This popular introductory workshop offers an exciting introduction to the basic elements of poetry and fiction, with in-class writing, take-home reading and writing assignments, and substantive discussions of craft. The course is structured as a workshop, which means that students receive feedback from their instructor and their fellow writers in a roundtable setting, and should be prepared to offer their classmates responses to their work. 4 points.
CRWRI-UA.815 Creative Writing: Introduction to Fiction & Poetry
Section 001, Christine Marella, MW 9:30-10:45am Provisional Syllabus
Section 002, Caroline Waring, MW 12:30-1:45pm Provisional Syllabus
Section 003, Tian Yi, MW, 8:00 AM - 9:15 PM Provisional Syllabus
Section 004, Charley Burlock, MW 8:00am-9:15am Provisional Syllabus
Section 005, Stella Hayes, MW 2:00-3:15pm Provisional Syllabus
Section 006, Yi Wei, TR 8am-9:15am Provisional Syllabus
Section 007, Cassandre Baudoin, TR 12:30-1:45pm Provisional Syllabus
Section 008, Cara Cushing, TR 4:55pm-6:10pm Provisional Syllabus
Section 009, Michelle Ting, TR 11:00am-12:15pm Provisional Syllabus
Section 010, Ross Green, TR 9:30-10:45am Provisional Syllabus
Section 011, Suchita Chadha, WF 11am-12:15pm Provisional Syllabus
Section 012, Hao Yang, TR 12:30-1:45pm Provisional Syllabus
Section 013, Jasmine Araujo, TR 8:00AM-9:15AM Provisional Syllabus
Section 014, Stephanie Newman, TR 9:30-10:45am Provisional Syllabus
Secton 015, Erin Townsend, TR 4:55pm-6:10pm Provisional Syllabus
Section 016, Nina Ferraz, TR 9:30am-10:45am Provisional Syllabus
Section 017, Ian Fishman, MW 9:30-10:45am Provisional Syllabus
Section 018, Devi Sastry, MW 9:30am-10:45am Provisional Syllabus
Section 019, Mathis Clement, TR 12:30-1:45pm Provisional Syllabus
Section 020, Melissa Lauer, TR 8am-9:15am Provisional Syllabus
Section 021, Eric Rubeo, TR 2:00-3:15pm Provisional Syllabus
Section 022, Farah Barqawi, MW 8AM-9:15AM, Provisional Syllabus
Section 023, Jack Davis, MW 4:55-6:10pm Provisional Syllabus
Section 024, Benjamin West, MW 8am-9:15am Provisional Syllabus
Section 025, Lisa Gerard, WF 4:55pm-6:10pm, Provisional Syllabus
Click here for information about the Creative Writing Program's course offerings abroad at NYU's Accra, Buenos Aires, London, and Sydney sites.
The intermediate workshops offer budding prose writers and poets an opportunity to continue their pursuit of writing through workshops that focus on a specific genre. The workshops also integrate in-depth craft discussions and extensive outside reading to deepen students’ understanding of the genre and broaden their knowledge of the evolution of literary forms and techniques.
Prerequisite for fiction: CRWRI-UA 815, OR CRWRI-UA 9815, OR CRWRI-UA.816, OR CRWRI-UA 818/819, OR CRWRI-UA 9818/9819, OR CRWRI-UA 9828/9829, OR CRWRI-UA 860, OR COSEM-UA 118 or equivalent. Prerequisite for poetry: CRWRI-UA 815, OR CRWRI-UA 9815, OR CRWRI-UA.817, OR CRWRI-UA 818/819, OR CRWRI-UA 9818/9819, OR CRWRI-UA 9828/9829, OR CRWRI-UA.870, OR FRSEM-UA 388 or equivalent. Prerequisite for creative nonfiction: CRWRI-UA 815, OR CRWRI-UA 9815, OR CRWRI-UA 818/819, OR CRWRI-UA 9818/9819, OR CRWRI-UA 9828/9829, OR CRWRI-UA 825, OR CRWRI-UA.880 or equivalent. 4 points.
CRWRI-UA.816.001 Intermediate Fiction Workshop
Jocelyn Lieu, M 5:55-7:40pm
Stories that Matter. Why write fiction? This workshop course starts with the premise that we have stories within us that need to be told. These stories may be seeded by haunting experiences, people, images, moments from our lives, or moments from the news or our communities. They also may proceed from dreamed-to-life narratives unspooling in our imaginations that for us have all the immediacy of a film seen in a surround-sound theater. This course is an exploration of fiction craft with an emphasis on the production of stories that really matter—first to you, the writer, then, because they come from an authentic place in you, your readers. Student writing is our focus; class time also includes discussions of texts by contemporary and modern writers writing in or translated into English. Craft elements studied include the management of point of view, plot, structure, characterization, the handling of time, the use of telling detail to create fictional worlds, and syntax and diction as they contribute to that mysterious thing called voice. We also will look at how writers solicit our suspension of disbelief, whether within the densely referenced mirror-world of socially realistic fiction or the no-holds-barred atmosphere of the surrealist or fabulist narrative. The semester’s work begins with short weekly exploratory assignments, which build toward the drafting and revision of a 15-page story or series of short linked stories. Students interested in experimenting and taking creative risks in service of finding the best genre, form, structure, or voice for stories that matter to them are encouraged to join the course.
CRWRI-UA.816.002 Intermediate Fiction Workshop
Mohammed Naseehu Ali, T 4:55-7:40pm
In this intermediate fiction workshop, the primary focus will be on your writing. Most of the class time will be dedicated to discussing your work and exchanging critiques and ideas on how to improve a draft and also your writing skills in general. Through in/out-of-class writing, primary text and assigned readings, class discussions and presentations, we will examine the structure of the short story and the novel, as well as the basic elements of fiction such as characterization, dialogue, plot, theme, and viewpoint. Additionally, we will be taking an in-depth look at form and style, the role of humor in fiction, and lastly, the fundamental grammar and language of fiction writing. The secondary focus of this workshop will be on you, the writer. George Orwell once wrote that, "There are four great motives for writing," which he listed as sheer egoism, aesthetic enthusiasm, historical impulse, and political purpose. In 1980, another writer of lesser fame than Orwell, Arturo Vivante, also wrote: "One writes fiction in order to know." Using the above quotations as springboard for a class symposium, we will be asking ourselves two questions: (1) Why do we write? and (2) Why fiction in particular? During the first two weeks students will be encouraged to carry out a personal analysis of what motivates, inspires, or informs their writing. The goal of this exercise is to assist students in their continued effort to develop an original voice, language, and style that are unique to their personal aesthetics. And finally the fun part: we will discuss the use of eavesdropping as a writing tool. In my opinion, eavesdropping is the surest means for writers to put their fingers on the pulse of their contemporary environment. Some may disagree and may even think of this "art" as unethical. This and other topics will keep us busy and engaged throughout the semester..
CRWRI-UA.816.003 Intermediate Fiction Workshop
Jess Row, M 2-4:45p
Course description forthcoming.
CRWRI-UA.816.004 Intermediate Fiction Workshop
Sharon Mesmer, Thurs 4:55-7:40pm
Is it possible to write, as novelist Clarice Lispector suggested, both "squalidly and structurally"? I say yes. Both ends of the trajectory are possible ... and necessary, really, in order to produce surprisingly inventive writing. In this workshop, we will explore and exploit the fertile (oftentimes untouched) mud of our imaginations through a series of five writing exercises paired with model texts, each utilizing a different prose form into which even the muddiest, most inchoate and problematic ideas, images and language can be flowed.
CRWRI-UA.816.005 Intermediate Fiction Workshop
TBA, Fri 11:00am-1:45pm
Course description forthcoming.
CRWRI-UA.816.006 Intermediate Fiction Workshop
Marie Helene-Bertino, M 2-4:45PM. This class will explore the craft of fiction in three different ways. The first will be brief talks that address a different element of craft in each class. The second will be by reading and dissecting (like writers) a broad range of contemporary fiction, from Etgar Keret to Yoko Ogawa to Raymond Carver to to James Baldwin to Aimee Bender to Toni Morrison. The third and most important component of the class will be workshopping student work with this question in mind: Where do I think this writer/story is trying to go? We will tailor our critiques toward the idea of helping the writer get there. We will have surprise guests by professional writers. We will eschew the idea that there is one way to write fiction. We will seek out the joy in our work and the work of others and will cultivate our personal, idiosyncratic voices. We will probably eat cookies during the last class.
CRWRI-UA.816.007 Intermediate Fiction Workshop
Hannah Kingsley-Ma, W, 11am-1:45pm
Course description forthcoming.
CRWRI-UA.817.001 Intermediate Poetry Workshop
Emily Skillings, M 11:00am-1:45pm
The Environmental Poem
“There are things / We live among ‘and to see them / Is to know ourselves.’” George Oppen
In this hybrid workshop we will read poetry like writers, understanding our poems as being in conversation with writers past and present. Given the ecological crises we are facing, many of the poems we read will loosely focus on themes of environment, place, ecology, the pastoral, and the “necropastoral” (to borrow a term from Joyelle McSweeney). We will read works by poets and writers such as (but not limited to) Elaine Scarry, John Ashbery, Harryette Mullen, Asiya Wadud, Wendy Xu, C.P. Cavafy, Francis Ponge, Ross Gay, Simone Kearney, Kim Hyesoon, Marcella Durand, Arthur Rimbaud, Aditi Machado, Nate Marshall, Bhanu Kapil, William Carlos Williams, Geoffrey G. O’Brien, Solmaz Sharif, Muriel Rukeyser, Eileen Myles, George Oppen, Terrance Hayes, Juliana Spahr, Claudia Rankine, Myung Mi Kim, and W.S. Merwin—reading several full collections as well as individual poems.
CRWRI-UA.817.002 Intermediate Poetry Workshop
Rachel Zucker, W 2pm-4:45pm
Course description forthcoming.
CRWRI-UA.817.003 Intermediate Poetry Workshop
TBA, R 8am-10:45am
Course description forthcoming.
CRWRI-UA.817.004 Intermediate Poetry Workshop
Craig Teicher, T 11am-1:45pm
Course description forthcoming.
CRWRI-UA.817.005 Intermediate Poetry Workshop
Matt Rohrer, M 2pm-4:45pm
The DIY Spirit in American Poetry. American poetry in the modern era has something no one else has and everyone else wants: Walt Whitman. Which is to say: the DIY spirit. For all the awful, selfish aspects of the American Character, our art has been blessed with a “screw it” attitude when it comes to tradition and expectation. Jazz, hip hop, free verse poetry, zine culture, punk rock—all American, all made with the same do-it-yourself-who-cares-what-the-tradition-says spirit. This course will both look at some of the history of that in American poetry as well as involve the students in their own DIY zine making and simple book binding.
Course Objectives: Alongside a workshop which will encourage experimentation and risk, students will read widely in the American DIY tradition and leave this course with the tools and background to carry on the revolution on their own terms. You will literally need to buy some tools. You will feel so productive.
CRWRI-UA.825.001 Intermediate Creative Nonfiction Workshop
Maria Laurino, R 2pm-4:45pm
How do we create essays and memoir that move beyond the personal “I” to a universal eye? In this writing and reading workshop, we will explore the strategies of creative nonfiction, examining the roles of memory, reporting, and research in developing personal narratives. We will focus on creating concise, shapely, and texturally rich essays and memoir. The participatory classroom setting will allow us, in Michel de Montaigne’s words, to “reserve a back shop all our own”—a supportive, creative environment in which students participate in classroom exercises, write and revise their narratives, and critically discuss the work of essayists and memoirists, including Montaigne, George Orwell, Joan Didion, Patricia Hampl, Zadie Smith, Rebecca Solnit, Jonathan Lethem, and Geoff Dyer.
Advanced workshops provide emerging writers with the opportunity to hone their individual voice and experiment with different aesthetical strategies in a genre-specific workshop taught by an eminent writer in the field. The workshops focus on innovative revision techniques, the development of a sustainable writing process, and the broadening of students’ literary knowledge of classical and contemporary masters. Each advanced workshop has a distinct emphasis and area of exploration—students are advised to pay close attention to the course descriptions, which are available online prior to registration.
Prerequisite for fiction: CRWRI-UA 816, OR CRWRI-UA 818, OR CRWRI-UA 9818, OR CRWRI-UA 9828, OR CRWRI-UA 820, OR CRWRI-UA 860 or equivalent. Prerequisite for poetry: CRWRI-UA 817, OR CRWRI-UA 819, OR CRWRI-UA 9819, OR CRWRI-UA 9829, OR CRWRI-UA 830, OR CRWRI-UA 870 or equivalent. Prerequisite for creative nonfiction: CRWRI-UA 825, OR CRWRI-UA 850, OR CRWRI-UA 880 or equivalent. 4 points.
CRWRI-UA.820.001 Advanced Fiction Workshop
Elizabeth Gaffney, M 4:55pm-7:40pm
In this advanced workshop, writers will take existing drafts of stories (or novel sections) and expand, revamp, revise, rebuild, them till they are polished, finished works. You might start with a complete manuscript you don't feel is successful-- something you began and abandoned because you couldn’t quite figure out how to solve its puzzles -- through multiple rounds of revision. We will look at the big picture issues -- structure, arc, point of view, character -- and the granular details of prose that are crucial for establishing voice and maintaining the fictional dream. Readings will include timely plague- and BLM- themed texts that illustrate essential craft topics: Gwendolyn Brooks’ out of print novel, Maud Martha, Danielle Evans’s Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self, Speech Sounds by Octavia Butler, Salvage the Bones by Jesamyn Ward, William Maxwell’s They Came Like Swallows, Katherine Anne Porter’s Pale Horse, Pale Rider, and Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice
CRWRI-UA.820.002 Advanced Fiction Workshop
Timothy Murphy, T, 2-4:45pm
The workshop's philosophy is based on the premise that when a writer picks up a pen or opens a laptop to start a story, he or she breaks the connection with “normal” time and space to enter a storyworld in which anything is possible. Such a world, if well constructed, will like other complex systems start to generate and follow its own rules and acquire independent life. We will of course discuss traditional issues in writing, such as where to find story subjects, how to gather, employ, grease and otherwise care for the nuts and bolts of your writing practice. But we will also explore microfiction, non-linear narrative, illustrated narrative, fiction as street theater, as well as traditional short stories. In past classes students have submitted stories written to self-destruct, narratives posted on street corners, images with fables enclosed.
CRWRI-UA.820.003 Advanced Fiction Workshop
Charles Bock, T 11am-1:45pm
Class is divided into short lectures, exercises, and workshop. Lots of time will be spent on technical stuff, how characters work, the way in which a story develops, language, structure, etc. We'll build from the basics. The first half of the class will be spent with a lecture and then some sort of exercise based on the lecture. Then workshops for the second half of the class. Workshops are structured so every student will comment on a story, and participation is a big part of a class. We care about improving stories and why they work and how they can be improved; we care about supporting our fellow students in their creative ventures and being daring and moving into uncharted narrative territories. There are weekly reading assignments that you are responsible for. When you come out from the other side of this thrilling little amusement park ride, the matter inside your fused together skull is going to have a better understanding of how fiction works. This class is recommended for inspired and motivated students.
CRWRI-UA.820.004 Advanced Fiction Workshop
Eliza Minot, W 4:55pm-7:40pm
This workshop will focus on voice. Through reading one another’s work and thoughtfully responding to it, consistently writing new pages, and absorbing and discussing outside readings, we will attempt to join up with the voice within us that is most effective and most engaging. All writers have their varying issues. While one writer might be struggling with issues surrounding character, another might be hung up on problems with pacing, while someone else is overly lyrical to the point of distraction or is grappling with having absolutely nothing to say. In this workshop we will learn from each other what we, both as writers and as readers, respond to. We will encourage one another to write as freely as possible to get the words on the page, and then, from there, we will hopefully begin to discover where it is we would like to be heading.
CRWRI-UA.830.001 Advanced Poetry Workshop
Rachel Zucker, W 8am-10:45am
This course is designed to plunge students head-first into the world of contemporary poetry. Besides workshopping each others' poems, students will read a different book of contemporary poetry each week, and present it to the class. We will discuss the book as writers, not literature students; we'll want to figure out what each poet is doing, how he or she does it, and how we can do that. Writing exercises derived from the readings will help us get into the poets' heads. This is an advanced course, and students will be expected to do all of the reading, participate in the discussions, and generally contribute towards that elusive thing which is a workshop environment that is constructive and critical and ultimately generative for everyone. The goal of the course is for students to engage with the work of their peers and their contemporaries in a critical and hungry manner which will lead to a greater understanding of how their own poetry is working.
CRWRI-UA.830.002 Advanced Poetry Workshop
Popa, Maya C., T 2pm-4:45pm
The page is a space for any transformation, ritual, or spell to occur. We will begin our class by taking Jack Spicer’s “Poetry as Magic” workshop questionnaire (which he employed in the Bay area in the 1950s) and learning about our ethics as poets while fully diving into the unconscious. How do you write about the self by looking at the world and away from the self? Is the imagination the most personal and unknowable thing we have? What is poetry’s relationship to the occult? By looking at poets from the San Francisco Renaissance and the New York School of the 50s and 60s, we will discuss how repetition, pacing, and drastic leaps may be used as incantatory and revelatory writing devices which create meaning by offering mystery. We will experiment and create as much out of chance as out of order. We’ll also look at the Language School of the 70s and specifically Lyn Hejinian’s genre shifting book My Life. Class will be structured around generative exercises, the workshopping of poems, and discussion of craft, poetics and historical texts.
CRWRI-UA.830.003 Advanced Poetry Workshop
Catherine Barnett, Wed 9:30am-12:15pm
In this challenging workshop, we'll invent and re-invent and dodge and entertain and investigate "the accursed questions" as a way to generate new material for poems and to read more deeply. We'll consider James Baldwin's notion that "the purpose of art is to lay bare the questions hidden by the answers" and push for that which is "not unforeseen enough." Through thinking about and playing with the resources of questions, we'll try to subvert conventional notions of what is important and unimportant; we'll try to redeem incongruities; discover the mysteries behind physical appearances; and find ways to apprehend the real without distorting "the incomprehensibility of the real." We'll consider what Yeats has said: "Only that which does not teach, which does not cry out, which does not persuade, which does not condescend, which does not explain, is irresistible." Students will be asked to write two poems every week and to respond generously and rigorously to each other's work. In addition, students will give a presentation on a poet/question of their choice and put together an anthology and a chapbook.
CRWRI-UA.850.001 Advanced Creative Nonfiction Workshop
David Lipsky, W 8am-10:45am
This is a course in composing short narratives the reader will want to finish. To that end, we’ll be combining workshop with lessons about craft: Seeing how the stories we love work, then discovering the ways our own good stuff can be made to work even better. Students will draft two stories, revising one. We will also absorb and hoard advice from a number of excellent sources, including one especially useful sentence by George Saunders.
These advanced workshops and craft seminars—taught by acclaimed poets and prose writers—are open to select NYU undergraduates. Intensive seminars are limited to 12 students and provide intensive mentoring and guidance for serious and talented undergraduate writers. Each intensive seminar has a distinct emphasis and area of exploration—students are advised to pay close attention to the course descriptions, which are available online prior to registration.
Prerequisite for fiction: CRWRI-UA 815, OR CRWRI-UA 9815, OR CRWRI-UA 816, OR CRWRI-UA 818/819, OR CRWRI-UA 9818/9819, OR CRWRI-UA 9828/9829, OR CRWRI-UA 820, OR CRWRI-UA 860 or equivalent. Prerequisite for poetry: CRWRI-UA 815, OR CRWRI-UA 9815, OR CRWRI-UA 817, OR CRWRI-UA 818/819, OR CRWRI-UA 9818/9819, OR CRWRI-UA 9828/9829, OR CRWRI-UA 830, OR CRWRI-UA 870, OR FRSEM-388, or equivalent. Prerequisite for creative nonfiction:CRWRI-UA 815, OR CRWRI-UA 9815, OR CRWRI-UA 818/819, OR CRWRI-UA 9818/9819, OR CRWRI-UA 9828/9829, OR CRWRI-UA 825, OR CRWRI-UA 850, OR CRWRI-UA 880 or equivalent. Recommended prerequisite: CRWRI-UA 820 (for fiction), CRWRI-UA 830 (for poetry), or CRWRI-UA 850 (for creative nonfiction). Application required. 4 points.
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Applications: Please read all guidelines. Excerpts of longer projects are fine to submit, to show work you feel best represents your voice. *Note: For multiple applications, please send separate emails, for each instructor, to email@example.com.* Applications are due by 11:59pm on Sunday, April 3 and rosters are tentatively expected to be finalized on Monday, April 11. (Tentatively means, we appreciate your patience!) We will announce any updates via the program listserv.
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CRWRI-UA.861.001: Intensive Seminar in Fiction
Cris Beam, Tues 11am-1:45pm
Cris Beam’s most recent book, My Therapist, My Lover was published by Audible Originals in June 2021, preceded by I Feel You: The Surprising Power of Extreme Empathy, published by Houghton Mifflin-Harcourt in March 2018. Her prior work, To the End of June: The Intimate Life of American Foster Care (Houghton Mifflin-Harcourt, 2013), was named a 2013 New York Times Notable Book, was longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Award. She is also the author of Transparent: Love, Family and Living the T with Transgender Teenagers (Harcourt 2007), which won a Lambda Literary Award and was a Stonewall Honor book. Her young adult novel, I Am J, was released by Little, Brown in 2011 and was named a Kirkus Best Book and Library Guild Selection, and is the first book with a transgender character to land on the state of California's recommended reading list for public high schools. Cris’ work has also been featured in the New York Times, The Awl, The Huffington Post, The Guardian and on This American Life. Beam has taught at Columbia University, NYU, and elsewhere.
CRWRI-UA.862.001: Intensive Seminar in Poetry
Geoffrey Nutter, Weds 11am-1:45pm
Geoffrey Nutter is the author of A Summer Evening (winner of the 2001 Colorado Prize), Water’s Leaves & Other Poems (Winner of the 2004 Verse Press Prize), Christopher Sunset (winner of the 2011 Sheila Motton Book Award), The Rose of January (Wave Books, 2013), and Cities at Dawn (Wave Books, 2016). He recently traveled in China, giving lectures, workshops, and readings as a participant in the Sun Yat-sen University Writers’ Residency. Geoffrey’s poems have been translated into Spanish, French, and Mandarin. He has taught poetry at Princeton, Columbia, University of Iowa, NYU, the New School, and 92nd Street Y.
CRWRI-UA.863.001: Intensive Seminar in Creative Nonfiction
Saïd Sayrafiezadeh, Mon 11am-1:45pm
Saïd Sayrafiezadeh is the author, most recently, of the story collection, American Estrangement, a finalist for the L.A. Times Book Prize. His memoir, When Skateboards Will Be Free, was selected as one of the 10 best books of the year by Dwight Garner of The New York Times, and his story collection, Brief Encounters With the Enemy, was a finalist for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Fiction Prize. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The Best American Short Stories, Granta, McSweeney’s, The New York Times, and New American Stories, among other publications. He is the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award. He is a fellow at the New York Institute for the Humanities and he leads the Creative Nonfiction track in Hunter's MFA program. He also teaches creative writing at Columbia University and New York University, where he received an Outstanding Teaching Award.