College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
MFA Creative Writing

MFA Courses

Fall 2014

EN 501: Teaching Creative Writing ~ Show Description

EN501-01 (4149)

Instructor: Hilene Flanzbaum
M 6-8:30 ECCW Sunroom

Teaching Creative Writing: This course will give graduate students the opportunity to learn the pedagogy of creative writing classes, including the skills to teach "reading for writers", methods of workshopping and alternatives, and dealing with the psychodynamics of the creative personality. The class will feature a variety of creative writing teachers from various institutions at the graduate, undergraduate and secondary levels.  Open to MFA students only.

Hilene Flanzbaum earned her BA from Brandeis, MA from Johns Hopkins, and PhD from the University of Pennsylvania.  She is the editor of the Norton Anthology of Jewish-American Literature, and The Americanization of the Holocaust, published by Johns Hopkins UP in 1999.  Her essays and poetry have been widely published in venues such as O, The Massachusetts Review, Ploughshares, and Tikkun.

EN 501: Young Adut Novel ~ Show Description

EN501-02 (4150)

Instructor: Michael Dahlie
T  6:00-8:30 ECCW Living Room

Graduate level seminar on the Young Adult Novel.

Michael Dahlie is Butler University's first Booth Tarkington Writer-in-Residence. He earned his M.F.A. from Washington University in St. Louis. His first novel, A Gentleman's Guide to Graceful Living, won the 2009 PEN/Hemingway award. He has been named a winner of the 2010 Whiting Writer's Award. His short fiction has appeared in numerous journals, including Ploughshares, The Kenyon Review, the Mississippi Review and Tin House.

 

EN 502: Prose Workshop in FICTION ~ Show Description

EN 502-01 (2094)
Workshop in Fiction

Instructor: Ben Winters
M 6-8:30 PM, ECCW Sunroom

Graduate level prose creative writing workshop, Fiction. Open to MFA in Creative Writing students only.

Ben H. Winters is the author of six novels, including most recently The Last Policeman (Quirk), one of  Slate's best books of 2012 and an Edgar Award nominee for Best Paperback Original. Ben's other books include the New York Times bestselling parody novel Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters (Quirk) and a novel for young readers, The Secret Life of Ms. Finkleman (HarperCollins), which was a Bank Street Best Children's Book of 2011 as well as an Edgar Nominee in the juvenile category. Ben has also written extensively for the theater, and his journalism has appeared in The Chicago Reader, The Nation, In These Times, and elsewhere.

EN 502: Prose Workshop in NON-FICTION ~ Show Description

EN502-02 (2095)

Instructor: Unassigned (Booth Tarkington Writer-in-Residence)
Class Meeting: Thursdays 6-8:30 PM at ECCW

Graduate level prose creative writing workshop, Creative Non-Fiction. Open to MFA in Creative Writing students only.

How can verbatim interviews, found texts, historical documents, overheard conversations, discarded letters and automated pre-recorded voices be incorporated, contextualized, added to, and edited - so that they become something new, authentic and personal? I am interested in emphasizing the impossibility of "non-fiction."

EN 502: Prose Workshop in SCREENWRITING ~ Show Description

EN 502-03 (4151)

Instructor: Unassigned (Booth Tarkington Writer-in-Residence)
Meeting times: Wednesday 6-8:30 PM at ECCW

Graduate level prose creative writing workshop, Screenwriting. Open to MFA in Creative Writing students only.

Writing for the big and small screen will focus on the choices made in the story telling process, the difference between screenwriting and other forms of writing, the specifics of dialogue, character and plot. Students will do quick weekly exercises as well as work on individual semester long projects.  Scenes from film and television will be watched as a class and discussed.

EN 502: Prose Workshop in NOVELS ~ Show Description

EN 502-04 (4550)

Instructor: Allison Lynn
Wed 6-8:30 ECCW Living Room

Graduate workshop for writers beginning, or in the process of writing, novels. In this class, we'll delve into issues particular to the novel - pacing, the development of conflict, a sustainable voice, the revelation of information, and more - using the participants' work as the main basis for discussion. Open to MFA students only.

Allison Lynn holds a BA from Dartmouth College and an MFA from New York University. Her novel Now You See It (2004) won the William Faulkner Medal from the Pirate's Alley Faulkner Society and the Chapter One Award from the Bronx Council on the Arts. Her essays and reviews have appeared in publications including The New York Times Book Review, The Chicago Sun-Times, People, InStyle and Post Road, as well as several anthologies.

EN 503: Poetry Workshop ~ Show Description

EN 503-01 (1971)

Instructor: Chris Forhan
Thurs 6:00-8:30PM ECCW Living Room

This is a graduate level poetry writing workshop.  Throughout the semester, you will write your own poems in the context of a study of various poetic movements and aesthetic inclinations in American poetry of the last few decades, from the loosened form and expanded subject matter seen in "confessional" poetry of the '50s and '60s to the "Deep Image" and "Neo-surreal" poetry of the '70s to the indeterminacy and radical disjunctiveness evident in more recent "language" poetry.  You will write a number of poems to be critiqued in a workshop format and will submit a series of short written responses to the assigned reading.

Chris Forhan earned an MA from the University of New Hampshire and an MFA from the University of Virginia. He is the author of Forgive Us Our Happiness (1999), co-winner of the Bakeless Prize; The Actual Moon, The Actual Stars (2003), winner of the Samuel French Morse Poetry Prize and the Washington State Book Award; and Black Leapt In (2009), winner of the Barrow Street Press Book Prize and the Best Book of Indiana Award.  Forhan's poems have appeared in The Best American Poetry and in Poetry, Paris Review, New England Review, and other journals, and he has received a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and two Pushcart Prizes.

Spring 2015

EN501: Prose Poems and Flash Fiction ~ Show Description

Instructor: David Shumate
Monday
6-8:30PM, ECCW Living Room

Prose Poems and Flash Fiction- The boundary between poetry and fiction is often thought of as clear and distinct.  However, over the course of the last century poets and fiction writers have explored the frontier in between these genres with intriguing results.  In this course, students will survey this often-neglected literary realm, studying the work of writers who have ventured into this area and composing a significant body of their own prose poems and/or very short stories.

David Shumate

EN 502: Graduate Prose Workshop: Fiction ~ Show Description

Instructor: Dan Barden
Tuesday
6:00-8:30PM,
ECCW Sun Room

Graduate level creative writing workshop in Fiction. Open to MFA in Creative Writing students only.

Author of John Wayne: A Novel and The Next Right Thing (2011), Dan Barden received his M.F.A. from Columbia University and has published fiction and essays in GQ, Details, and various literary magazines. Before coming to Butler he held the prestigious Jenny McKean Moore writer-in-residence at The George Washington University. In addition to teaching creative writing courses in fiction, poetry, and personal essay, Dan also writes plays.

EN 502: Prose Workshop in Non-Fiction (1) ~ Show Description

Instructor: Andy Levy
Tuesday
6-8:30PM, ECCW Living Room

Graduate Prose Workshop. Nonfiction - A graduate-level workshop seminar in nonfiction prose writing.  All students will compose nonfiction prose of their own design, and provide critique of the work of their peers in a workshop setting.  Running alongside this workshop will be a craft seminar in Creative Nonfiction, in which students will read prominent examples from the genre and compose short essays modeled on those exemplars.  Students will also meet well-known practitioners of fiction and creative nonfiction in formal and casual settings, and will participate in one additional semester-long activity:  daily journal-keeping, annotation exercises, and/or the creation of a bibliography of creative nonfiction resources.

Andrew Levy received his BA from Brown, MA from Johns Hopkins, and PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of The First Emancipator (2005), winner of the Slatten Prize for biography, and A Brain Wider Than The Sky: A Migraine Diary (2009), co-editor of the Norton Anthology of Postmodern American Fiction (1997), and co-author of the textbook Creating Fiction: A Writer's Companion (1995).  His essays and reviews have appeared in Best American Essays, Harper's, the American Scholar, Chicago Tribune, and elsewhere.

EN 502: Prose Workshop in SCREENWRITING (1) ~ Show Description

Instructor: Alix Lambert, Booth Tarkington Writer-in-Residence
Thursday
6-8:30 PM, ECCW Basement

Graduate level prose creative writing workshop, Screenwriting. Open to MFA in Creative Writing students only.

Writing for the big and small screen will focus on the choices made in the story telling process, the difference between screenwriting and other forms of writing, the specifics of dialogue, character and plot. Students will do quick weekly exercises as well as work on individual semester long projects.  Scenes from film and television will be watched as a class and discussed.

Alix Lambert has directed and produced three feature length documentaries:The Mark of Cain, Bayou Blue, and Mentor, as well as numerous shorts. She was a writer on the HBO shows Deadwood and John from Cincinnati. She has conceived, written and directed two short series for MOCA tv: Crime: The Animated Series, and Ambiance Man. She is the author of Crime, and The Silencing.

EN 502: Prose Workshop in NOVELS (1) ~ Show Description

Instructor: Allison Lynn
Wednesday
6-8:30PM, ECCW Sunroom

Graduate workshop for writers beginning, or in the process of writing, novels. In this class, we'll delve into issues particular to the novel - pacing, the development of conflict, a sustainable voice, the revelation of information, and more - using the participants' work as the main basis for discussion. Open to MFA students only.

Allison Lynn holds a BA from Dartmouth College and an MFA from New York University. Her novel Now You See It (2004) won the William Faulkner Medal from the Pirate's Alley Faulkner Society and the Chapter One Award from the Bronx Council on the Arts. Her essays and reviews have appeared in publications including The New York Times Book Review, The Chicago Sun-Times, People, InStyle and Post Road, as well as several anthologies.

EN 503-01: Graduate Poetry Workshop ~ Show Description

Instructor: Alessandra Lynch
Wednesday
6:00-8:30PM, ECCW Living Room

Graduate level workshop in poetry. Open to MFA in Creative Writing students only.

In this Graduate Seminar, you will continue to read, write, mull and muse over poetry-the art and craft of it and its myriad joys and challenges, frolics and foibles. We will spend at least half of the classes "workshopping" each other's poems-paying respectful attention to the formal elements and individual voices of the poem and exchanging observations and suggestions in order to help the poems sing full-throatedly-wholly and deeply. Our goal is to heed the essential nature of each poem and offer suggestions that might further it along in its journey.  The purpose of the workshop is to nurture these poems, coax them out into the light where a reader might more fully feel their diverse resonances.  We will understand, along the way, that some of the poems will be "formed" more or less than others. In addition to workshopping, much of this seminar will involve close, frequent, avid readings of poems.

Throughout this course, I will be encouraging you to cultivate your individual poetic sensibilities, to keep your senses awake and alert.  Ultimately, I hope you will deepen your experiences and responses to the world as poets.

Alessandra Lynch holds a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MFA from the University of Iowa Writers's Workshop. Her poems have appeared in the American Poetry Review, Antioch Review, Ploughshares, and other journals.  She is the author of of Sails the Wind Left Behind (2002), winner of the Alice James Books New England / New York Competition, and It was a terrible cloud at twilight (2008), winner of the Lena-Miles Wever Todd Poetry Prize.

EN 455S-01: Writing in the Schools ~ Show Description

Instructor: Chris Speckman
T/TR 2:25-3:40PM
Classroom TBA

Writing in the Schools is a service learning course that emphasizes of the teaching of writing alongside the mentoring of elementary, middle, and high school students. The chief concerns of the course are to introduce Butler students to community program building, to provide leadership opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students in partnership with an urban educational institution, and to further the aims of placing writing as a centerpiece within current education models.

Chris Speckman earned his BA and MFA from Butler University. Involved as a graduate assistant since the course's inception in 2011, he has helped to shape the Writing in the School program, which has been honored with a Jefferson Award for Public Service and a grant from the Jerry L. and Barbara J. Burris Foundation.