ENG209 Creative Writing Workshop, Lee Foust, Fall 2019 | SACI College of Art & Design Florence

ENG209 Creative Writing Workshop, Lee Foust, Fall 2019

Course Description & Requirements

This course is a creative writing workshop keyed to, but not restricted to, exploring the experience of foreign study through writing about our experiences in Florence, living abroad, and travel. Along with the weekly writing workshops of our own writing, we will also read and discuss texts that focus on Europe and Italy from both the native and foreign perspectives, noting particularly the literary techniques and strategies that various writers have used to express their experiences of Italy. Our class sessions will be divided almost equally between these two activities. One of our two weekly sessions will be devoted to the examination of a text dealing with various American, English, Austrian, French, and Italian authors’ experiences of Italy. These texts will provide us with a forum for discussing the literary expression of place and one’s relationship to those places as well as showcasing various forms, genres, and literary techniques that we might find useful in the formulation of our own texts. The readings will also provide us with models for weekly writing assignments that will ward off any writer’s block. In these classes we will also listen to various authors reading their texts aloud and consider the aesthetics of performance. (I also run a monthly Open Mic series here in Florence on the first Wednesday of every month and I highly encourage you to attend and to read!)

The second of our weekly class sessions will function as a writer’s workshop: each student will present their own textual productions orally (accompanied by copies for everyone) to the group for reactions, critique, and suggestions for revision. The weekly writing assignments will be particularly useful for beginners but should also help more experienced writers in an attempt to goad them into trying new techniques based on the weekly readings. You will of course be absolutely free to write about things other than the foreign experience for the workshops—especially if you have a particular project in mind. Our ultimate goal will be to produce a finalized, substantial text—or series of short texts—suitable for performance and/or publication in the literary world beyond this class.

Grading

Your final grade will represent the average of three separate grades for three different categories of text production and participation in this course.

  1. You will be graded on the texts that you produce—those presented during the workshop sessions, anything you hand in to me privately, as well as the weekly assignments—not only on their overall number but how well they reflect a consistent effort to move ahead with your writing, to improve and diversify it.
  2. You will be graded on how well you use and participate in both the workshop and reading sessions—how many texts you present, how well you give and take criticism, the success of your re-writes and your contribution to the discussions on others’ readings and performances. This grade will also be affected by your attendance.
  3. You will be graded on your final project—its quality, polish, and overall success.

NOTE: I will not be able to give a passing grade to students who fail to participate regularly in the workshops, produce considerably fewer texts than the class average or are absent 5 or more times (as per SACI regulations).

Schedule
 

Week 1

Monday, September 9
Course introduction, self-presentations.

Wednesday, September 11
Round robin reading: Who are we? Where are we?

Week 2

Monday, September 16
Reading, Listening & discussion: Allen Ginsberg’s “Europe! Europe!”
Assignment: First impressions of Florence/Europe in any form.

Tuesday, September 17
OPEN MIC at The Student Hotel (9 pm)

Wednesday, September 18
Workshop: Presentation of students’ work and discussion.

Week 3

Monday, September 23
Reading discussion: Mark Twain on Florence and Italy from The Innocents Abroad: Satirizing the self and the other.
Assignment: Write about your awkwardness in Florence and/or Italian awkwardness in your eyes in prose.

Wednesday, September 25
Workshop: Presentation of students’ work and discussion.

Week 4

Monday, September 30
Reading discussion: Selected poems from Rainer Maria Rilke’s New Poems: The objective correlative.
Listening: Henry Miller reading from The Colossus of Maurussi.
Assignment: Describe two things you have seen in Florence as objective correlatives in verse or prose.

Tuesday, October 1
OPEN MIC at The Student Hotel (9 pm)

Wednesday, October 2
Workshop: Presentation of students’ work and discussion.

Week 5

Monday, October 7
Reading Discussion: Ernest Hemingway’s “Che ti dice la patria?”: The politics of scenery and the scenery of politics.
Listening: Hemingway “In Harry’s Bar in Venice”: Self-satire.
Assignment: Describe an event from in your life in Florence that seemed to symbolically represent a truth about of Italy or Italians in prose or verse.

Wednesday, October 9
Workshop: Presentation of students’ work and discussion.

Week 6

Monday, October 14
Reading: Pier Paolo Pasolini’s “Apennine”: Cognitive mapping.
Listening: Pier Paolo Pasolini reads with music by Ennio Morricone.
Assignment: Describe the place in Florence of which you are most familiar (with characters and an event if you can) in either prose or verse.

Tuesday, October 15
OPEN MIC at The Student Hotel (9 pm)

Wednesday, October 16
Workshop: Presentation of students’ work and discussion.

Week 7

Monday, October 21
Reading: Malcolm Lowry’s short story “Present Estate of Pompeii”: Tourist fiction.
Assignment: Write a short story or a poem about your travels around Italy/Europe.

Wednesday, October 23
Workshop: Presentation of students’ work and discussion.

   

Week 8

MIDTERM BREAK (October 26 - November 3)

   

Week 9

Monday, November 4
Reading: Excerpt from Mde. de Stael’s novel Corinne, or Italy: Italy as a woman.
Assignment: If Italy and the USA were persons what would they be like? How would they interact?

Tuesday, November 5
OPEN MIC at The Student Hotel (9 pm)

Wednesday, November 6
Workshop: Presentation of students’ work and discussion.

Week 10

Monday, November 11
Reading: Angela Carter’s “The Tiger’s Bride”: Italy as a romantic backdrop.
Assignment: Describe the most romantic, terrifying, boring, or humorous place that you have seen in Italy with characters and an event in either prose or verse.

Wednesday, November 13
Workshop: Presentation of students’ work and discussion.

Week 11

Monday, November 18
Reading: F. T. Marinetti’s Manifesto of Futurist Writing and Words-in-Freedom: Freeing words from sense, grammar and the printing press.
Assignment: Try to free your words from sense, grammar and the printing press.

Tuesday, November 19
OPEN MIC at The Student Hotel (9 pm)

Wednesday, November 20
Workshop: Presentation of students’ work and discussion.

Week 12

Monday, November 25
Reading Patti Smith’s “Italy (The Round)”: Italy and the American avant-garde.
Reading: Excerpt from Kathy Acker’s novel My Death My Life By Pier Paolo Pasolini.
Listening: Patti Smith reading with and without music: Place as transcendence.
Assignment: Describe an imaginative Italy from books, films, conversations, etc.

Wednesday, November 27
Workshop: Presentation of students’ work and discussion.

Week 13

Monday, December 2
Reading and Listening: Ezra pound’s “Canto III”: The landscape of memory.
Assignment: Write a first person memory with interpretation or dependent associations in verse or prose.

Tuesday, December 3
OPEN MIC at The Student Hotel

Wednesday, December 4
Workshop: Presentation of students’ work and discussion.

Week 14

Monday, December 9
Workshop: Presentation of students’ work and discussion.

Wednesday, December 11
Workshop: Presentation of students’ work and discussion.

Week 15

Monday, December 16
(Final exam class): Presentation of final projects.

Tuesday, December 17
OPEN MIC at The Student Hotel (9 pm)

Wednesday, December 18
(Final exam class): Presentation of final projects (if necessary).

Friday, December 20 - 7 pm: Student presentations at final SACI end-of-term party (Clayton Hubbs Lecture Hall - Palazzo dei Cartelloni)

 

Readings

The readings are available in a course packet for purchase at Copisteria X, Via San Gallo, 72red. Tel. 055-215367.

General Safety & Emergency Instructions

Click here for a pdf of SACI's General Safety & Emergency Instructions.

Share
this page