Upcoming
Courses

Upcoming
Courses

Image of books stacked on top of one another

Fall 2022 Courses

Registration for core NEOMFA courses (workshops, craft and theory courses, MFA literature courses, and the internship) begins 12 am, April 11. See details on our registration page (here).

We will publish recommended electives and literature courses across all four universities, but this is not an exhaustive list. For these courses, contact the name listed under the course description to request a seat and, if approved, complete a cross-registration form.

 

#fiction

FICTION

Book 1

Instructor: Hilary Plum
Campus: Cleveland State University
Day & Time: Wednesdays 6:00-8:50 PM
Delivery Method: in-person
Course Number: ENG 610 (sec. 50)

This workshop is designed to support the writing of a book-length work of fiction, whether a novel or novella, short-story collection, or a work of indeterminate form. Together we’ll grapple with the questions of structure and process that a longer project raises and needs. We’ll explore elements such as scene and dialogue, character, the passage of time, research and the pressures of fact, genre and invention, the responsibilities of representation, fiction’s envisioning of history, plot and the opposites of plot, pace, mystery vs. suspense, narrative distance, questions of tone and theme, experiments in form. This workshop is welcoming to writers across aesthetics, styles, and interests—we’ll help you explore possibilities for how to build your book and support you as you work to realize your aims. In small groups we’ll dive into and present on aesthetically rich, politically and socially illuminating recent books of fiction, likely including writers such as John Keene, Andrea Lawlor, Eugene Lim, Adania Shibli, Miriam Toews, Salar Abdoh, Hari Kunzru, Sofia Samatar, Susan Steinberg, and more.

Contact neomfa@kent.edu to register

Craft & Theory of Fiction: From Fairy Tale to Fabulism

Instructor: Christopher Barzak
Campus: Youngstown State University
Day & Time:  Tuesdays, 5:10-7:50 PM
Delivery Method: in-person
Course Number: ENGL 6968 (CRN: 45328) 

In this course, we will read a variety of fiction that falls across the spectrum of the fantastic—magical realism, fabulism, surrealism, fairy tales, fantasies of the future, and the supernatural--in order to develop an understanding of the expectations and identifying markers of each mode and how they function with a variety of lengths, perspectives, and forms of fiction. Students will write in and about these modes in an effort to translate theory into practice. Potential course readings include authors: Jeanette Winterson, Steven Millhauser, Angela Carter, Kate Bernheimer, Ursula Le Guin, Jonathan Carroll, Kevin Brockmeier, Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, and J.G. Ballard. Set reading list will be determined and emailed to students at least a month prior to fall semester beginning (and many of the reading materials will be supplied by the instructor).

Contact neomfa@kent.edu to register

Fiction Workshop

Instructor: Imad Rahman
Campus: Cleveland State University
Day & Time: Thursdays 6:00-8:50 PM
Delivery Method: TBD
Course Number: ENG 610

This fiction-writing workshop is an open, inclusive space designed to both help you generate material through a series of prompts and to provide a vibrant creative atmosphere for us to talk about all work in progress. Our guides through this journey will be two story collections (Kim Fu's Lesser Known Monsters of the Twenty First Century & Samanta Schweblin's Seven Empty Houses) & two novels (Dan Chaon's Sleepwalk & Mat Johnson's Invisible Things).

Contact neomfa@kent.edu to register

#nonfiction

CREATIVE NONFICTION

Creative Nonfiction Workshop

Instructor: David Giffels
Campus: University of Akron
Day & Time: Wednesdays, 5:20-7:50 PM
Delivery Method: in-person
Course Number: ENG 689-803

In this MFA creative nonfiction writing workshop, students will propose a semester-long writing project tuned toward their own literary style, goals and writing background. Once the proposals are discussed and approved, each student will submit two to three pieces of original work to be read and discussed by the workshop participants. Individual readings will also be assigned, tailored to each writer’s aesthetic and goals.

Contact neomfa@kent.edu to register

Craft & Theory of Creative Nonfiction: Between Research and Obsession FULL

Instructor: David Giffels
Campus: University of Akron
Day & Time: Thursdays, 5:20-7:50 PM
Delivery Method: in-person
Course Number: ENG 689-801

In this course, we will explore and analyze the role obsession plays in generating creative nonfiction, either as a triggering inspiration or a growing passion, and how research attaches to that obsession as part of the creative process. Students will read works from Chuck Klosterman, Hanif Abdurraqib, Rebecca Skloot, and others. Written work will include critical and creative essays.

Contact: neomfa@kent.edu to register

#poetry

POETRY

Poetry Workshop: Poem as Conversation 

Instructor: Caryl Pagel
Campus: Cleveland State University
Day & Time: Wednesdays, 6-8:50
Delivery Method: in-person
Course Number: ENG 613 (sec. 50)

In this workshop we’ll discuss student poems alongside the subjects, forms, influences, and questions they’re in conversation with. We’ll experiment with a variety of approaches to providing feedback including using such readerly frames as an “influence collage,” a “research file,” a poetics statement, and an inquiry worksheet—all creative supplementary material intended to guide and complicate discussion. Though our focus will be on student writing, we’ll also consider work by contemporary poets Dara Barrois/Dixon, Oliver Baez Bendorf, Cody-Rose Clevidence, Natalie Khankan, Peter O’Leary, Adrienne Raphel, Ed Roberson, Sasha Steensen, Sara Wainscott, and Nikki Wallschlaeger.

Contact neomfa@kent.edu to register

Poetry Workshop 

Instructor: Mary Biddinger
Campus: University of Akron
Day & Time: Mondays, 5:20-7:50 PM
Delivery Method: in-person
Course Number: 3300: 689-804

This class will focus almost exclusively on student writing, with a significant amount of time dedicated to workshopping. In addition to talking about individual poems, and ways that we can identify (and possibly depart from) our default comfort zone as writers, we will think about how writing a series of poems can expand possibilities or deepen scope. The course will include conversations about next steps, such as readying poetry submissions to send out to literary magazines.

Contact neomfa@kent.edu to register

Craft & Theory of Poetry: Curiosity, Attention, and Delight (with layovers in the realms of lightness, pleasure, play, nonsense, imagination, humor, hypnosis, wonder, marvel, and mindfulness)

Instructor: Catherine Wing
Campus: Kent State University
Day & Time: Tuesdays 4:25-7:05 PM
Delivery Method: in-person
Course Number: ENG 66895 (sec 2)

The last few years have been challenging and there are many aspects of the world and modern living that are dispiriting, to say the least. And yet, there is still much to take pleasure in and be grateful for. Using Ross Gay’s The Book of Delights as a model this class will focus on the positive benefits that can come from a daily practice of close attention and creative concentration. We will consider the possibilities of pleasure and play as a source for generating poems, with curiosity and daily writing our goal. Along the way we’ll be reading Lynda Barry, Suzanne Buffam, Italo Calvino, Angie Estes, Terrance Hayes, Harryette Mullen, Mary Ruefle, Sei Shonagon, and Vasko Popa, as well as fairy tales, nursery rhymes, spells, charms, horoscopes, and tarot cards. The last few weeks of class will be devoted to studio sessions in which you’ll build your final project: a gathering of your brightest and most delightful pieces put together in a handmade book using drawings, art, collage, erasure, or [insert your pleasure here].

Contact neomfa@kent.edu to register

#playwriting

PLAYWRITING

Playwriting Workshop

Instructor: Michael Oatman
Campus: Kent State University
Day & Time: Mondays, 4:25-7:05 PM
Delivery Method: TBD
Course Number: ENG 66895 (sec 1)

This course will operate as an open workshop and explore the traditional approaches to playwriting: character, story arc and narrative structure.  Students will be encouraged to write quickly, fluidly, and fearlessly with an emphasis on re-writing.  This class will operate as an on-going conversation and the art, craft and business of playwriting.  Consistent attendance and class participation is necessary and mandatory.  This is necessary to access the full benefit of the class.  Students will write one 10-minute play (approximately 10 pages) each week from a selected genre and a final project. Assignments will be submitted electronically.

Contact neomfa@kent.edu to register

Craft & Theory of Playwriting: Documentary Dramatics

Instructor: Mike Geither
Campus: Cleveland State University
Day & Time:  Thursdays, 6:00-8:50 PM
Delivery Method:  TBD
Course Number: ENG 615

We’re going to create several short pieces from archival materials, interviews, and historical and contemporary sources and work to understand how editing and framing this work lead to meaning.  We’ll examine traditional docudramas, transcript- and interview-based plays, and eventually consider modern-day equivalents like podcasts and videos.  Reading/listening will include Adrienne Kennedy, Emily Mann, Steven Dietz, David Hare, Anna Deavere Smith, Moises Kaufman (Tectonic Theatre Project), Spalding Grey, Holly Hughes, David Hare, Serial podcast, Radiolab, You’re Wrong About, Crime Junkie.  You’ll have considerable freedom in creating short works in class that will hopefully serve as the basis for longer works when class is over.

Contact neomfa@kent.edu to register

#literature

LITERATURE

MFA Literature: Anything But “Well-Made”: Experiments in Contemporary Playwriting

Instructor: David Todd
Campus: Cleveland State University
Day & Time:  Tuesdays, 6-8:50 PM
Delivery Method: online, synchronous
Course Number: ENG 616

The goal of this course is to cultivate the perspective of the informed playwright. To that end, we’ll start with reading a sampling of plays by breakthrough dramatists of the last century—Stein, Genet, Baraka, Kennedy, Ludlam, etc.—from the writer’s perspective, sharpening our sense of craft and form. How were these plays constructed? What was innovative about them? Theatrical? Seemingly unthinkable? How do these plays accomplish their goals—by means of what devices and gestures? How do these writers relate to our later readings of contemporary voices such as Lee, Herzog, and Jacobs-Jenkins? What can we take away from all of these works as writers ourselves? These are the types of questions that will underlie our ongoing script analysis.

In addition to these primary texts, we’ll also read a variety of theories of playwriting and dramaturgy, essays on the craft, interviews, and manifestos. We’ll view filmed plays and excerpts from operas, musicals, and performance art pieces. Among other things, this work will heighten our understanding of the relationships between dramatic theory and practice, between playwrights and their historical contexts, and between theater and other arts.

There will be weekly response posts reacting to our assigned texts. However, our primary formal work will be a series of creative exercises inspired by our readings.

Contact neomfa@kent.edu to register.

Scholarly Editing & Publishing  CANCELED

Instructor: Jon Miller
Campus: University of Akron
Day & Time:  Wednesdays, 5:20-7:50 PM
Delivery Method:  in-person
Course Number: ENG 689-802 (counts toward Lit requirement)

A survey of the current state of publishing, with extra emphasis on academic publishing and the behind-the-scenes editorial work that makes it happen. In the fall of 2022, students will author research papers about Akron's life, culture, and history, to submit for possible publication in a forthcoming book celebrating the city's bicentennial in 2025. This book will be edited by David Lieberth and published by The University of Akron Press, with support from The City of Akron.

Contact David Giffels (dg36@uakron.edu) to register.

Studies in African American Literature: Baldwin and Morrison

Instructor: Julie Burrell
Campus: Cleveland State University
Day & Time:  Tues & Thurs 12:30-1:45 PM
Delivery Method:  in-person
Course Number: ENG 547

Focuses on the literature and cultural criticism of James Baldwin and Toni Morrison. This course examines the way both writers responded to, and helped to shape, U.S. literature and culture in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Contact Julie Burrell (j.m.burrell@csuohio.edu) to register.

Literary Analysis

Instructor: James Marino
Campus: Cleveland State University
Day & Time:  Thursdays, 6-8:50 PM
Delivery Method:  in-person
Course Number: ENG 600 (sec. 50)

Request from instructor.


Contact James Marino (j.marino22@csuohio.edu) to register.

Graduate Seminar: Literature and Censorship

Instructor: Gary Dyer
Campus: Cleveland State University
Day & Time:  Tuesdays, 6-8:50 PM
Delivery Method:  in-person
Course Number: ENG 695 (sec. 50)

Request from instructor.

Contact Gary Dyer (g.dyer28@csuohio.edu) to register.

Studies in Young Adult Literature

Instructor: Stacy Graber
Campus: Youngstown State University
Day & Time:  Tuesdays, 5:10-7:50 PM
Delivery Method:  in-person
Course Number: ENG 6919

This exciting iteration of ENG 6919 will explore a range of new, nonfiction/informational texts produced for young adults spanning a variety of subjects (e.g., visual art/performance, media studies, history, athletics, true crime, cultural conflict and social issues, science and technology, war and politics, immigration, gender studies, and ethnography of place).  Coursework entails weekly reflective writings, a presentation component, and a culminating project, which may be tailored to complement individual academic pursuits such as studying nonfiction in the service of pedagogy or writing nonfiction for young adults.  The overarching theme of the course is the utility of YA nonfiction for catalyzing engaged reading, creative composition, and sophisticated literacy instruction.


Contact Stacy Graber (sgraber@ysu.edu) to register.

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ContactTK to register.

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Instructor:  TK
Campus: TK
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Delivery Method:  TK
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Contact TK to register.

#electives

ELECTIVES

British Women Writers

Instructor: Heather Braun
Campus: University of Akron
Day & Time:  Tues & Thurs, 10:45 AM-12 PM
Delivery Method:  in-person and online synchronous (with permission)
Course Number: ENG 589-001 (Elective: does not count toward lit requirement)

This course explores literary texts by British women writers who have challenged patriarchal modes over the past two centuries. Through our study of influential novelists and poets—including Jane Austen, Mary Shelley, The Brontës, Virginia Woolf, Zadie Smith, and others—we will explore such topics as: madness and monstrosity; cultural constructions of beauty; the Angel in the House; spinsterhood and motherhood; and the place of the woman writer. 

Contact David Giffels (dg36@uakron.edu) to register.

Toni Morrison

Instructor: Philathia Bolton
Campus: University of Akron
Day & Time:  Tuesdays, 5:20-7:50 p.m.
Delivery Method: in-person
Course Number: ENG 589-802 (Elective: does not count toward lit requirement)

This seminar provides you an in-depth look at Toni Morrison with attention to the ways in which she has been read across audiences and within different contexts. Readings of her novels will be joined with readings of contextual pieces from and about her that will afford a richer understanding of the various ways in which she has been placed. To “read Morrison” means to understand the politics involved with being a black writer, a woman writer, an American writer, and—simply—a writer. How should we, then, “read” Morrison? From the writer’s perspective, how much control does one have over the ways in which one is read, perceived, treated? Does it even matter? Ultimately, we hope to situate a learning-thinking environment for this course that affords you an opportunity to experience writing of merit, often emotive, from a phenomenal … writer.

Contact David Giffels (dg36@uakron.edu) to register.

Disease in Literature 

Instructor: Hillary Nunn
Campus: University of Akron
Day & Time:  MWF, 11:50 am-12:40 pm
Delivery Method:  in-person
Course Number: ENG 589-003 (Elective: does not count toward lit requirement)

This course will interrogate literary representations of illness and its effects on individuals and communities, as well as society's perceptions of those who are sick. We will be reading works from different time periods to understand historical perceptions of disease, its mental and physical effects, and its perceived moral and bodily causes. With attention to medical history and cultural studies, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic, we will examine the ways that the mechanics of illness lend meaning to literary works, and vice versa.

Contact David Giffels (dg36@uakron.edu) to register.

Modern American Fiction

Instructor: Patrick Chura
Campus: University of Akron
Day & Time:  MWF, 2-2:50 PM
Delivery Method:  in-person
Course Number: ENG 550-001 (Elective: does not count toward lit requirement)

A contextualized study of major works of American Modernism, viewed from a culture studies perspective that includes a strong focus on women writers. Authors studied include Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, Willa Cather, Nella Larsen, Katherine Anne Porter, Eugene O’Neill, Shirley Graham-DuBois, Ernest Poole, Richard Wright, Sherwood Anderson. We will also view and discuss films by Sergei Eisenstein and Charlie Chaplin. 

Contact David Giffels (dg36@uakron.edu) to register. 

Composition Theory

Instructor: Melanie Gagich
Campus: Cleveland State University
Day & Time:  MWF, 2:35-3:25 PM
Delivery Method: in-person
Course Number: ENG 506

Request from instructor.

Contact Melanie Gagich (m.gagich@csuohio.edu) to register.

Advanced Topics in Writing and Rhetoric: Writing and Public Rhetorics

Instructor: William Breeze
Campus: Cleveland State University
Day & Time:  Tues & Thurs, 10-11:15 AM
Delivery Method:  in-person
Course Number: ENG 509

Request from instructor.

Contact William Breeze (w.breeze@csuohio.edu) to register.

Literary Editing and Publishing

Instructor: TBA
Campus: Cleveland State University
Day & Time:  Wednesdays, 6-8:50 PM
Delivery Method:  in-person
Course Number: ENG 597

This course will combine hands-on work in small press, magazine, and DIY literary settings with a comprehensive study of the structures and issues that characterize contemporary publishing. Students will gain both practical skills and theoretical background in the work of literary editing. The course will consider the editorial process and author/editor relationships; the history, tradition, and forms of the book; connections between presses and larger cultural communities; reading publics in the internet age; and the role of Amazon, Apple, Google, and Facebook. We will consider how to develop an editorial aesthetic and editorial practices, as well as practical approaches to budgets, mission statements, online platforms, submissions, design, and distribution. Students will articulate connections between their own work and the social, cultural, and economic contexts of contemporary publishing. The coursework will culminate in a final publishing project that students will design, with instructor guidance, and in which they may pursue their own interests (in web or print publication; translation; book design; marketing; etc.). This course will contain a collaborative laboratory component and is recommended for those interested in interning or reading for the Cleveland State University Poetry Center, the Vindicator, Whiskey Island, or other literary and cultural publications.

Contact Ashley Burks (a.n.burks@csuohio.edu), CSU English Department Secretary, to register.

Technical Communication 

Instructor: Diana Awad-Scrocco
Campus: Youngstown State University
Day & Time:  Wednesdays, 5:10-7:50 PM
Delivery Method: in-person
Course Number: ENGL 6943

Exploration of scholarly and practical approaches for writing for public, professional, and technical audiences. Students examine the use of writing in public and professional organizations, government, nonprofit sectors, safety and health professions, and political and social campaigns. With an emphasis on theories and practices of approaching audience and purpose, students consider rhetorical and ethical demands of writing in public, professional and technical contexts.

Contact Diana Awad-Scrocco (dlawadscrocco@ysu.edu) to register.

#internship

INTERNSHIP

NEOMFA Internship: The Stories We Tell: Creative Writing in the Sphere of Public Health

Instructor: Marina Vladova
Campus: Kent State University
Day & Time:  Mondays 4:25-7:05
Delivery Method: mix of in-person and synchronous remote 
Course Number: TK

This course fulfills the NEOMFA internship requirement and prepares students to apply their knowledge of creative writing to a community-based teaching residency. We will meet every Monday evening for the first part of the semester and shift to every other week after residencies are established. In class, students will explore the link between creative expression and community-based empowerment as it relates to being a teaching artist with an eye toward population health. We will study narrative medicine pedagogy and examine poetry-based interventions currently used in the community. Each student will design a community-based project, develop a curriculum, and assemble a collection featuring works created by members of the population they engage with. Students will also be expected to submit original pieces of writing for publication in a narrative medicine journal. Internship field experience will take place in a variety of health care related settings including hospitals, community and senior centers, veterans’ facilities, addiction recovery facilities, transitional housing facilities, and correctional facilities. Students will be expected to facilitate workshops in the community for a minimum of one hour a week for six to ten weeks at a location agreed upon by the student and instructor.

Contact neomfa@kent.edu to register

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© 2021 NEOMFA
English Department
Cleveland State University
2121 Euclid Ave., RT 1815
Cleveland, Ohio  44115

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