Creative Writing: An Introduction to Poetry and Fiction

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2013-09-19
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's

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Creative Writing: An Introduction to Poetry and Fiction is a brief guide that offers plenty of options for the two-genre creative writing course. Adapted from David Starkey’s successful Creative Writing: Four Genres in Brief, it starts with lively and highly-praised instruction on the basics of reading and writing poetry and fiction. Then it presents a wide and versatile selection of model contemporary poems and stories for students to admire and emulate. Throughout, it offers a range of checklists to help students shape their poems and stories, as well as inventive assignments to fire students’ imaginations and get them creating on their own.

Author Biography

David Starkey is Professor of English and Director of the Creative Writing Program at Santa Barbara City College.  He is the editor of two collections of creative writing pedagogy, Teaching Writing Creatively (1998) and Genre by Example: Writing What We Teach (2001), and he has been active in all four genres.  His poetry collections include Adventures of the Minor Poet (2007); Ways of Being Dead: New and Selected Poems (2006); and Fear of Everything (2000).  Several poems from his most recent collection, A Few Things You Should Know about the Weasel (2010) were featured on Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac.  His fiction has appeared in American Literary Review, Rio Grande Review, Sou’wester, and in the anthology Blue Cathedral: Contemporary Fiction for the New Millennium.  His creative nonfiction has been published in Cimarron Review, Gulf Stream Magazine, Tampa Review, and in the book Living Blue in the Red States (2007), which he edited.  His plays have been produced in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, Minneapolis, Toronto, and elsewhere.

Table of Contents

Preface: A Few Words to Instructors

A Few Things You Should Know About Creative Writing

A Few Words About Revision

1 Writing Poetry

A Few Things You Should Know about Poetry

The Elements of Poetry

The Short Poem: Three Models

       Gail White, "My Personal Recollections of Not Being Asked to the Prom"

       Ruth Stone, "Winter"

       Rae Armantrout, "Duration"

Lines and Stanzas

Meter and Rhythm

The Music of Poetry

Images, Symbols and Figurative Language

Diction, Syntax and the Language of Poetry

Poetic Forms

       Sonnet / Villanelle / Rondeau / Sestina / Haiku / Cinquain / Rondelet / Triolet / Pantoum / Ghazal / Prose Poetry

Getting Started Writing Poetry

>Kick-Starts: Beginning Your Poems

An Anthology of Poems

       Kim Addonizio, "For You"

       Elizabeth Alexander, "House Party Sonnet:‘66"

       Sherman Alexie, "Basketball"

       Agha Shahid Ali, "Postcard from Kashmir"

       Todd Boss, "The World Is in Pencil"

       Ciaran Carson, "Campaign"

       Lorna Dee Cervantes, "Poem for the Young White Man Who Asked Me How I, an Intelligent, Well-Read Person, Could Believe in the War between Races"

       Marilyn Chin, "Repulse Bay"

       Billy Collins, "Nostalgia"

       Elaine Equi, "A Quiet Poem"

       Vona Groarke, "Why I Am Not a Nature Poet"

       Kimiko Hahn, "Yellow Jackets—"

       Joy Harjo, "Santa Fe"

       Geoffrey Hill, "September Song"

       Brenda Hillman, "Shadows in Snow"

       Major Jackson, "The Giant Swing Ending in a Split"

       Allison Joseph, "On Being Told I Don’t Speak like a Black Person"

       June Jordan, "Ghazal at Full Moon"

        Donald Justice, "Variations for Two Pianos"

       Jane Kenyon, "The Blue Bowl"

       Galway Kinnell, "That Silent Evening

       Yusef Komunyakaa, "A Voice on an Answering Machine"

       Ted Kooser, "Mourners"

       Ben Lerner, "We Have Assembled"

       D. Nurske. "Left Field"

       Naomi Shihab Nye, "I Feel Sorry for Jesus"

       Mary Oliver, "Crossing the Swamp"

       David O’Meara, "The Game"

       Deborah Paredez, "Bustillo Drive Grocery"

       Linda Pastan, "November"

       Bradley Paul, "Short Ends"

       Molly Peacock, "Instead of Her Own"

       Patricia Smith, "Listening at the Door"

       Gary Snyder, "I Went into the Maverick Bar"

       Gary Soto, "What Is Your Major?

       James Tate, "Teaching the Ape to Write Poems"

       Gloria Vando, "new shoes and an old flame"

       David Wojahn, "The Assassination of John Lennon as Depicted by the Madame

       Tussaud Wax Museum, Niagara Falls, Ontario, 1987"

       Matthew Zapruder, "Automated Regret Machine"

2 Writing the Short Story

A Few Things You Should Know about the Short-Short Story

The Elements of Fiction

The Short-Short Story: Three Models

       Isaac Babel, "Crossing the River Zbrucz"

       Donald Barthelme, "The Baby"

       Stephanie Vaughn, "We’re on TV in the Universe"

Structure and Design

Creating Characters

Writing Dialogue

Setting the Scene

Deciding on Point of View, Developing Tone and Style

       First-Person Point of View / Second-Person Point of View / Third-Person Limited Point of View / Third-Person Omniscient Point of View / Tense / Tone and Style

Getting Started Writing the Short-Short Story

>Kick-Starts: Beginning Your Story

An Anthology of Short Stories

       Lisa Alvarez, "Cielito Lindo"

       Margaret Atwood, "An Angel"

       Aimee Bender, "Loser"

       T.Coraghessan Boyle, "The Hit Man"

       Ron Carlson, "A Kind of Flying"

       Raymond Carver, "Popular Mechanics"

       Dan Chaon, "St. Dismas"

       John Cheever, "Reunion"

       Allegra Goodman, "La Vita Nuova"

       Ursula Hegi, "Doves"

       Pam Houston, "Symphony"

       Jamaica Kincaid, "Girl"

       Lorrie Moore, "How"

       Joyce Carol Oates, "Wolf’s Head Lake"

       Ron Rash, "Into the Gorge"

       Lynne Tillman, "The Recipe"

       Guadalupe Valdes, "Recuerdo"

       John Edgar Wideman, "Rock River"

       Tobias Wolff, "Bible"

A Few Words About Getting Your Work Published

A Few Words of Farewell



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