front cover of Across Property Lines
Across Property Lines
Textual Ownership in Writing Groups
Candace Spigelman
Southern Illinois University Press, 2000

Candace Spigelman investigates the dynamics of ownership in small group writing workshops, basing her findings on case studies involving two groups: a five-member creative writing group meeting monthly at a local Philadelphia coffee bar and a four-member college-level writing group meeting in their composition classroom. She explores the relationship between particular notions of intellectual property within each group as well as the effectiveness of writing groups that embrace these notions. Addressing the negotiations between the public and private domains of writing within these groups, she discovers that for both the committed writers and the novices, “values associated with textual ownership play a crucial role in writing group performance.”

Spigelman discusses textual ownership, intellectual property, and writing group processes and then reviews theories relating to authorship and knowledge making. After introducing the participants in each group, discussing their texts, and describing their workshop sessions, she examines the writers’ avowed and implied beliefs about exchanging ideas and protecting individual property rights.

Spigelman stresses the necessary tension between individual and social aspects of writing practices: She argues for the need to foster more collaborative activity among student writers by replicating the processes of writers working in nonacademic settings but also contends that all writers must be allowed to imagine their individual agency and authority as they compose.

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Applied Pedagogies
Strategies for Online Writing Instruction
Daniel Ruefman
Utah State University Press, 2016
Teaching any subject in a digital venue must be more than simply an upload of the face-to-face classroom and requires more flexibility than the typical learning management system affords. Applied Pedagogies examines the pedagogical practices employed by successful writing instructors in digital classrooms at a variety of institutions and provides research-grounded approaches to online writing instruction.
 
This is a practical text, providing ways to employ the best instructional strategies possible for today’s diverse and dynamic digital writing courses. Organized into three sections—Course Conceptualization and Support, Fostering Student Engagement, and MOOCs—chapters explore principles of rhetorically savvy writing crossed with examples of effective digital teaching contexts and genres of digital text. Contributors consider not only pedagogy but also the demographics of online students and the special constraints of the online environments for common writing assignments.
 
The scope of online learning and its place within higher education is continually evolving. Applied Pedagogies offers tools for the online writing classrooms of today and anticipates the needs of students in digital contexts yet to come. This book is a valuable resource for established and emerging writing instructors as they continue to transition to the digital learning environment.
 
Contributors: Kristine L. Blair, Jessie C. Borgman, Mary-Lynn Chambers, Katherine Ericsson, Chris Friend, Tamara Girardi, Heidi Skurat Harris, Kimberley M. Holloway, Angela Laflen, Leni Marshall, Sean Michael Morris, Danielle Nielsen, Dani Nier-Weber, Daniel Ruefman, Abigail G. Scheg, Jesse Stommel
 
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The Art of Creative Research
A Field Guide for Writers
Philip Gerard
University of Chicago Press, 2017
All writers conduct research. For some this means poring over records and combing, archives but for many creative writers research happens in the everyday world—when they scribble an observation on the subway, when they travel to get the feel for a city, or when they strike up a conversation with an interesting stranger.

The Art of Creative Research helps writers take this natural inclination to explore and observe and turn it into a workable—and enjoyable—research plan. It shows that research shouldn’t be seen as a dry, plodding aspect of writing. Instead, it’s an art that all writers can master, one that unearths surprises and fuels imagination. This lends authenticity to fiction and poetry as well as nonfiction.

Philip Gerard distills the process into fundamental questions: How do you conduct research? And what can you do with the information you gather? He covers both in-person research and work in archives and illustrates how the different types of research can be incorporated into stories, poems, and essays using examples from a wide range of writers in addition to those from his own projects. Throughout, Gerard brings knowledge from his seasoned background into play, drawing on his experiences as a reporter and a writer of both fiction and nonfiction. His enthusiasm for adventure is infectious and will inspire writers to step away from the keyboard and into the world.
“Research can take you to that golden intersection where the personal meets the public, the private crosses the universal, where the best literature lives,” Gerard writes. With his masterly guidance, anyone can become an expert in artful investigation.
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A Braided Heart
Essays on Writing and Form
Brenda Miller
University of Michigan Press, 2021

A Braided Heart provides a friendly, personal, and smart guide to the writing life. It also offers clear and original instruction on craft elements at the forefront of today’s emerging forms in creative nonfiction: from the short-short, to the braided form, to the hermit crab essay. An acknowledged expert in these forms, Brenda Miller gives writers practical advice on how to sustain and invigorate their writing practice, while also encouraging readers to explore their own writing lives.

“Brenda Miller writes so beautifully in these lyrical and ‘braided’ essays—personal meditations that take us deep into the miracle of writing itself. Her eye is always alert, her ear wonderfully tuned to the nuances of perception. The art of the essay is alive and well in her hands.”
 —Jay Parini, author of Borges and Me

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Composition Studies As A Creative Art
Lynn Z. Bloom
Utah State University Press, 1998
Bloom gathers twenty of her most recent essays (some previously unpublished) on critical issues in teaching writing. She addresses matters of philosophy and pedagogy, class and marginality and gender, and textual terror transformed to textual power. Yet the body of her work and this representative collection of it remains centered, coherent, and personal. This work focuses on the creative dynamics that arise from the interrelation of writing, teaching writing, and ways of reading—and the scholarship and administrative issues engendered by it. To regard composition studies as a creative art is to engage in a process of intellectual or aesthetic free play, and then to translate the results of this play into serious work that yet retains the freedom and playfulness of its origins. The book is fueled by a mixture of faith in the fields that compose composition studies, hope that efforts of composition teachers can make a difference, and a sense of community in its broadest meaning. Included are Bloom's well-known essays "Teaching College English as a Woman," "Freshman Composition as a Middle Class Enterprise," and many more recent works, equally provocative and insightful.
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Cosmopolitan English and Transliteracy
Xiaoye You
Southern Illinois University Press, 2016
Winner, CCCC Research Impact Award, 2018

Despite the vast number of multilingual speakers in the United States and the pervasive influence of globalization, writing studies in this country is still inextricably linked to a nationalistic, monolingual English ideology. In Cosmopolitan English and Transliteracy, Xiaoye You addresses this issue by proposing that writing studies programs adopt a cosmopolitan perspective. Emphasizing local and global forms of citizenship and identification, You merges a humanistic vision with the rigor of social science, arguing that linguistic and cultural differences can be explored to recover human connections normally severed by geographical and semiotic borders.

You examines several areas of writing affected by globalization. He then turns to the composition classroom, highlighting the challenges and possibilities of crossing cultural boundaries in academic discourse before introducing a pedagogy aimed at fostering American students’ translingual and transcultural sensibilities. Included is a model for training writing teachers in the context of globalization, which aims to help instructors gain practical knowledge about the needs and resources of multilingual writers through communication technologies and cross-cultural partnerships.

By introducing cosmopolitan perspectives into the composition classroom, You challenges traditional assumptions about language, identity, and literacy as they relate to writing studies. Innovative and provocative, Cosmopolitan English and Transliteracy charts a new way forward for writing programs, with a call to focus on global rather than national identity.
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The Creative Writer's Survival Guide
Advice from an Unrepentant Novelist
John McNally
University of Iowa Press, 2010

Beginning with “The Writer’s Wonderland—Or: A Warning” and ending with You’ve Published a Book—Now What?” The Creative Writer’s Survival Guide is a must-read for creative-writing students and teachers, conference participants, and aspiring writers of every stamp. Directed primarily at fiction writers but suitable for writers of all genres, John McNally’s guide is a comprehensive, take-no-prisoners blunt, highly idiosyncratic, and delightfully subjective take on the writing life.

McNally has earned the right to dispense advice on this subject. He has published three novels, two collections of short fiction, and hundreds of individual stories and essays. He has edited six anthologies and worked with editors at university presses, commercial houses, and small presses. He has earned three degrees, including an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and taught writing to thousands of students at nine different universities. But he has received far more rejections than acceptances, has endured years of underpaid adjunct work, and is presently hard at work on a novel for which he has no guarantee of publication. In other words, he’s been at the writing game long enough to rack up plenty of the highs and lows that translate into an invaluable guide for anyone who wants to become a writer or anyone who is already a writer but doesn’t know how to take the next step toward the writing life.

In the sections The Decision to Become a Writer, Education and the Writer, Getting Published, Publicity, Employment for Writers, and The Writer’s Life, McNally wrestles with writing degrees and graduate programs, the nuts and bolts of agents and query letters and critics, book signings and other ways to promote your book, alcohol and other home remedies, and jobs for writers from adjunct to tenure-track. Chapters such as “What Have You Ever Done That’s Worth Writing About?” “Can Writing Be Taught?” “Rejection: Putting It in Perspective,” “Writing as a Competitive Sport,” “Seven Types of MLA Interview Committees,” “Money and the Writer,” and the all-important “Talking about Writing vs. Writing” cover a vast range of writerly topics from learning your craft to making a living at it. McNally acts as the writer’s friendly drill sergeant, relentlessly honest but bracingly cheerful as he issues his curmudgeonly marching orders. Alternately cranky and philosophical, full of to-the-point anecdotes and honest advice instead of wonkish facts and figures, The Creative Writer’s Survival Guide is a snarky, truthful, and immensely helpful map to being a writer in today’s complex world.

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front cover of Creative Writing Pedagogies for the Twenty-First Century
Creative Writing Pedagogies for the Twenty-First Century
Edited by Alexandria Peary and Tom C. Hunley
Southern Illinois University Press, 2015
The creative writing workshop: beloved by some, dreaded by others, and ubiquitous in writing programs across the nation. For decades, the workshop has been entrenched as the primary pedagogy of creative writing. While the field of creative writing studies has sometimes myopically focused on this single method, the related discipline of composition studies has made use of numerous pedagogical models. In Creative Writing Pedagogies for the Twenty-First Century, editors Alexandria Peary and Tom C. Hunley gather experts from both creative writing and composition studies to offer innovative alternatives to the traditional creative writing workshop.
 
Drawing primarily from the field of composition studies—a discipline rich with a wide range of established pedagogies—the contributors in this volume build on previous models to present fresh and inventive methods for the teaching of creative writing. Each chapter offers both a theoretical and a historical background for its respective pedagogical ideas, as well as practical applications for use in the classroom. This myriad of methods can be used either as a supplement to the customary workshop model or as stand-alone roadmaps to engage and reinvigorate the creative process for both students and teachers alike.
 
A fresh and inspiring collection of teaching methods, Creative Writing Pedagogies for the Twenty-First Century combines both conventional and cutting-edge techniques to expand the pedagogical possibilities in creative writing studies.
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Crossing the Yard
Thirty Years as a Prison Volunteer
Richard Shelton
University of Arizona Press, 2007
Ever since he was asked to critique the poetry of a convicted murderer, he has lived in two worlds.

Richard Shelton was a young English professor in 1970 when a convict named Charles Schmid—a serial killer dubbed the “Pied Piper of Tucson” in national magazines—shared his brooding verse. But for Shelton, the novelty of meeting a death-row monster became a thirty-year commitment to helping prisoners express themselves. Shelton began organizing creative writing workshops behind bars, and in this gritty memoir he offers up a chronicle of reaching out to forgotten men and women—and of creativity blossoming in a repressive environment. He tells of published students such as Paul Ashley, Greg Forker, Ken Lamberton, and Jimmy Santiago Baca who have made names for themselves through their writing instead of their crimes. Shelton also recounts the bittersweet triumph of seeing work published by men who later met with agonizing deaths, and the despair of seeing the creative strides of inmates broken by politically motivated transfers to private prisons. And his memoir bristles with hard-edged experiences, ranging from inside knowledge of prison breaks to a workshop conducted while a riot raged outside a barricaded door. Reflecting on his decision to tutor Schmid, Shelton sees that the choice “has led me through bloody tragedies and terrible disappointments to a better understanding of what it means to be human.”

Crossing the Yard is a rare story of professional fulfillment—and a testament to the transformative power of writing.
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front cover of The End of Books--or Books Without End?
The End of Books--or Books Without End?
Reading Interactive Narratives
J. Yellowlees Douglas
University of Michigan Press, 2001
Of all developments surrounding hypermedia, none has been as hotly or frequently debated as the conjunction of fiction and digital technology. J. Yellowlees Douglas considers the implications of this union. She looks at the new light that interactive narratives may shed on theories of reading and interpretation and the possibilities for hypertext novels, World Wide Web-based short stories, and cinematic, interactive narratives on CD-ROM. She confronts questions that are at the center of the current debate: Does an interactive story demand too much from readers? Does the concept of readerly choice destroy the integrity of an author's vision? Does interactivity turn reading fiction from "play" into "work"--too much work? Will hypertext fiction overtake the novel as a form of art or entertainment? And what might future interactive books look like?
The book examines criticism on interactive fiction from both proponents and skeptics and examines similarities and differences between print and hypertext fiction. It looks closely at critically acclaimed interactive works, including Stuart Moulthrop's Victory Garden and Michael Joyce's Afternoon: A Story that illuminate how these hypertext narratives "work." While she sees this as a still-evolving technology and medium, the author identifies possible developments for the future of storytelling from outstanding examples of Web-based fiction and CD-ROM narratives, possibilities that will enable narratives to both portray the world with greater realism an to transcend the boundaries of novels and films, character and plot alike.
Written to be accessible to a wide range of readers, this lively and accessibly-written volume will appeal to those interested in technology and cyberculture, as well as to readers familiar with literary criticism and modern fiction.
J. Yellowlees Douglas is the Director of the William and Grace Dial Center for Written and Oral Communication, University of Florida. She is the author of numerous articles and essays on the subject of hypertext and interactive literature.
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front cover of Experiments in a Jazz Aesthetic
Experiments in a Jazz Aesthetic
Art, Activism, Academia, and the Austin Project
Edited by Omi Osun Joni L. Jones, Lisa L. Moore, and Sharon Bridgforth
University of Texas Press, 2010

In Austin, Texas, in 2002, a group of artists, activists, and academics led by performance studies scholar Omi Osun Joni L. Jones formed the Austin Project (tAP), which meets annually in order to provide a space for women of color and their allies to build relationships based on trust, creativity, and commitment to social justice by working together to write and perform work in the jazz aesthetic.

Inspired by this experience, this book is both an anthology of new writing and a sourcebook for those who would like to use creative writing and performance to energize their artistic, scholarly, and activist practices. Theoretical and historical essays by Omi Osun Joni L. Jones describe and define the African American tradition of art-making known as the jazz aesthetic, and explain how her own work in this tradition inspired her to start tAP.

Key artists in the tradition, from Bessie Award–winning choreographer Laurie Carlos and writer/performer Robbie McCauley to playwrights Daniel Alexander Jones and Carl Hancock Rux, worked with the women of tAP as mentors and teachers. This book brings together never-before-published, must-read materials by these nationally known artists and the transformative writing of tAP participants. A handbook for workshop leaders by Lambda Literary Award–winning writer Sharon Bridgforth, tAP's inaugural anchor artist, offers readers the tools for starting similar projects in their own communities. A full-length script of the 2005 tAP performance is an original documentation of the collaborative, breath-based, body work of the jazz aesthetic in theatre, and provides both a script for use by theatre artists and an invaluable documentation of a major transformative movement in contemporary performance.

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front cover of First We Read, Then We Write
First We Read, Then We Write
Emerson on the Creative Process
Robert D. Richardson
University of Iowa Press, 2009
Writing was the central passion of Emerson’s life. While his thoughts on the craft are well developed in “The Poet,” “The American Scholar,” Nature, “Goethe,” and “Persian Poetry,” less well known are the many pages in his private journals devoted to the relationship between writing and reading. Here, for the first time, is the Concord Sage’s energetic, exuberant, and unconventional advice on the idea of writing, focused and distilled by the preeminent Emerson biographer at work today.

Emerson advised that “the way to write is to throw your body at the mark when your arrows are spent.” First We Read, Then We Write contains numerous such surprises—from “every word we speak is million-faced” to “talent alone cannot make a writer”—but it is no mere collection of aphorisms and exhortations. Instead, in Robert Richardson’s hands, the biographical and historical context in which Emerson worked becomes clear. Emerson’s advice grew from his personal experience; in practically every moment of his adult life he was either preparing to write, trying to write, or writing. Richardson shows us an Emerson who is no granite bust but instead is a fully fleshed, creative person disarmingly willing to confront his own failures. Emerson urges his readers to try anything—strategies, tricks, makeshifts—speaking not only of the nuts and bolts of writing but also of the grain and sinew of his determination. Whether a writer by trade or a novice, every reader will find something to treasure in this volume. Fearlessly wrestling with “the birthing stage of art,” Emerson’s counsel on being a reader and writer will be read and reread for years to come.
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Going to the Tigers
Essays and Exhortations
Robert Cohen
University of Michigan Press, 2022

In this funny and perceptive collection, novelist and essayist Robert Cohen shares his thoughts on the writing process and then puts these prescriptions into practice—from how to rant effectively as an essayist and novelist (“The Piano has been Drinking”), how to achieve your own style, naming characters (and creating them), how one manages one’s own identity with being “a writer” in time and space, to the use of reference and allusion in one’s work. Cohen is a deft weaver of allusion himself. In lieu of telling the reader how to master the elements of writing fiction, he shows them through the work of the writers who most influenced his own development, including Bellow, Lawrence, Chekhov, and Babel. Rooted in his own experiences, this collection of essays shows readers how to use their influences and experiences to create bold, personal, and individual work. While the first part of the book teaches writing, the essays in the second part show how these elements come together.

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In Praise of the Impure
Poetry and the Ethical Imagination: Essays, 1980-1991
Alan Shapiro
Northwestern University Press, 1993
Alan Shapiro is not only a much-lauded poet but also one of America's most intelligent and clearheaded thinkers about poetry. In Praise of the Impure collects his passionate, rigorously argued essays on the situation of poetry in American culture today.
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Keywords in Creative Writing
Wendy Bishop and David Starkey
Utah State University Press, 2006

Wendy Bishop and David Starkey have created a remarkable resource volume for creative writing students and other writers just getting started. In two- to ten-page discussions, these authors introduce forty-one central concepts in the fields of creative writing and writing instruction, with discussions that are accessible yet grounded in scholarship and years of experience.

Keywords in Creative Writing provides a brief but comprehensive introduction to the field of creative writing through its landmark terms, exploring concerns as abstract as postmodernism and identity politics alongside very practical interests of beginning writers, like contests, agents, and royalties. This approach makes the book ideal for the college classroom as well as the writer’s bookshelf, and unique in the field, combining the pragmatic accessibility of popular writer’s handbooks, with a wider, more scholarly vision of theory and research.

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The Mind's Eye
Image and Memory in Writing about Trauma
Marian Mesrobian MacCurdy
University of Massachusetts Press, 2007
In the post-September 11 world, therapeutic writing has become a topic of heightened interest in both academic circles and the popular press, reflecting a growing awareness that writing can have a beneficial effect on the emotional and cognitive lives of survivors of traumatic experiences. Yet teachers and others who encounter such writing often are unsure how to deal with it. In The Mind's Eye: Image and Memory in Writing about Trauma, Marian Mesrobian MacCurdy investigates the relationship between writing and trauma, examines how we process difficult experiences and how writing can help us to integrate them, and provides a pedagogy to deal with the difficult life stories that often surface in the classroom.

MacCurdy begins by discussing what trauma is, how traumatic memories are stored and accessed, and how writing affects them. She then focuses on the processes involved in translating traumatic images into narrative form, showing how the same patterns and problems emerge whether the writers are students or professionals. Using examples drawn from the classroom, MacCurdy investigates the beneficial effects of the study of trauma on communities as well as individuals, witnesses as well as writers, and explores the implications of these relationships for the world at large, particularly as they pertain to issues of justice, retribution, and forgiveness.

Throughout the volume the author draws on her own experience as teacher, writer, survivor, and descendant of survivors to explain how one can engage student work on difficult subjects without appropriating the texts or getting lost in the emotions generated by them. She further shows how appropriate safeguards can be put in place to protect both teacher and student writer. The end result of such a pedagogy, MacCurdy demonstrates, is not simply better writers but more integrated people, capable of converting their own losses and griefs into compassion for others.
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Mocking Desire
Drago Jancar
Northwestern University Press, 1998
The first novel by the preeminent Slovenian author Drago Jančar to be published in English, Mocking Desire is a brilliant exploration of conflicting states of experience and comprehension.

Gregor Gradnik, a Slovenian writer, enters the sensual and seething life of New Orleans to teach a creative writing class at a university. Gregor at first acts as only an observer, yet seductive New Orleans soon draws him into a series of bizarre erotic, professional, and social relationships. A profound and entertaining work, Mocking Desire provides the English-speaking world with the perfect introduction to one of Eastern Europe's leading writers.
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Multimodal Literacies and Emerging Genres
Tracey Bowen
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2013
A student’s avatar navigates a virtual world and communicates the desires, emotions, and fears of its creator. Yet, how can her writing instructor interpret this form
of meaningmaking?

Today, multiple modes of communication and information technology are challenging pedagogies in composition and across the disciplines. Writing instructors grapple with incorporating new forms into their curriculums and relating them to established literary practices. Administrators confront the application of new technologies to the restructuring of courses and the classroom itself.

Multimodal Literacies and Emerging Genres examines the possibilities, challenges, and realities of mutimodal composition as an effective means of communication. The chapters view the ways that writing instructors and their students are exploring the spaces where communication occurs, while also asking “what else is possible.” The genres of film, audio, photography, graphics, speeches, storyboards, PowerPoint presentations, virtual environments, written works, and others are investigated to discern both their capabilities and limitations. The contributors highlight the responsibility of instructors to guide students in the consideration of their audience and ethical responsibility, while also maintaining the ability to “speak well.” Additionally, they focus on the need for programmatic changes and a shift in institutional philosophy to close a possible “digital divide” and remain relevant in digital and global economies.

    Embracing and advancing multimodal communication is essential to both higher education and students. The contributors therefore call for the examination of how writing programs, faculty, and administrators are responding to change, and how the many purposes writing serves can effectively converge within composition curricula.
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Naming What We Know
Threshold Concepts of Writing Studies
Linda Adler-Kassner
Utah State University Press, 2015

Naming What We Know examines the core principles of knowledge in the discipline of writing studies using the lens of “threshold concepts”—concepts that are critical for epistemological participation in a discipline. The first part of the book defines and describes thirty-seven threshold concepts of the discipline in entries written by some of the field’s most active researchers and teachers, all of whom participated in a collaborative wiki discussion guided by the editors. These entries are clear and accessible, written for an audience of writing scholars, students, and colleagues in other disciplines and policy makers outside the academy. Contributors describe the conceptual background of the field and the principles that run throughout practice, whether in research, teaching, assessment, or public work around writing. Chapters in the second part of the book describe the benefits and challenges of using threshold concepts in specific sites—first-year writing programs, WAC/WID programs, writing centers, writing majors—and for professional development to present this framework in action.

Naming What We Know opens a dialogue about the concepts that writing scholars and teachers agree are critical and about why those concepts should and do matter to people outside the field.

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Once Upon a Time in the Twenty-First Century
Unexpected Exercises in Creative Writing
Edited by Robin Behn
University of Alabama Press, 2020

Fun and innovative exercises and prompts for creative writing students
 
Once Upon a Time in the Twenty-First Century: Unexpected Exercises in Creative Writing is a unique creative writing text that will appeal to a wide range of readers and writers—from grade nine through college and beyond. Successful creative writers from numerous genres constructed these exercises, including poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction to one-act plays, song lyrics, genre fiction, travel guides, comics and beyond. The exercises use a broad range of creative approaches, aesthetics, and voices, all with an emphasis on demystifying the writing process and having fun.
 
Editor Robin Behn has divided the book into three writing sections: Genres and Forms, Sources and Methods, and Style and Subject. In each section, Behn offers a brief introduction which explains how to get started and specific ways to develop one’s writing. Each introduction is followed by extensive exercises that draw on literature from classic to contemporary, as well as other art forms and popular culture. Examples range from Flannery O’Connor and Langston Hughes to Allen Ginsberg and Gertrude Stein, from Jamaica Kincaid and James Joyce to Arlo Guthrie and Harryette Mullen. Integrated within the exercises are apt examples of student writings that have emerged from actual use of the exercises in both the classroom and in writing groups. The book concludes with general advice and direction on how to get published.
 
Based on years of hands-on experiences in the teaching of creative writing in high schools, colleges, and after-school writing clubs, this volume of exercises offers inestimable value to students and teachers in the traditional classroom, as well as a growing number of homeschoolers, those who are part of a writing club or group, and independent writers and learners of all ages.
 

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Othermindedness
The Emergence of Network Culture
Michael Joyce
University of Michigan Press, 2001

Michael Joyce's new collection continues to examine the connections between the poles of art and instruction, writing and teaching in the form of what Joyce has called theoretical narratives, pieces that are both narratives of theory and texts in which theory often takes the form of narrative. His concerns include hypertext and interactive fiction, the geography of cyberspace, and interactive film, and Joyce here searches out the emergence of network culture in spaces ranging from the shifting nature of the library to MOOs and other virtual spaces to life along a river.

While in this collection Joyce continues to be one of our most lyrical, wide-ranging, and informed cultural critics and theorists of new media, his essays exhibit an evolving distrust of unconsidered claims for newness in the midst of what Joyce calls "the blizzard of the next," as well as a recurrent insistence upon grounding our experience of the emergence of network culture in the body.

Michael Joyce is Associate Professor of English, Vassar College. He is author of a number of hypertext fictions on the web and on disk, most notably Afternoon: A Story.

His previous books are Of Two Minds: Hypertext Pedagogy and Poetics and Moral Tale and Meditations: Technological Parables and Refractions.

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Placing the Academy
Essays on Landscape, Work, and Identity
edited by Jennifer Sinor and Rona Kaufman
Utah State University Press, 2007
A set of creative writers here responds to the call for literature that addresses who we are by understanding where we are—where, for each of them, being somehow part of the academy. Their personal essays delineate the diverse, sometimes unexpected roles of place in shaping them, as writers and teachers in varied environments, through unique experiences and distinctive worldviews—in reconfiguring their conjunctions of identity and setting, here, there, everywhere, and in between.
 
Offering creative comments on place, identity, and academic work are authors Charles Bergman, Mary Clearman Blew, Jayne Brim Box, Jeffrey M. Buchanan, Norma Elia Cantú, Katherine Fischer, Kathryn T. Flannery, Diana Garcia, Janice M. Gould, Seán W. Henne, Rona Kaufman, Deborah A. Miranda, Erin E. Moore, Kathleen Dean Moore, Robert Michael Pyle, Jennifer Sinor, Scott Slovic, Michael Sowder, Lee Torda, Charles Waugh, and Mitsuye Yamada.
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The Poet's Freedom
A Notebook on Making
Susan Stewart
University of Chicago Press, 2011

Why do we need new art? How free is the artist in making? And why is the artist, and particularly the poet, a figure of freedom in Western culture? The MacArthur Award–winning poet and critic Susan Stewart ponders these questions in The Poet’s Freedom. Through a series of evocative essays, she not only argues that freedom is necessary to making and is itself something made, but also shows how artists give rules to their practices and model a self-determination that might serve in other spheres of work.

Stewart traces the ideas of freedom and making through insightful readings of an array of Western philosophers and poets—Plato, Homer, Marx, Heidegger, Arendt, Dante, and Coleridge are among her key sources. She begins by considering the theme of making in the Hebrew Scriptures, examining their accountof a god who creates the world and leaves humans free to rearrange and reform the materials of nature. She goes on to follow the force of moods, sounds, rhythms, images, metrical rules, rhetorical traditions, the traps of the passions, and the nature of language in the cycle of making and remaking. Throughout the book she weaves the insight that the freedom to reverse any act of artistic making is as essential as the freedom to create.
 
A book about the pleasures of making and thinking as means of life, The Poet’s Freedom explores and celebrates the freedom of artists who, working under finite conditions, make considered choices and shape surprising consequences. This engaging and beautifully written notebook on making will attract anyone interested in the creation of art and literature.
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Political Literacy in Composition and Rhetoric
Defending Academic Discourse against Postmodern Pluralism
Donald Lazere
Southern Illinois University Press, 2015
In Political Literacy in Composition and Rhetoric, Donald Lazere calls for revival of NCTE resolutions in the 1970s for teaching the “critical reading, listening, viewing, and thinking skills necessary to enable students to cope with the persuasive techniques in political statements, advertising, entertainment, and news,” and explores the reasons these goals have been eclipsed in composition studies over recent decades.  Obstacles to those goals have included the emphasis in the profession on basic and first year writing at the expense of more advanced study in argumentative rhetoric, and on the privileging of students’ personal writing over critical study of both academic and political discourse.  Lazere further argues that theorists who legitimately champion students’ pluralistic local communities sometimes fail to recognize that liberal education can enable students to grow beyond their home cultures to critical awareness of national and international politics. Finally, he argues that the fixation in recent composition studies on liberally-inclined students and communities “on the margins” has eclipsed attention to the conservative conformity long prevalent in mainstream American society and education. His proposals for curriculum and pedagogy seek to introduce students to a more highly-informed, cogent, and open-ended level of debate between the political left and right.
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The Promise of Failure
One Writer's Perspective on Not Succeeding
John McNally
University of Iowa Press, 2018

The Promise of Failure is part memoir of the writing life, part advice book, and part craft book; sometimes funny, sometimes wrenching, but always honest. McNally uses his own life as a blueprint for the writer’s daily struggles as well as the existential ones, tackling subjects such as when to quit and when to keep going, how to deal with depression, what risking something of yourself means, and ways to reenergize your writing through reinvention. 

What McNally illuminates is how rejection, in its best light, is another element of craft, a necessary stage to move the writer from one project to the next, and that it’s best to see rejection and failure on a life-long continuum so that you can see the interconnectedness between failure and success, rather than focusing on failure as a measure of self-worth. As brutally candid as McNally can sometimes be, The Promise of Failure is ultimately an inspiring book—never in a Pollyannaish self-help way. McNally approaches the reader as a sympathetic companion with cautionary tales to tell. Written by an author who has as many unpublished books under his belt as published ones, The Promise of Failure is as much for the newcomer as it is for the established writer. 

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Relocating Authority
Japanese Americans Writing to Redress Mass Incarceration
Mira Shimabukuro
University Press of Colorado, 2015

Relocating Authority examines the ways Japanese Americans have continually used writing to respond to the circumstances of their community’s mass imprisonment during World War II. Using both Nikkei cultural frameworks and community-specific history for methodological inspiration and guidance, Mira Shimabukuro shows how writing was used privately and publicly to individually survive and collectively resist the conditions of incarceration.

Examining a wide range of diverse texts and literacy practices such as diary entries, note-taking, manifestos, and multiple drafts of single documents, Relocating Authority draws upon community archives, visual histories, and Asian American history and theory to reveal the ways writing has served as a critical tool for incarcerees and their descendants. Incarcerees not only used writing to redress the “internment” in the moment but also created pieces of text that enabled and inspired further redress long after the camps had closed.

Relocating Authority highlights literacy’s enduring potential to participate in social change and assist an imprisoned people in relocating authority away from their captors and back to their community and themselves. It will be of great interest to students and scholars of ethnic and Asian American rhetorics, American studies, and anyone interested in the relationship between literacy and social justice.

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The Small Book of Hip Checks
On Queer Gender, Race, and Writing
Erica Rand
Duke University Press, 2021
In The Small Book of Hip Checks Erica Rand uses multiple meanings of hip check—including an athlete using their hip to throw an opponent off-balance and the inspection of racialized gender—to consider the workings of queer gender, race, and writing. Explicitly attending to processes of writing and revising, Rand pursues interruption, rethinking, and redirection to challenge standard methods of argumentation and traditional markers of heft and fluff. She writes about topics including a trans shout-out in a Super Bowl ad, the heyday of lavender dildos, ballet dancer Misty Copeland, the criticism received by figure skater Debi Thomas and tennis great Serena Williams for competing in bodysuits while Black, and the gendering involved in identifying the remains of people who die trying to cross into the United States south of Tucson, Arizona. Along the way, Rand encourages making muscle memory of experimentation and developing an openness to being conceptually knocked sideways. In other words, to be hip-checked.
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Spreading the Word
Poetry and the Survival of Community in America
Ross Talarico
Duke University Press, 1995
In 1985 poet Ross Talarico began a grassroots program in creative expression in Rochester, New York. As the program came together, so did the community—young and old, poor and privileged, even those who could not read or write but wanted to tell their stories. This book is a testimony to the poetry that experience produced. An exhilarating account of a successful experiment in promoting community self-expression, Spreading the Word interweaves the participants’ stories with Talarico’s own life, his struggle as a poet, and the drama of his workshops. The book will be both a resource and an inspiration for teachers of writing, writers, and those who simply wish to learn to write.
Drawing on his workshops in Rochester, Talarico describes a unique approach for eliciting poetry from people of many ages and backgrounds—particularly underpriviledged urban kids and the elderly. The process—from dialogue to self-expression to publication to public event—illuminates the urgency and meaning of releasing the spirit captured in each man and woman and child’s experience. "Some people say that Ross Talarico has done the impossible," the Today Show remarked of his success in Rochester; and with this book Talarico offers the same opportunity to others. Teachers, community leaders, parents, and children will be able to follow his practical, hands-on approach to encouraging self-expression in diverse, even unlikely, settings. They will see here how poetry is indeed relevant, ever more crucial to our identity as the culture evolves—how it is, finally, the place where the inarticulate can come to speak for themselves.
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The Straight Line
Writing on Poetry and Poets
Ron Padgett
University of Michigan Press, 2000
The Straight Line brings together memoir, informal talks, autobiographical essays, unconventional book reviews, instructional pieces, imaginative speculations on the nature of reading, and poems about writing. What distinguishes these pieces is Ron Padgett's refreshing sense of humor and the changing, unexpected angles on his point of view. He pokes fun at the concept of "finding one's poetic voice," has a dream conversation with a Russian poet, talks to his typewriter, parodies Robert Frost, deconstructs the haiku, finds weird word lists in the dictionary, and extols the pleasures of mistakes in writing.
But along with the playful wit comes Padgett's serious fascination with how words work. Essays discuss such subjects as the otherness of languages; French poets and their relationship to Cubist painters; an afternoon with the poet Edwin Denby; a tribute to Ted Berrigan; twentieth-century modernism; and suggestions for using the computer to write poetry.
The book concludes with pieces that Padgett has written during his thirty years as a teacher of poetry. Essays explore the unexpected relationships between poetry and dance; the practical value of using "gimmicks" to inspire poetry writing; and some radical and entertaining ideas for innovative ways to read creatively.
Ron Padgett is Publications Director, Teachers and Writers Collaborative. His books include Albanian Diary, Creative Reading, and Old Faithful: 18 Writers Present Their Favorite Writing Assignments.
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Teaching Queer
Radical Possibilities for Writing and Knowing
Stacey Waite
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2017
Teaching Queer looks closely at student writing, transcripts of class discussions, and teaching practices in first-year writing courses to articulate queer theories of literacy and writing instruction, while also considering the embodied actuality of being a queer teacher. Rather than positioning queerness as connected only to queer texts or queer teachers/students (as much work on queer pedagogy has done since the 1990s), this book offers writing and teaching as already queer practices, and contends that the overlap between queer theory and composition presents new possibilities for teaching writing. Teaching Queer argues for and enacts “queer forms”—non-normative and category-resistant forms of writing—those that move between the critical and the creative, the theoretical and the practical, and the queer and the often invisible normative functions of classrooms.
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The Understructure of Writing for Film and Television
By Ben Brady and Lance Lee
University of Texas Press, 1988

This unique, comprehensive introduction to screenwriting offers practical advice for the beginning writer, whether college student or freelancer. Based on their experience as professional writers and as teachers in a large, successful screenwriting program at California State University, Northridge, the authors provide a progression of assignments at manageable screenwriting lengths for beginners. They lead students through development of a premise, treatment, stepsheet, and, finally, miniscreenplay—essential elements in writing a longer script.

A major feature of the text is the use of many example scenes from contemporary and classic American films, such as On the Waterfront, Kramer vs. Kramer, The Godfather, The Graduate, Tootsie, and more. Other scenes are drawn from international films and dramatic literature. The criticism of these scenes invites students to develop their own comparative models, while simultaneously providing exposure to the central analytical terms of good dramatic writing.

The authors also place screenwriting within the larger tradition of dramatic writing in order to put the beginning writer in touch with the wealth of art, experience, and practical ideas the drama contains. They provide an up-to-date, practical discussion of marketing and copywriting a screenplay, with addresses of relevant professional societies. Most importantly, they never offer an ill-advised shortcut or restrict students to only one way of thinking about a character, situation, or scene. In The Understructure of Writing for Film & Television, the student's thought and creativity are central.

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Vivid and Continuous
Essays and Exercises for Writing Fiction
John McNally
University of Iowa Press, 2013
Taking off from The Creative Writer’s Survival Guide, John McNally’srelentlessly blunt, bracingly cheerful, and immensely helpful map to being a writer, Vivid and Continuousis an equally blunt, cheerful, and helpful map to learning to be a writer. While acknowledging that many fine books cover such essentials of fiction writing as point of view, characterization, and setting, McNally sets out in this new book—intended as a supplement to beginning fiction-writing classes or as the sole text for upper-level or graduate courses—to solve the tricky second-tier problems that those books cover only in footnotes.
Vivid and Continuous takes its inspiration from John Gardner, whose essential truths in On Becoming a Novelist clarified McNally’s goal of communicating a “vivid and continuous dream” with his own writing. In fifteen concise, energizing chapters, he dispenses advice gained from almost thirty years of studying, writing, and teaching. How do you avoid the pitfalls inherent in the most common subjects for stories? How do you create memorable minor characters? What about managing references to pop culture without distracting your readers, revising a story to bring its subtext into focus, or exploring the twenty most common craft-related quirks that lessen immediacy for your readers? How do you keep from overdosing on similes and metaphors or relying on too many flashbacks to provide necessary backstory? How do you learn to listen when your story tries to talk to you? Finally, how can you resist “John McNally’s Sure-Fire Formula for Becoming Funnier in 30 Days”?
McNally cites many novels and short stories as examples that best illustrate the lessons he wants to impart, the writer’s life, or the writer’s craft, as well as his own favorite authors’ novels and short story collections. Exercises at the end of each chapter reinforce its point and serve as practical catalysts for new writings and directions.
Just blunt enough to get your attention but not blunt enough to crush you, challenging but not discouraging, personal but not ego-ridden, snarky but not mean, John McNally will prompt you to think more deeply about a variety of issues that will push you toward writing more meaningful, more accomplished work. 
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Words at Play
Creative Writing and Dramaturgy
Felicia Hardison Londre. Forewords by Dakin Williams and Barry Kyle
Southern Illinois University Press, 2005

In this encompassing and accessible introduction to dramaturgy, Felicia Hardison Londré promotes the dramaturgical essay as both an art form and as a method for improving creative writing skills. Words at Play: Creative Writing and Dramaturgy includes Londré’s essays on plays produced at several regional professional theatre companies interspersed with instructive examples for writing more clearly, economically, and compellingly.

Beginning with an introduction that outlines the purpose of the dramaturgical essay as well as its usefulness as a tool for teaching how to write for the theatre, Londré provides numerous examples of this specialized literary genre culled from program essays she has written for Missouri Repertory Theatre, Nebraska Shakespeare Festival, Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, American Heartland Theatre, and Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. Words at Play: Creative Writing and Dramaturgy contains more than sixty complete essays and pertinent selections from twenty others.

Drawing on personal and professional experiences as a teacher and dramaturg, Londré considers plays from timeless classics, including those of Shakespeare and Chekhov, to contemporary favorites and a few unusual and largely unknown pieces. Words at Play: Creative Writing and Dramaturgy furthermore incorporates introductory paragraphs that are informal and personal yet cogent and critical, providing readers with object lessons in both writing style and analysis. Taking the reader into her confidence, Londré also shows how a dramaturg develops a print relationship with other theatre artists and the community. A foreword by Royal Shakespeare Company associate artist Barry Kyle addresses the evolving role of the dramaturg in Britain and America. Dakin Williams, brother of playwright Tennessee Williams, provides a letter.

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Workshops of Empire
Stegner, Engle, and American Creative Writing during the Cold War
Eric Bennett
University of Iowa Press, 2015
During and just after World War II, an influential group of American writers and intellectuals projected a vision for literature that would save the free world. Novels, stories, plays, and poems, they believed, could inoculate weak minds against simplistic totalitarian ideologies, heal the spiritual wounds of global catastrophe, and just maybe prevent the like from happening again. As the Cold War began, high-minded and well-intentioned scholars, critics, and writers from across the political spectrum argued that human values remained crucial to civilization and that such values stood in dire need of formulation and affirmation. They believed that the complexity of literature—of ideas bound to concrete images, of ideologies leavened with experiences—enshrined such values as no other medium could.

Creative writing emerged as a graduate discipline in the United States amid this astonishing swirl of grand conceptions. The early workshops were formed not only at the time of, but in the image of, and under the tremendous urgency of, the postwar imperatives for the humanities. Vivid renderings of personal experience would preserve the liberal democratic soul—a soul menaced by the gathering leftwing totalitarianism of the USSR and the memory of fascism in Italy and Germany.

Workshops of Empire explores this history via the careers of Paul Engle at the University of Iowa and Wallace Stegner at Stanford. In the story of these founding fathers of the discipline, Eric Bennett discovers the cultural, political, literary, intellectual, and institutional underpinnings of creative writing programs within the university. He shows how the model of literary technique championed by the first writing programs—a model that values the interior and private life of the individual, whose experiences are not determined by any community, ideology, or political system—was born out of this Cold War context and continues to influence the way creative writing is taught, studied, read, and written into the twenty-first century.
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Write Your Way In
Crafting an Unforgettable College Admissions Essay
Rachel Toor
University of Chicago Press, 2017
Writing, for most of us, is bound up with anxiety. It’s even worse when it feels like your whole future—or at least where you’ll spend the next four years in college—is on the line. It’s easy to understand why so many high school seniors put off working on their applications until the last minute or end up with a generic and clichéd essay.

The good news? You already have the “secret sauce” for crafting a compelling personal essay: your own experiences and your unique voice.
 
The best essays rarely catalog how students have succeeded or achieved. Good writing shows the reader how you’ve struggled and describes mistakes you’ve made. Excellent essays express what you’re fired up about, illustrate how you think, and illuminate the ways you’ve grown.

More than twenty million students apply to college every year; many of them look similar in terms of test scores, grades, courses taken, extracurricular activities. Admissions officers wade through piles of files. As an applicant, you need to think about what will interest an exhausted reader. What can you write that will make her argue to admit you instead of the thousands of other applicants?

A good essay will be conversational and rich in vivid details, and it could only be written by one person—you. This book will help you figure out how to find and present the best in yourself. You’ll acquire some useful tools for writing well—and may even have fun—in the process.
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Writer's Block
The Cognitive Dimension
Mike Rose
Southern Illinois University Press, 1984

Writer’s block is more than a mere matter of discomfort and missed dead­lines; sustained experiences of writer’s block may influence academic success and career choices. Writers in the business world, profes­sional writers, and students all have known this most common and least studied problem with the composing process. Mike Rose, however, sees it as a limitable problem that can be precisely analyzed and remedied through instruc­tion and tutorial programs.

Rose defines writer’s block as “an in­ability to begin or continue writing for reasons other than a lack of skill or com­mitment,” which is measured by “pas­sage of time with limited productive involvement in the writing task.” He applies insights of cognitive psychology to reveal dimensions of the problem never before examined.

In his three-faceted approach, Rose de­velops and administers a questionnaire to identify writers experiencing both high and low degrees of blocking; through stimulated recall he examines the composing processes of these writers; and he proposes a cognitive conceptualization of writer’s block and of the composing process.

In drawing up his model, Rose delin­eates many cognitive errors that cause blocking, such as inflexible rules or con­flicting planning strategies. He also dis­cusses the practices and strategies that promote effective composition.

The reissue of this classic study of writer’s block includes a new preface by the author that advocates more mixed-methods research in rhetoric and composition, details how he conducted his writer’s block study, and discusses how his approach to a study like this would be different if conducted today.

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Writers in the Schools
A Guide to Teaching Creative Writing in the Classroom
Susan Perabo
University of Arkansas Press, 1997
For nearly three decades, writers from the University of Arkansas Programs in Creative Writing have traveled to Arkansas’s public and private schools to enrich classrooms by contributing a unique dose of teaching methods. The workshops and sessions these writers teach open avenues for student creativity and sharpen students’ language skills across the state. Writers in the Schools combines and condenses these proven techniques.

The lesson in this valuable text is that the imagination is the greatest tool a student possesses. Instead of lectures, the book relies on hands-on exercises and time tested activity plans that start students writing within minutes of discussing the basics of the writing process. Included are dozens of ideas to spark student creativity and hone rough drafts into finished poems and short stories.

The chapters proceed from a beginning level through intermediate and advanced levels and are useful to students in any grade from elementary through high school. Written and compiled by Susan Perabo, a former Writers in the Schools director, this volume is both a wonderful aid to teachers wishing to expand their classroom strategies in language arts and a perfect guide for writing program participants as they work with children to encourage powerful written expression in every discipline.
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Writing Genres
Amy J. Devitt
Southern Illinois University Press, 2008

In Writing Genres, Amy J. Devitt examines genre from rhetorical, social, linguistic, professional, and historical perspectives and explores genre's educational uses, making this volume the most comprehensive view of genre theory today.

Writing Genres does not limit itself to literary genres or to ideas of genres as formal conventions but additionally provides a theoretical definition of genre as rhetorical, dynamic, and flexible, which allows scholars to examine the role of genres in academic, professional, and social communities.

Writing Genres demonstrates how genres function within their communities rhetorically and socially, how they develop out of their contexts historically, how genres relate to other types of norms and standards in language, and how genres nonetheless enable creativity. Devitt also advocates a critical genre pedagogy based on these ideas and provides a rationale for first-year writing classes grounded in teaching antecedent genres.

 

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Writing Permitted in Designated Areas Only
Linda Brodkey
University of Minnesota Press, 1996


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