A Beautiful Mess

To some degree, writing should always be playful and exploratory. But there’s no better season than summer to get messy and see where the words take us. In this two-part course, we’ll spend the first three weeks writing together from an assortment of generative prompts and texts, including a diverse range of materials and activities designed to spark inspiration and contemplation, along with some consideration of technical craft. Stories, poems, visual art, songs, perambulations, and more—all of these may provoke our newest attempts.

A one-week break will allow us time to sift through what we’ve created and form our own ideas for moving forward. Then, in the second three weeks we’ll apply various developmental exercises to those “beautiful messes,” attempting to shape them toward what they want to be. (Perhaps we’ll make them even more messy--but that may be part of the process.) In both segments of this six-week class, we’ll have time to share in-class writing for on-the-spot instructor and student feedback.

The course focuses on in-class writing, though participants are encouraged to continue working from the prompts on their own time as the muse—or discipline—moves them.