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Great Writers, Great Readings: Colson Whitehead, Natasha Trethewey, John McPhee, Jhumpa Lahiri, Karen Russell, Susan Orlean, Claudia Rankine, Pamela Paul, Jeffrey K. Eugenides, Amy Herzog, Philip Levine, Quiara Alegría Hudes, Annie Baker, Colum McCann, Vivian Gornick,  Alice McDermott, David Lindsay-Abaire, Stephen Dunn, Amy Hempel, Christopher Durang, Jonathan Letham, Lynn Nottage, Terrance Hayes, Richard Greenberg, Sarah Ruhl, Haruki Murakami, Donald Margulies, Craig Lucas, Jonathan Franzen...

SUMMER/FALL 2020

ENGLISH and CREATIVE WRITING GRADUATE COURSES

MFA Degree Requirements: The creative writing MFA curriculum is 36 credits or 12 3-credit courses:
4 courses in (repeatable) CRWR workshops
1 course in a CRWR craft course
1 course in CRWR elective: workshop or craft
3 courses in literature: ENGL 200-level program elective,
1 course in craft, literature, or professional seminar, as offered
2 courses in CRWR 303 MFA Project in a student’s final two terms

Should you have questions about course offerings or degree requirements, please consult with your MFA faculty advisor, the MFA Director or the English Department Chairperson.

MFA Director
Miguel-Angel Zapata
Office: Calkins Hall 326
Phone: (516) 463-4766
Email: miguel-angel.zapata[at]hofstra.edu

English Department Chairperson
Karyn Valerius
Office: 201 Mason Hall
Phone: (516) 463-5454
Email: karyn.m.valerius[at]hofstra.edu

SUMMER SESSION ll (25 JUNE – 23 JULY)

ENGL 203 A APPROACHES TO ENGLISH GRAMMAR                                            MW 6:00-8:40PM

Prof. L. Dresner

This class will explore the theory and practice of various approaches that use grammatical terms and concepts to improve writing. We will examine the history of grammar and grammar instruction, review pertinent research, and discuss the political and professional issues associated with this topic. There will be two exams and two writing projects: a series of short papers applying theory to practice, and a 15-page research paper on an aspect of grammar of your own choosing. You will also give a 15-minute oral presentation based on your research and paper. Required texts: The Writer's Options, Teaching Grammar in Context and The Everyday Writer.

FALL SCHEDULE OF CLASSES (2 SEPTEMBER – 18 DECEMBER)

ENGL 291ZA AVANT-GARDE LATIN AMERICAN POETRY (Prof. M. Zapata} T 6:30-8:20PM
CRWR 240A CRWR 240A POETRY WRITING (Prof. P. Levin) M 6:30-8:20PM
CRWR 241A CRWR 241A FICTION WRITING (Prof. M. McPhee) W 6:30-8:20PM
CRWR 242A CRWR 242A PLAYWRITING (Prof. E. Brogger)  R 6:30-8:20PM

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

ENGL 291ZA     AVANT-GARDE LATIN AMERICAN POETRY                  TR  6:30-8:20PM
Prof. Miguel-Angel Zapata                                                                                                                                       
This course studies the main poets and avant-garde movements in Latin America during the first three decades of the twentieth century. We will study this theoretical and pragmatic project through its manifests, letters, prologues and poems by Vicente Huidobro (Chile) and his already classic "Non serviam", as well as the article "Ultraism" by Jorge Luis Borges (Argentina), and the Manifesto of the "Poesia Pau Brasil" by Oswald de Andrade (Brazil). We will also deepen the influences of European poetry from Charles Baudelaire (France), Marinetti manifests, Dadaists, and the inspiring texts of Apollinaire. Later we will read avant-garde poems by Cesar Vallejo, Pablo Neruda, Carlos Oquendo de Amat, and Maples Arce, which redefine the personal identity of the avant-garde in Latin America.

CRWR 240 A    POETRY WRITING                                                                                           M  6:30-8:20PM
Prof. P. Levin
In this poetry workshop we compose and revise new poems while studying elements of the craft, the interplay of mystery and mastery. We critique each other's work with an ear and eye for problems and solutions, and problems as solutions—opportunities for risk and discovery. Exploring different ways of moving through a poem to find its essential cadences and vital shape, we consider the dynamic interaction of rhythm, syntax, lineation, diction, and tone. We also devote time to discussing notable poems (including selected translations) exemplifying a range of voices, styles, and lyric strategies. Students are encouraged to experiment with stanza patterns and rhetorical forms, and to discover myriad freedoms in the measure of a line—to swerve, soar, and dive into language.

CRWR 241 A     FICTION WRITING                                                                                      W   6:30-8:20PM
Prof. M. McPhee
This class is a classic fiction workshop in which graduate students will continue to develop their narrative voices and strategies with the goal of understanding the process of their own craft more clearly.  We will also be focusing on where stories come from and how to mine the material we are full of.  As John Updike wrote, “You are full of your material—your family, your friends, your region of the country, your generation—when it is fresh and seems urgently worth communicating to readers.  No amount of learned skills can substitute for the feeling of having a lot to say, of bringing news.  Memories, impressions, and emotions from your first 20 years on earth are most writers’ main material; little that comes afterward is quite so rich and resonant.  By the age of 40, you have probably mined the purest veins of this precious lode; after that, continued creativity is a matter of sifting the leavings.”  Additionally, students will be encouraged to open themselves to critical analysis by their peers in order to learn what works and does not in their fiction, understanding the idea of editing and rewriting as integral parts of creating fiction.  The focus will be primarily on the students’ works.  Each student will be expected to bring in at least three stories or chapters and one revision across the course of the semester.

CRWR 242 A    PLAYWRITING                                                                        R 6:30-8:20PM
Prof. E. Brogger
This is a graduate-level playwriting workshop designed for playwrights as well as for writers in other genres who wish to develop their skills at shaping action. We will explore the ways in which dramatic action occurs and the means by which various dramatists develop unity within their work. It is the objective of this course to stimulate the student to produce a body of material - at least 60 pages – culminating in a long one-act or short full-length play. An appreciation of plot as structured action will provide a foundation for the student playwright's own developing script. Each week, brief responses will be solicited concerning reading assignments of both plays and essays. With selections from a variety of published plays, either from our anthology or from outside source, examples will be discussed of other plot arrangements so that distinctions might be made between linear and non-linear plots. By the end of the course, students will have been exposed to a variety of ways through which action is shaped. Fiction or creative non-fiction writers may wish – in consultation with the instructor - to adapt one of their works into a dramatic form, to explore additional ways by which consequential action might refine an approach to their original genre. From dramatic idea to the drafting stage, the playscript to emerge will, it is hoped, reflect the student’s deepening appreciation of the relationship between structured action and dramatic unity.


Great Writers, Great Readings: Colson Whitehead, Natasha Trethewey, John McPhee, Jhumpa Lahiri, Karen Russell, Susan Orlean, Claudia Rankine, Pamela Paul, Jeffrey K. Eugenides, Amy Herzog, Philip Levine, Quiara Alegría Hudes, Annie Baker, Colum McCann, Vivian Gornick,  Alice McDermott, David Lindsay-Abaire, Stephen Dunn, Amy Hempel, Christopher Durang, Jonathan Letham, Lynn Nottage, Terrance Hayes, Richard Greenberg, Sarah Ruhl, Haruki Murakami, Donald Margulies, Craig Lucas, Jonathan Franzen...