Summer 2010
Fully Enrolled

HUMS 619
Flash Fiction/Prose Poetry: An Immersive Reading and Writing Workshop

Bellen,Martine Rose

08/09/2010 - 08/13/2010
Monday-Friday 09:00 AM - 05:00 PM

Downey 100

Special Schedule: One-week immersion, August 6-10 (Monday-Friday) 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Definitions for types of literature tend to fall short. And extremely short they do fall when one attempts to define flash fiction (short shorts) and prose poetry. Though the two genres have been known to rub elbows from time to time, readers of flash fiction will discuss texts in terms of character, plot, conflict, while readers of prose poetry will deliberate sound devices, figurative language, and rhythm.

In this workshop, close readings of these two genres will be conducted, investigating, side by side, how they work as a means to explore fresh avenues of entry into fiction and poetry, using the other as a springboard to more deeply navigate each genre. In the reading component of the workshop, we will learn how ordinary prose can be heightened to create extraordinary word environments for both fiction and poetry and in the creative writing component, we will apply the techniques identified in our discussions. All participants will be expected to write both flash fiction and prose poetry and to workshop both genres.

Readings for this course will include fiction by John Edger Wideman, Ron Carlson, A.M. Homes, Robert Coover, Lydia Davis, Dave Eggers, Donald Hall, Melanie Rae Thon, Jim Crace, James Tate, Rick Moody, and Christopher Merrill, and others; and poetry by Allen Ginsberg, Frank O'Hara, Elizabeth Bishop, John Ashbery, Charles Simic, Russell Edson, Rosmarie Waldrop, Lyn Hejinian, James Tate, Anne Carson, Yusef Komunyakaa, and Lydia Davis, and others.

Enrollment is limited to 14 students. This course is not open to auditors.

Immersion courses are worth three units of credit and are academically as rigorous as a regular term course, only the class meetings are compressed into a very short time. Students interested in immersion courses should be aware that the syllabus usually requires that students prepare for up to a month prior to the first class meeting and complete assignments in the weeks following the course. Please click here for more information about immersion courses.

This course is offered during August Immersion II; the deadline to withdraw and receive a tuition refund is Wednesday, June 30 at 5:00 pm.

A syllabus for this course is available at:
HUMS 619

Martine Bellen (B.A. Hunter College, M.F.A. Brown University) is the author of six collections of poetry, including The Vulnerability Of Order (Copper Canyon Press);Further Adventures Of The Monkey God (Spuyten Duyvil); and Tales Of Murasaki And Other Poems (Sun & Moon Press), which won the National Poetry Series Award. She has been awarded a residency at the Rockefeller Foundation in Bellagio, Italy, and fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts and the Fund for Poetry. Bellen is a contributing editor of the literary journal Conjunctions.


Consent of Instructor Required: No

Format: Seminar

Level: GLSP Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 14

Texts to purchase for this course:
James Thomas and Robert Shapard (editors), FLASH FICTION FORWARD (Norton)

Lydia Davis, ALMOST NO MEMORY (Picador)

David Lehman (editor), GREAT AMERICAN PROSE POEMS (Scribner)

Gary L. McDowell and F. Daniel Rzicznek, THE ROSE METAL FIELD GUIDE TO PROSE POETRY (Rose Metal Press)

Harryette Mullen, SLEEPING WITH THE DICTIONARY (University of California Press)


Reading materials are available at BROAD STREET BOOKS, 45 Broad Street, Middletown, 860-685-7323 Order your books online

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