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Hollins University
Coed Graduate Programs

(General Information)
Hollins University
Graduate Center
P.O. Box 9603
Roanoke, VA 24020-1603
(540) 362-6575
Fax (540) 362-6288

Program Director
Jeanne Larsen

M.F.A. in Creative Writing


ENG 501, 502: Graduate Creative Writing Tutorial I, II (4,4) Brown, Dillard, Hankla, Larsen, Moeckel, Poliner
Graduate tutorial seminars in the form and theory of contemporary writing practice, with attention to the writing of the students in the class. The exact contents of any given seminar will be determined by the needs and interests of its members. Limited to graduate students in the creative writing program.

ENG 506: How Writing is Written (4) Hankla
An exploration of the creative process of poetry and fiction writing. The course will include readings of literature and works by writers on their art and craft, writing assignments, and discussion of student work. Not offered 2012–13.

ENG 507, 508: Advanced Creative Writing
(4,4) Brown, Dillard, Hankla, Matthews, Moeckel, Poliner, Trethewey
A workshop course in the writing of prose and poetry. Selected works by students will be read and discussed. Frequent conferences.

ENG 511, 512: Graduate Creative Writing Tutorial III, IV (4,4) Cockrell, Hankla, Huddle, Larsen, Poliner, Staff
Graduate tutorial seminars in the form and theory of contemporary writing practice, with attention to the writing of the students in the class. The exact contents of any given seminar will be determined by the needs and interests of its members. Limited to second-year graduate students in the creative writing program.

ENG 519: The Jazz Aesthetic in Literature (4) Anderson
This course explores the development of literature (poetry, fiction, autobiography, etc.) that employs a “jazz aesthetic.” The philosophical/aesthetic role that jazz improvisation has played in the development of Modernist and Post- Modernist critique will also be examined. Artists discussed include Charles Mingus, Jack Kerouac, Bob Kaufman, Amiri Baraka, Nathaniel Mackey, Miles Davis, Anthony Braxton, Jayne Cortez, and several others. The course entails the development of a creative and critical portfolio of jazz-inspired writing. Not offered 2012–13.

ENG 521: Screenwriting (4) Dillard
An intensive hands-on course in the art of writing for the screen, for beginners and for writers experienced in other genres (fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction). Screenings, writing exercises, and workshop-style critiques comprise the course. Offered Term 1.

ENG 523: Cinematic Adaptation (4) Dillard
Students go through the entire process (from analysis of the story to outline to treatment to screenplay) of adapting a work of fiction for the screen. The course also includes close study of works of fiction that have previously been adapted for the cinema, as well as the resulting screenplays and films. Not offered 2012–13.

ENG 524: Poetry in Performance (4) Anderson
This course examines the aesthetics of textual performance as it has been applied to the performative aspect of poetry. Students will develop methods of critiquing and perform a broad range of aesthetic expression that incorporates poetry with other media. Poets to be discussed include Jayne Cortez, Ed Sanders, and several others. This course is a composite seminar/practicum. Not offered 2012–13.

ENG 550: Keeping the Moment Alive: Writing Poems of Awe and Imagination (4) Matthews
This class will investigate how to preserve wonder in writing. Once the moment in the woods passes, once the eclipse is over, how do we make experience indelible so that others experience it too? Our texts will be poems that demonstrate how to keep the moment alive, how the craft of poetry makes this possible. Through close readings we’ll work together to ascertain how other writers cultivate awe—and ultimately how to bring it into our own writing. Weekly submission of poems for workshop and weekly annotations will be part of the class. Writers whose work we will examine include both the expected— Elizabeth Bishop, Gerald Manley Hopkins, and Emily Dickinson—as well as contemporary writers who achieve this same marvel. Offered Term 2.

ENG 550: Narrative Structure in the Novel and Novell (4) Osborn
Anyone who loves to read has had the pleasure of sinking into the world of a novel. While under the novel’s spell, we are unaware of the scaffolding that makes its magic possible. We’ll examine several novels and novellas, taking them apart to view their construction. Writing exercises will produce a plot synopsis and the opening pages of a longer narrative. Authors will include Willa Cather, Henry James, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Donald Antrim. Offered Term 2.

ENG 550: Special Topic - Pedagogy and Practice of Creative Writing (4, 2) Moeckel
The pedagogical background and practical application of creative writing for the college classroom. Students will research pedagogical materials and texts; build syllabi and lesson plans, including the construction of writing exercises across genres and discussion of response theories; work one-on-one with peer mentors; engage in practice teaching and learn institutional practices. Limited to MFA-CW program Teaching Fellows and Graduate Assistants by permission. Offered Term 2.

ENG 550: Special Topic - Poetry of the African Diaspora (4) Anderson
This course will examine the African continent in the imagination of poets of African descent. Special attention will be given to the politics of identity and the impact of the Middle Passage. The course will explore how these poets have attempted to reclaim or reinvent an understanding of African culture and history within a European and American (North, South, Central, and the Caribbean) context. Aesthetic concerns and the development of a poetics that veers away from traditional European forms will be examined in the work of poets like Jayne Cortez, Grace Nicholas, Nathaniel Mackey, Kamau Brathwaite, Aimri Baraka, Aimé Césaire, M. B. Tolson, and several others. Offered Term 1.

ENG 553: Film as a Narrative Art (4) Dillard
Films of Josef von Sternberg (including a feminist examination of his seven brilliant films with Marlene Dietrich) as moral, aesthetic, and psychological narratives, with particular attention to the development of cinematic style in relationship to his concerns throughout his career. Underworld, The Last Command, Docks of New York, The Blue Angel, Morocco, Dishonored, Shanghai Express, Blonde Venus, The Scarlet Empress, The Devil is a Woman, The Shanghai Gesture, and The Saga of Anatahan. Also listed as Film 353. Offered Term 1.

ENG 554: Film as a Narrative Art (4) Dillard
Films of Federico Fellini as moral, aesthetic, and psychological narratives, with particular attention to the development of cinematic style in relationship to his concerns throughout his career. Such films as The White Sheik, I Vitelloni, La Strada, Il Bidone, Nights of Cabiria, La Dolce Vita, 8 1/2, Juliet of the Spirits, Fellini Satyricon, The Clowns, Amarcord, Ginger and Fred, and Intervista. Not offered 2012–13.

ENG 567: Cross-Genre and Experimental Writing (4) Hankla
An examination of and practice in forms of writing that straddle the worlds of fiction/poetry, image/word, fiction/nonfiction, including graphic memoir and fictional (auto)biography. Students will write prose poems, flash fiction, and other experimental forms, while considering selected works by Gertrude Stein, Lydia Davis, Jamaica Kincaid, James Tate, Michael Ondaatje, Alison Bechdel, and many others. Offered Term 1.

ENG 584: Advanced Studies in Poetry (4) Larsen
An intensive exploration of poetry, focusing on contemporary writers from the United States. Can poetry, really, matter? How does it mean now? Is craft dead, murderous, of the essence? How do past poets speak through/ against/around writers of our time? Is aesthetic progress possible? What are the orthodoxies, transgressions, blunders of the age? Not offered 2012–13.

ENG 585: Advanced Studies in the Novel (4) Dillard
Studies in the form of the novel, ranging throughout the history of the novel. Close readings of a variety of novels with an effort to determine the demands of the form and ways in which it has been and can be developed. Not offered 2012–13.

ENG 586: Advanced Studies in Creative Nonfiction (4) Trethewey
This is a course on the literary form that has come to be known as "Creative Nonfiction." We’ll read and discuss various modes of writing about personal experience and the aesthetic and ethical issues raised by such writing. Written assignments include discursive prose as well as students’ original creative nonfiction. Offered Term 2.

ENG 587: Advanced Studies in Short Fiction (4) Poliner
Close readings of representative stories past and present that define or defy our expectations for the form. Attention to building a vocabulary for discussion and to the analysis of technique and structure. Includes focused study of several contemporary masters of the form. Offered Term 1.

ENG 599: Thesis (8) Department
A collection of original work: poetry, fiction (short fiction or a novel), screenplay, play, or an appropriate grouping of more than one genre.