The Study of English at Centre
Creative Writing at Centre
While the Creative Writing minor was initiated in 2002, it has always been an important part of the experience of English at Centre. Over the past few years, the pace of student activity and interest has been especially lively. In 2001, the Cantrell poetry prize was inaugurated, endowed by a Centre alum in honor of a much-loved emeritus professor of English at Centre, the late Paul L. Cantrell. Recent winners have been Kristie Kachler in 2004, Ginger Pennington in 2005, and Natalie Armstrong in 2006.
Directing creative writing at Centre is poet, Lisa Williams whose widely praised first volume, The Hammered Dulcimer, won the May Swenson poetry award. In 2004-05, Williams was honored by being selected for the Rome Prize in Literature by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Williams teaches poetry workshops at all levels, a class on poetic forms, and creative non-fiction.
To supplement the creative writing courses, each year the English program brings in at least one accomplished fiction or poetry writer to Centre to teach a creative writing course during the winter term and to serve as a mentor for student writers. Recent writers-in-residence include Mary Gaitskill, Kelly Cherry, Julia Johnson, and Sena Jeter Naslund.
In addition, the Centre College Reading Series provides students with on-campus readings and class visits by nationally-acclaimed poets and fiction writers every year. Over the last few years, the Centre College Reading Series has included poets Charles Wright, Heather McHugh, Larissa Szporluk, Ciaran Carson, Mebh McGuckian, Sarah Arvio, Maurice Manning, and Andrew Hudgins. Fiction writers to read in the series recently include Mary Gaitskill, Sena Jeter Naslund, William Henry Lewis, and Pulitzer Prize winner Edward P. Jones. Readers for 2006 include former poet laureate, Billy Collins.
Creative Writing Courses Offered at Centre
CRW 140 Fundamentals of Poetry Writing
A workshop class devoted to the writing of poetry and to relevant readings designed to guide and inspire the beginning writer.
CRW 150 Fundamentals of Fiction Writing
A workshop class devoted to the writing of short stories and to relevant readings designed to guide and inspire the beginning fiction writer.
CRW 160 Fundamentals of Creative Non-Fiction
A workshop class. Students study and try their hand at a variety of non-fiction genres including memoir, the review, the essay, travel and food writing, humor writing, the editorial, nature writing, and others. We will read writers from different periods including (among others) David Sedaris, Michel de Montaigne, Sir Thomas Browne, Virginia Woolf, Oliver Sacks, Stephen Jay Gould, W.G. Sebald, Annie Dillard, Joan Didion, Edward Abbey, Edward Hoagland, Pier Paolo Pasolini, and Jo Ann Beard, as well as selections from the most recent Best American Essays anthology.
CRW 240 Intermediate Poetry Writing
A workshop class. Students write approximately a poem a week to be workshopped by class members and then revised. Reading and discussion of several new volumes of poetry by contemporary poets. Prerequisite: ENG 140 or FRS 121 or ENG 250 or permission of the instructor. May be repeated for additional credit.
CRW 245 Intermediate Fiction Writing
This course builds upon the fundamentals of fiction writing. Students advance their understanding of writing fiction through the composition of their own short stories, through minor project work in an alternative genre and through the examination of a range of established writers' approaches to the form, structure, and function of the short story. Prerequisite: ENG 150 or permission of the instructor.
CRW 250 Poetic Forms: History and Practice
Discussion of poetic forms including the sonnet, sestina, villanelle, prose poem, free verse, and syllabic poetry (among others), with creative assignments. Designed to benefit writers wishing to enrich their knowledge of the craft and their creative abilities, as well as students of literature interested in poetry's history and technical aspects.
CRW 280 Creative Writing: Fiction or Poetry
Practice in the writing of short fiction or poetry, under the guidance of a visiting writer-in-residence. Offered on a Pass/Unsatisfactory basis only. May be repeated for additional credit.
- Courses Offered
- Creative Writing
- Honors and Awards
- Major and Minor
- Special Events
- Study Abroad