Memorable writing has the power to haunt us, guide us, and help us remember. In this course we will focus on both inspiration and technique, and will explore the art of writing poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Students will generate ideas, write original work, revise drafts, and participate in candid, constructive critiques of their own work, as well as that of their peers. One of a writer's most important tools is the workshop model, and we'll discover both how to make it work and how to make the best use of its criticism as we revise. Learning how to revise well is the other great goal of this course: there is simply no substitute for the painstaking work of sifting the products of one's own imagination, and so we'll devote significant class time to revision exercises and individual tutorials.
Session One will explore themes of urbanism and naturalism in their creative writing, responding to issues raised by Stanford's unique location in Silicon Valley - an urban center amidst staggering natural beauty. Session Two will explore how visual experiences relate to the writing process, encouraging students to respond to sculptures, photographs, and films in their written work.