ENG 290 Crafting Creative Nonfiction

Robert Hosmer, T 1:00 PM-2:50 PM

" The great thing is to last and get your work done and see and hear and learn and understand; and write when there is something that you know; and not before; and not too damned much after....the thing to do is work and learn to make it."

                                                                                                                                                              Ernest Hemingway

English 290 will be a course for students with a serious interest in developing and refining their skills at formal essay writing. Because reading and writing are complementary cognitive activities, we will spend time reading essays by some of the best writiers of the last 100 years or so: Virginia Woolf, George Orwell, James Baldwin, Adrienne Rich, Richard Rodriguez, Alice Walker, and Gore Vidal among others. Selections will be organized in thematic clusters to inspire, prompt, provoke or incite responses that will generate formal essays. Attention will be paid to the writing process, particularly revision, and to matters of style as well ("the perfection of style is to be clear without being mean," said Aristotle).

English 290 will combine formal class sessions,independent writing, group writing, and conferences with the instructor. A portfolio of finished essays (five or six) will be due on the Friday before the last class of the semester.

All majors welcome. Admission by permission of instructor. Interested students must submit one or two non-fiction writing samples of any length by August 16 to the English Department, Pierce Hall 105, or by email to the department assistant, Jennifer Roberts, jroberts@smith.edu.