This is an advanced creative writing workshop in which students design their own independent projects under the guidance of the instructor. Seminars generally explore a specific genre in depth. Prerequisite: senior classification and the successful completion of three courses in writing above the 100 level, two at the 300 level.
|Senior classification and the successful completion of three courses in writing above the 100 level, two at the 300 level.||1 course|
Spring Semester informationJoseph Heithaus
412A: Seminar: Poetry, Memoir, and Fiction
That Mirror: Seminar in Poetry and Memoir
To see in death sleep, and in the sunset
Sad gold--such is poetry,
Which is immortal and poor. Poetry
Returns like the dawn and the sunset.
At times in the evenings a face
Looks at us out of the depths of a mirror;
Art should be like that mirror
Which reveals to us our own face.
Jorge Luis Borges, "Ars Poetica"
While my primary expertise is in poetry, our goal will be to have great writing in each seminar project. There is no other class you'll take at DePauw that will be as much about trying to get every student to produce something great. Ideally, you'll take as much pride in other seniors' projects as your own and that our Senior Reading will be a celebration of all you've accomplished as a writing major. Our reading will depend in part on the distribution of your projects across genre, but we'll read what Rick Bass called some "freaks"--those poets, fiction writers, and memoir writers who write seemingly perfect sentences over and over. Usually we read Stop Time by Frank Conroy to start, but we'll shape a reading list that will reflect your aspirations and goals. Clearly, we'll use the lessons of poetry, like the "Ars Poetica" above to help direct our attention at the possibilities of words and the "sad gold" of the art of writing.
412B: Seminar: Playwriting and Screenwriting
In this culminating, intensive workshop course, students will create either a feature-length screenplay or a full-length play. Early classes focus on generation of material and honing in on an idea which will be proposed to the class; then each student will have significant time(s) to workshop over the remainder of the semester. Students are asked to incorporate research into these dramatic works, keep a reading/screening/viewing log, and examine their own process as they create a piece of length to take with them beyond DePauw.
412C: Seminar: Journalism and Creative Nonfiction
In this senior seminar, students will write true stories. You can choose from a variety of genres, including news writing, literary reportage, New Journalism, memoir, personal essays, travel writing, profiles, history, biography, flash nonfiction, or experimental forms. We begin the semester with writing exercises and readings designed to generate ideas. Then you will meet with me to design a long-form project, the culmination of your study in the major. As a class, we will workshop these pieces in the subsequent weeks. You will revise and revise again. The class culminates in a public reading with great cheer and libations.