Section 2: Tuesday and Thursday 2:00-3:15 PM

Professor: Jill Christman
Inspired by the insightful, brick-by-brick essay about essays co-written by Ana Maria Spagna and Steve Harvey in the September 2015 issue of Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies, this advanced creative nonfiction class will focus on the art of transforming lived experience and the observable world into essays. We’ll work on the nuts and bolts of the writing (as well as the lumber and the sheets of tin and the panes of glass. . .), considering the essay in parts:  the beginning and the end, full-blown scenes and elliptical reflections, white space and titles, allusions and dialogue, and of course, the echoes, patterns, and the connections that lead us to new meaning. As we read the brand-new Best American Essays 2016, and many individual essays, we’ll think about what it means to write something that matters, to write something that feels really true—and then we will practice.
Possible Texts: Best American Essays 2016 (ed. Jonathan Franzen, series ed. Robert Atwan); current issues of River Teeth and Brevity (online); and a large selection of must-read essays.