Give it up for the class of 2023!
Questions about courses, registration, requirements, internships, or your thesis? Find out everything you need to know on our Current Students page.
Are you ready to join Ohio’s most beloved MFA writing consortium? Well you’re in luck—we’d love to have you. It’s time to broaden your horizons.
Interiority, as it is traditionally constructed or considered, tends to be our best attempt at translating consciousness from one human, or non-human subject, to another. But for what purpose? In the genre we call creative nonfiction, perhaps memoir, primarily written in the first person, is our best example: the writer attempts to convey a series of inner thoughts which construct a narrative, history, or feeling over the course of a single day or several decades. Writing about the self however, or, a self, tends to face the rather long standing charge of “navel gazing,” perhaps even when self-discovery is crucial to one’s understanding of, and relation to, the world. In this class we will consider the necessity of developing, maintaining, and crafting a rich and thoroughly questioning interior life. The self as questioning, the self as character, will be central to developing an understanding of the world across categories of difference and, generating a formal voice which can sustain us as writers across a spate of genre conventions. This is a workshop course which will begin with readings by published writers like Melissa Febos, bell hooks, Mitchell Jackson, and Lacy M. Johnson for discussions on craft and generative exercises, before turning to workshop our own collective writing.
This class will explore how contemporary novelists make use of satire, humor, and social commentary in their writing and the ways cultural and political landscapes are brought into sharper focus through works of fiction. We’ll read novels that employ humor (dark or otherwise), satire, speculative elements, and/or absurdity to lay bare the deeper realities of one’s work, identity, and desires. Our reading list will consider race and identity in novels like We Cast a Shadow by Maurice Carlos Ruffin and Yellowface by R. F. Kuang; myth and magic in Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk; social and gender constructs in The Women Could Fly by Megan Giddings and We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry; and professional strife in Ripe by Sarah Rose Etter and Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher. We’ll examine the craft and function of satire in these works and others while completing writing assignments designed to bring humor to the page.
© 2021 NEOMFA
Cleveland State University
2121 Euclid Ave., RT 1815
Cleveland, Ohio 44115