Grinnell's Creative Writing Curriculum

Grinnell has neither a creative writing major nor a creative writing track. The English department believes that creative writing ought to be fully integrated into the formal study of literature. Simply put, there is no admirable writing without exhaustive reading. That said, we offer numerous creative writing courses--as many, if not more, than those schools with creative writing majors and/or tracks. We offer both introductory courses and seminars in fiction and poetry writing. We also offer six-week short courses in these genres, courses taught by prominent faculty from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Imagine spending six Fridays with Robert Hass, former Poet Laureate of the United States. Students from Grinnell have had this opportunity. In addition to introductory courses, seminars, and short courses, exceptional students may set up a MAP (Mentored Advanced Project) with a Grinnell faculty member in which they pursue a creative project--a novel, say, or a collection of poems. These MAPs often become the basis for the student's MFA portfolio. Occasionally, the College offers non-fiction classes--writing about jazz, for example, or writing about place.

Courses in Poetry

The Craft of Poetry (ENG 206) 4 credits.
Instruction in the techniques and process of verse writing. Readings may include published poems and essays on the art of poetry. Prerequisites: English 120. BARLOW, SAVARESE. Taught every semester.

Writing Seminar: Poetry (ENG 386) 4 credits.
Advanced workshop for students with a strong background in verse writing. Prerequisites: English 206 and permission of instructor. BARLOW, SAVARESE. Taught every other semester.

Special Topic: Advanced Poetry Seminar (ENG 295) 1 or 2 Credits.
Advanced workshop for students who have taken at least one creative-writing course at Grinnell. Prerequisites: English 205 or 206. Six week short course. KUUSISTO

Courses in Fiction

The Craft of Fiction (ENG 205 ) 4 credits.
Instruction in the techniques and process of fiction writing, with emphasis on the short story. Readings may include published short stories and essays on the art of fiction. Students may also be asked to write in forms related to fiction (journal, autobiography, prose poem). Prerequisites: English 120. HO, DOMINI. Taught every semester.

Writing Seminar: Fiction (ENG 385) 4 credits.
Advanced workshop for students with a strong background in fiction writing. Prerequisites: English 205 and permission of instructor. HO. Taught every other semester.

Special Topic: Craft of Non-Fiction (ENG 295) 4 Credits.
Advanced workshop for students who have taken at least one creative-writing course at Grinnell. Prerequisites: English 205 or 206. DOMINI.

Special Topic: Advanced Fiction Seminar(ENG 295) 1 or 2 Credits.
Advanced workshop for students who have taken at least one creative-writing course at Grinnell. Prerequisites: English 205 or 206. Six-week short course taught by visiting professor.

Other Writing Courses Previously Taught:

Special Topic: Writing the Land (ENV 295) 1 Credit.
Advanced workshop to discuss and improve the student writers' works of fiction and non-fiction. Local field trips will be part of the experience. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.

Special Topic: Criticism and Writing for Public Media (HUM 395-01) 1 Credit.
Advanced workshop for serious nonfiction writers who want to pursue writing as a profession. Focus on the mechanics of writing for newspapers and magazines, career issues, and the function and value of good criticism. Prerequisites: Declared English or Music major and completion of 200-level course work in English or music.