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Three Genres : The Writing of Literary Prose, Poems and Plays Plus NEW MyLiteratureLab -- Access Card Package,9780321858726
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Three Genres : The Writing of Literary Prose, Poems and Plays Plus NEW MyLiteratureLab -- Access Card Package

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Three Genresgives students a basic introduction to fiction/ literary nonfiction, poetry, and drama and helps them to develop their creative skills in each area. Each genre section is self-contained and includes complete works as examples along with helpful advice about how to draw on the variety of techniques they use. The style is informal, practical, and positive. Minot and Thiel encourage students to draw on their own experiences and develop skills on their own.

Author Biography

About Stephen Minot


Stephen Minot, Professor Emeritus of the Creative Writing Department at the University of California, Riverside, has taught creative writing for over thirty years.  Over the span of his very successful career, Professor Minot authored three novels, two collections of short stories, and three textbooks including Reading Fiction and Literary Nonfiction, The Fourth Genre.  His short stories have appeared in a variety of magazines and literary quarterlies including The Atlantic, Harpers, The Kenyon Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and the Sewanee Review, just to name a few.  Professor Minot’s work has also appeared in the O. Henry Prize Stories collection and The Best American Short Stories.  He is also the recipient of the Atlantic First Award, the Saxton Memorial Fellowship, and the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship for writing.  Professor Minot and Virginia, his wife, split their time between California and Maine.   


 About Diane Thiel


Diane Thiel is the author of eight books of poetry, nonfiction and creative writing pedagogy, including Echolocations, Resistance Fantasies,  Winding Roads: Exercises in Writing Creative Nonfiction, Cross Roads: Creative Writing in Four Genres, and Open Roads: Exercises in Writing Poetry.  Thiel’s translation of Alexis Stamatis’s novel, American Fugue, received an NEA Award.  Her work appears in many journals, is re-printed in over fifty anthologies, and has been translated widely.  She has received numerous awards, such as the PEN Translation, Robert Frost, and Robinson Jeffers Awards, and was a Fulbright Scholar.  Thiel has taught creative writing for twenty years and is a Professor at the University of New Mexico.


Table of Contents




Preface for Students

Preface for Teachers




A. Literary Nonfiction


1. Literary Nonfiction: An Overview

2. True Experience

3. Nonfiction in a Reflective Mood

4. Impressions of a Real Place

5. “Westbury Court”: Literary Nonfiction by Edwidge Danticat

6. Creating Your Own Literary Nonfiction


B. Fiction


7. Fiction: The Freedom to Invent

8. Finding and Shaping Fresh Material

9. “Escapes”: A Story by Ann Hood

10. Viewpoint: Who’s Seeing This?

11. “Rwanda”: A Story by Stephen Minot

12. The Making of a Story

13. Structure: From Scenes to Plot

14. “A Simple Matter of Hunger”: A Story by Sharon Oard Warner

15. Creating Tension

16. Setting: Where am I?

17. “Obst Vw” A Story by Sharon Solwitz

18. Dialogue: The Illusion of Speech

19. Characterization: Creating Credible People

20. Liberating the Imagination

21. Three Flashes of Fiction:

“The Bank Robbery”: A Story by Steven Schutzman

“Stockings”: A Story by Tim O’Brien

“Girl”: A Story by Jamaica Kincaid

22. Heightened Meaning: Metaphor, Symbol, and Theme

23. “Gotta Dance”: A Story by Jackson Jodie Daviss

24. Style and Tone

25. Five Ways to Open Up a Story

26. Troubleshooting Guide: Fiction




27. What Makes a Poem a Poem?  


28. Plunging In: A Selection of Poems  

Robert Frost, “Design”

John Updike, “Winter Ocean”

William Stafford, “Traveling through the Dark”

Carol Oles, “The Gift”

Molly Peacock, “Anger Sweetened”

William Shakespeare, “Sonnet 29”

Lucille Clifton, “What the Mirror Said”

Chora, “After Spring”

Etheridge Knight, “Haiku”

Clement Long, “Always the One Who Loves His Father Most”

Maya Angelou, “This Winter Day”

Barbara Howes, “ The Bay at West Falmouth”

Robley Wilson, “On a Maine Beach”

James Bertram, “Is it Well-Lighted, Papa?”

Theodore Roethke, “The Waking”

Philip Appleman, “Coast to Coast”

E.E. Cummings, “Buffalo Bill’s”

Maxine Kumin, “Morning Swim”

Rhina Espaillat, “Bilingual/Bilingüe”

Craig Raine, “A Martian Sends a Postcard Home”

Richard Wilbur, “The Pardon”

Nikki Giovanni, “Balances”

Chase Twichell, “Rhymes for Old Age”

Donald Hall, “Names of Horses”

Joy Harjo, “She Had Some Horses”

Naomi Shihab Nye, “Famous”

Stephen Dunn, “A Secret Life”

Dorothy Barresi, “Mystery”

Theodore Deppe, “The Paradise of Wings”

Thomas McGrath, “Nuclear Winter”

Anita Endrezze, “The Mapmaker’s Daughter”


29. Sources: Where Poems Come From

30. The Impact of Images  

31. Using the Sound of Language 

32. Traditional Rhythms 


33. Stanzas: a Choice of Fixed Forms  


34. Free Verse: Creating Unique Forms  


35. A Sense of Order  


36. Varieties of Tone  


37. Finding the Form: A Revision Narrative with Exercises

Diane Thiel, “Memento Mori in Middle School”


38. Poems for Self-study  

Paula Gunn Allen, “Grandmother”

Joseph Bruchac, “Indian Country Again”

Christopher Buckley, “Intransitive”

Andrea Hollander Budy, “Burning the Letters”

David Curry, “To Those Who Are Programming Computers to Produce Poetry”

Jim Daniels, “Short-order Cook”

Dana Gioia, “California Hills in August”

R.S. Gwynn, “Shakespearean Sonnet”

Judy Kronenfield, “Maiden Voyages”

April Linder, “Dog Bite”

Rita Marie Martinez, “Going Bananas”

Edna St. Vincent Millay, “What Lips My Lips Have Kissed”

Maurya Simon, “The Afterlife”

Pireeni Sundara lingham, “Lot’s Wives”

Jenniver Tseng, “Autobiography of an Immigrant”

Carolyn Beard Whitlow, “Rockin’ a Man Stone Blind”

David Young, “Love Song for Chloe”


39. Troubleshooting Guide: Poetry  





40. Drama: A Live Performance


41.  A Play by William Saroyan: “Hello Out There”


42. The Dramatic Plot


43. A Play by Tony Padilla: “Reckoning”


44. Conflict: Emotional Impact


45. A Play by Glenn Alterman, “Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda”


46. The Nonrealistic Play


47. Dramatic Characterization


48. Visual Impact


49. The Voices of Comedy


50. Dramatic Themes


51. Five Dramatic Exercises


52. Troubleshooting Guide: Drama





A. Submitting Work for Publication


B. Resources for Writers








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