and workshop pieces modeled on their aesthetics as well.

Because our readings will be in translation, we will also engage with the art of literary translation, becoming conscious of the types of decisions that go into translating a poem, becoming critical readers of alternate translations, and working out of trots to create translations of poems ourselves. Writers of lyric essays and flash nonfiction will also find kindred spirits in the writers of haibun and pillow books even as they explore the verse-forms in this class.

Textbooks: 

Anothai, Noh
Poems from the Buddha’s Footprint
Singing Bone Press, 2016
ISBN 0933439121

Hirschfield, Jane & Aratani, Mariko
The Ink Dark Moon: Love Poems by Ono no Komachi and Izumi Shikibu, Women of the Ancient Court of Japan
Vintage Classics, 1990
ISBN 0679729585

Roripaugh, Lee Ann
On the Cusp of a Dangerous Year
Southern Illinois University Press, 2009
ISBN 0809329298

Start Date, Preview Date, First Assignment, & Requirements

IMF 56300 - Classic Foundational Poetry - Ryan Smith

Class Type: Literature

Course Description: This course will explore the poetry and poetics leading up to the 20th Century which form the foundation of present-day poetic schools, modes, and styles. The course will include poems and essays by poets including Sir Philip Sydney, Phyllis Wheatley, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Emily Dickinson. Supplementary materials (those not appearing in the textbook) will consist of translations of pre-20th century poetry not written in English, including especially comparisons of pre-modern poetry translations by significant contemporary poets such as John Ashbery, Mary Jo Bang, and Anne Carson.

Textbook: 

IMF 56300

Start Date, Preview Date, First Assignment, & Requirements

IMF 52104 - Focused Poetry Workshop: Poetry Bootcamp - Eve Jones

Class Type: Workshop

Course Description: Have you ever asked where a particular poem came from? Was its genesis obvious, such as from a dream the night before, or a life-altering event, or an unexpectedly beautiful day? Or did you finish the poem and scratch your head in wonder. How on earth did this thing come out of me?

This class is primarily a workshop of poems you’ll write this term, but it’s also a study of the creative process. How did that thing come out of you? This class asks a lot of you, writer. It asks that you put yourself through a kind of literary boot camp, based entirely on writing prompts and suggestions that otherwise may not have occurred to you. It asks that you become aware of your creative process while you are writing. Ultimately, this class asks that you step out of the familiar place you have created for yourself and see your poetry – all poetry, perhaps – in new and exciting ways. It will test your limits. You won’t enjoy every prompt, and you may find yourself highly resistant to some. That’s okay. The age-old adage remains true even in this classroom: you can’t fully know and embrace something until you’ve let it go, even just a bit. The major goal for you this term is this: by letting go of the familiar, you will gain greater understanding of, appreciation for, and authentic intimacy with your own work.

No Textbook is required. 

Start Date, Preview Date, First Assignment, & Requirements

IMF 51605 - Breaking the Fourth Wall - Eve Jones

Start Date, Preview Date, First Assignment, & Requirements

Class Type: Literature & Craft

Course Description: Breaking the Fourth Wall in Literature, Film, and Art: There is something particularly unnerving about an actor who, in the middle of a scene, looks straight at the camera and addresses us, the viewers. In art (film, stage, literature, visual art) we assume the existence of a fourth wall, a barrier between the action and lives of the characters/objects and the audience. Sometimes, however, that barrier is intriguingly porous, and the audience is invited in, as complicit participant, or the characters must confront a self-awareness as characters in a narrative they do not control. In this course, we will examine various ways the fourth wall can be broken. In the film Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Ferris repeatedly and wryly addresses the viewer. The challenging Italo Calvino book If On a Winter's Night a Traveler comprises someone reading a book entitled If On a Winter's Night a Traveler.Performance artist Marina Abramović has invited visitors to sit with her, silently, in the middle of the gallery, demonstrating how organic art can be. We'll study multi-genre examples of this interesting creative occurrence, and consider its purpose and meaning.

Textbooks: 

IMF 51605

Start Date, Preview Date, First Assignment, & Requirements

IMF 54304 - Classic Sci-Fi/Horror by Women Writers - Ted Morrissey

Class Type: Literature

Course Description: This course was inspired by the anthology which is the course’s textbook. The genres of horror and science fiction are often dismissed as less-than-literary. However, this course will focus on literature that is as thought-provoking as it is macabre, as finely crafted as it is eerie. Because we are writers, we will pay special attention to these writers’ techniques as they skillfully blend literary sophistication with sensational plots and eccentric characters. The range of writers will also allow students to expand their literary knowledge by reading lesser-known works by well-known writers such as Mary W. Shelley, Edith Wharton, and Virginia Woolf, and also writers whose fame has faded while their contributions remain significant, like E. Nesbit, Margaret Oliphant, and May Sinclair. Lastly, because all of the writers are female, we will have an opportunity to consider women writers within their historical contexts, from the early Victorian Era into the Jazz Age.

Textbook: 

IMF 54304

Start Date, Preview Date, First Assignment, & Requirements

IMF 53500 - Fiction Writing Workshop - Tony D'Souza

Class Type: Workshop

Course Description: 

The blank page...what can be more terrifying for a writer? We all know the feeling of starting something new, of not knowing exactly where it is going to go. Isn't it nice to remember that every great work of literature began that same way?

In this workshop-driven fiction writing course, we will discuss process, technique tips, and share with one another what we do when we're staring at a blank page. Then we'll give each other feedback once we've begun to fill a few of them. This course is open to all styles of fiction, from literary, to speculative, to fast-paced genre. We'll read great short stories from Rick Moody, Vladimir Nabokov, Zora Neale Hurston and others. Ultimately, we want to show our fiction to the world and will work on writing query letters and figure out how to pitch to agents. It all starts the same way, so let's begin.

No Textbook is required.

Start Date, Preview Date, First Assignment, & Requirements

IMF 55100 - Fiction Craft Foundations - Christopher Candice

Class Type: Craft

Course Description: This course is an in-depth study of foundational craft elements for writing fiction. Topics include: characterization, point-of-view, plot/structure/narrative, style, and voice. Includes theory and application through creative writing exercises, focused discussions of applicable short stories, and two full-length creative projects. Fulfills foundations class requirement for students declaring a Fiction emphasis for the MFA in Writing degree.

Textbook: 

IMF55100

Start Date, Preview Date, First Assignment, & Requirements

IMF 53600 - Fundamentals of Contemporary Fiction - Wm Anthony Connolly

Class Type: Craft 

Course Description: 

It is hard to describe. I have an idea of the beginning. I write the first line and continue to the last. I correct a great deal, work hard and write several drafts, but I never question the finished work. – Alain Robbe-Grillet

Producing fiction, let alone defining its process, can be difficult. There are so many paths to the top of that mountain. But what is less shrouded in mystery is the equipment a writer needs – Stephen King famously calls them tools for the toolbox.

This course provides the tools that all writers need to get the words on the page. Acquiring these tools means exploring the expansive boundaries and the foundational principles of current long and short prose fiction in order to prepare writers for today’s art form.

Fundamentals include:

  • How to establish a strong and regular writing practice
  • Exploring the principles of fiction
  • Mastering the power of details
  • Developing rich characters
  • Discovering the tricks of plotting
  • Creating effective dialogue
  • Structuring prose for maximum effect
  • Establishing and using point of view
  • Serving to launch the writer out into the larger community of fellow writers and readers

And throughout all of this exploring, developing, and establishing – writing of course; and remember, “you don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great,” wrote Joe Saba.

So let’s start.

Textbook: 

IMF 53600

Start Date, Preview Date, First Assignment, & Requirements

IMF 51602 - Fiction Craft & Workshop - David Hollingsworth

Class Type: Craft & Workshop

Course Description: This course is focused on workshopping original pieces of fiction. It is also an exploration of the intricacies of fiction writing, from character and plot to effective description and dialogue. The techniques explored in class can help writers to develop work that is complete in all areas, firm in foundation, and necessarily concise. Students will submit a story for workshop and will be expected to provide constructive and careful feedback for others.

Textbook: 

IMF 51602

Start Date, Preview Date, First Assignment, & Requirements

IMF 52307 - Memoir Chapter Workshop - Kali VanBaale

Class Type: Workshop

Course Description: This online workshop will focus exclusively on the opening chapters--approximately 30 pages--of a memoir-in-progress. The first 20-30 pages of a book are critical: they entice the reader to keep reading, set up the story, and are typically the sample pages agents and editors read to determine if they want to see more.

Each student will submit 12-15 pages in two workshop sessions to receive rigorous feedback from peers and the instructor. Students will also read and respond to 3-4 peer submissions per week. We will discuss several craft elements specific to early memoir chapters, such as point of entry to the story, first lines, establishing focus and themes, early voice and setting development, and titles.

There will also be writing and reading assignments between workshop sessions, and recommended reading examples each week.

This workshop can be demanding, but the goal is for each student to finish the course with several polished opening chapters of a memoir-in-progress, and a strong plan for the overall memoir project.

No Textbook is required.

Start Date, Preview Date, First Assignment, & Requirements

IMF 55601 - The Prose Collection (Personal Essays): David Sedaris - Lisa Haag

Class Type: Literature

Course Description: This Prose Collection class will focus on two collections by David Sedaris, When You Are Engulfed in Flames and Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim. We will discuss and analyze each piece from a writer’s perspective, as well as addressing cohesiveness and the ordering of pieces in a collection. Students will also consider how their observations and insights can be applied to their own writing and a future collection. The Prose Collection is a literature/craft class; there is no workshop component.

Textbooks: 

IMF 55601

Start Date, Preview Date, First Assignment, & Requirements

IMF 58200 - Contemporary Foundational Literature: Creative Nonfiction - Lisa Haag

Class Type: Literature

Course Description: This Classic Foundational Literature class will focus on pieces contained in The Art of the Personal Essay: An Anthology from the Classical Era to the Present. We will discuss and analyze each piece from a literary analysis perspective, from a writer's perspective, through critical thinking, and through reader response. There is no workshop component in this literature class; coursework will consist of reading the assigned selections, analyzing and discussing them as a class, responding to instructor lecture notes, and writing two reflective essays. Students will also consider how their observations and insights can be applied to their own writing.

Textbook: 

IMF58200

Start Date, Preview Date, First Assignment, & Requirements

IMF 54600 - The Personal Essay - Andrew Pryor

Class Type: Craft & Workshop

Course Description: This course will focus on the wellspring of memory and reflection and the employment of narrative in creative nonfiction. Students will discuss a variety of personal essays, noting the use of voice, character development, sense of place and time, and narrative arc, and will write their own creative nonfiction pieces for workshop.

Textbook: 

IMF 54600

Start Date, Preview Date, First Assignment, & Requirements

IMF 54302 - The Graphic Novel as Memoir - Zachary Vickers

Class Type: Literature

Course Description: In this course, we will take an introductory look at a unique form of literature: the graphic novel. Using three contemporary examples (specifically graphic memoir), we will examine the emotional weight of text and image--both separately and together--discuss how the text-image dynamic creates stunning, evocative, poignant, and beautiful renditions of the human experience, and debate how this hybrid form can or cannot serve as an elevated medium versus traditional prose or imagery.

Textbook: 

IMF 54302

Start Date, Preview Date, First Assignment, & Requirements

On-Campus Cluster: Creative Writing for the MFA: Life-Forms - Gillian Parrish

Meets Wednesdays 6-10pm in LUCC 109

Start Date: Wed. September 27

Class Type: Workshop, Craft, & Literature (9 credit hours)

Course Description: Life-Forms: The Poetics of Memoir: Developed with creative-nonfiction and fiction writers in mind, this cluster will include a range of poetic works—some in prose by fiction and nonfiction writers, some in free-verse poem lines—all selected to expand our range of formal possibilities and hone our eyes and ears as writers. Come ready for lively conversations on our readings, which will inspire our own writing as we try out new frames, new shapes and ways of bringing our lives (or the lives of our characters) to the page. Our creative work will unfold in an encouraging learning community that will include virtual visits with some of our books’ authors who will offer insights into the creative processes behind their finished work.

Textbooks: 

IMF 515 518 580

FIRST ASSIGNMENT

Due in class (typed) Wednesday 9/27:

Our readings are chosen to expand our choices as writers, introducing us to new possibilities for getting the world on the page. For this first assignment, Bill Roorbach’s book will provide food for thought on scenemaking and the pdf of brief excerpts will provide kickstarts for our writing exercise for this week.

Reading Assignment:
Please read through Chapter 3, “Scenemaking,”of Writing Life Stories by Bill Roorbach, making note of points that interest you. Note page 48’s discussion of the sensory details that create a scene. (You can just skim through the exercises, as we will be doing our own exercises, but do note his idea of “cracking open” parts of our drafts that are abstract and still emerging.)

Please print and read the linked pdf, which contains brief excerpts from various writers of fiction and flash fiction/prose poetry whose characters are looking back at their lives. (The excerpts will be starred.)

Please do the reading first, as it will get you into the sensory mode of scene-making for the writing assignment that you will bring to our first class.

Come ready to talk about the reading together—using Roorbach as a way into thinking about scene building. It will be good for all of us to hear what phrases you liked—the more eyes and voices the more we learn together.

Please read the pdf of excerpts:
These selected readings offer scenes that express a vivid memory in which the writer brings our senses alive in that place, in that moment—moments of childhood memories, of teenage memories of life in a tough neighborhood, of a first memory, of a memory of being a young soldier.
-Jeannette Winterson p. 25-26 childhood memory of porridge (fiction)
-Julie Otsuka p. 14 child in kimono (fiction)
-Jayne Anne Phillips “Pretty” (prose poem/flash fiction)
-Kathryn Davis p. 1-2
-Sesshu Foster p. 70 & p. 101 (prose poem/flash fiction)
-Bruce Weigl three flash memories/prose poems p. 273

Writing Assignment:
The first part of this assignment is a list. Then, selecting one of the items on the list, please write 1-2 pages for this assignment.

Be sure to bring a copy to class, as we will share aloud as a way of getting to know each other.

Take a few moments to think back to books that you have loved at various times in your life. Perhaps jot a list of these beloved books (and maybe the age you were then, if that helps bring the scene to life for you). Make note of a place you remember reading the book.

Example of this list:
• Reading A Wrinkle in Time in the back of the tan stationwagon, that smelled like vinyl in the sun, feet pressed against the back door, dad yelling to “Look! Look!” pointing frantically at the snow-capped mountains, “We’ve come all this way—it’s the damned Alps! It’s the damned Alps!”
• Reading Catch-22 in my car in the high-school parking lot, the old car smelling like cigarette ash and spilled coffee, wanting to stay out there all day, reading
• Reading Whitman for the first time in a small park after a long illness, a June day, kids playing basketball, the ring of the hoop, the dandelions in the grass, the cicadas singing.

Pick one memory.

Describe that moment in that place, vividly bringing to life that scene of you there reading that book—the sensations, the textures, the smells, the colors, the angles of light, the movement of things around you.

What it was like to be there in that physical space? What it was like to be in that book in that place?

And—keeping us in that moment and scene—deepen the scene by sharing too what it meant to be in that book in that time of your life. How did that book entwine with your life then? How did the book’s world reflect your world with your wants and worries and wishes? Maybe this book was like a light bringing your own life into focus, maybe it comforting like a good bowl of soup, or like a door or a trapdoor that opened up new worlds. (Find your own metaphor if you would like. Maybe you’ll find an image in the book itself, Whitman’s hopeful green grass, for instance. No pressure on this, just see what comes…)

Class Flier

Video by Gillian Parrish about the fall cluster and the on-campus MFA experience

Lindenwood University
209 S. Kingshighway
St. Charles, MO 63301