Spring 2015 English 750F/03 MFA Fiction Workshop

Spring 2015
English 750F/03
Office Hours
MFA Fiction Workshop
Tuesday 3:30 to 6:10pm
David Matlin
LSN Room# 111
[email protected]
Monday 2:30 to 3:45 Rm.270 Arts & Letters
An advanced Creative writing workshop concentrating on the writing of fiction. Students
will be required to produce a sustained single work and to discuss that work in both the
workshop and in consultation with the teacher. Your teacher believes this process offers
each of you the chance to experience your writing as well as its inclusive positive and
negative rhythms. How do you create the disciplines which give you the chance to
produce works of art and to sustain yourself before this difficult challenge and make it
into a life’s work? Here, hopefully, you’ll discover an initial entrance into what it means
to both live with and to sustain yourself before the surprises and despairs of attempting to
breath life into your writing. Because of this advanced level, students will be expected to
produce and to demonstrate the evolution of their works on a week-to-week basis. I
expect that each of you will attempt to write at least one hundred pages. If you produce
more your teacher will be delighted. I have included two specific readings one of the
novelist Irini Spanidou “God’s Snake” and Roberto Bolano’s “Nazi Literature In The
I trust you find the next few months to be a labor, an experience, and an adventure. I look
forward to seeing your work.
And a final aside; I do give As Bs Cs Ds and Fs according to either positive or negative
necessity. Risk all that you must for your art.
The Reading is provided to offer an active reservoir of suggestion,
examples, invention, rummagings, grab-bags ancient and modern as each of you moves
toward the artistic courage necessary for the art and its oddities, intimacies, griefs,
incomprehensions, accidents, and strange Truths that might hold the story of Being Alive.
The readings are:
“God’s Snake”
Irini Spanidou
Jan 21nd to Feb 4th
“Nazi Literature in the Americas”
Feb 4th to Feb 18th
How do you learn to read as a writer and then actively move in the direction of writing
itself holding both processes as a living experience and finding through this the nerve to
invent, to fail, to keep moving, and to strike up an actual Fire?
Regular attendance and rigorous preparation are the groundwork of the workshop
continuity and preparation; the processes in combination are essential for this course. As
well, because of the intense work and discoveries to be made and shared full student
participation means more than two absences will be grounds for a grade reduction -
more than three tardies will also constitute grounds for a grade reduction. If there are
unforeseen problems the best procedure is to write your professor an e-mail and let him
know in advance if possible.
This is graduate seminar. The course will give you the chance to write. The minimum
number of pages is 50. Many of you will want to far exceed this minimum. Go forward in
both your reading and your writing. Draw upon both as primary experiences and stay
inside your labors. Do not edit. Do not stop. Let yourselves have the experience of
making the first draft of an object.
The foundation of your grades will be based upon reading, writing, and workshop
responses and discussions and two office consultations..
Workshop responses
and office