Literature and Writing


Afraid to start writing? Develop a deeper understanding of the writer's craft. We will cover essential components of creative writing such as setting, conflict, plot, characters and dialogue. Upon completion of the course, you should be better equipped to begin the process of writing your own work. Begin your own adventure as a writer with the advice of a seasoned pro.
Are you ready to write longer-form fiction, memoir, the chapter of a novel, or a narrative essay? Learn to love revision, give and receive supportive feedback. Meet every other week for instruction and review, then write and revise at home at your own pace. With support from your peers and the instructor, develop a five-to-ten-page story in six weeks. We share our work through email and a private Facebook group, so a computer is essential.

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What do Harry Bosch and Doc Ford have in common? Both iconic detectives are the creations of Florida novelists Randy Wayne White and Tampa resident Michael Connelly. We'll start by exploring Doc Ford's time in Central America and on Sanibel Island in White's Sanibel Flats. Then, meet Harry Bosch in his first outing in Connelly's The Black Echo. Read the novels before coming to class to consider how setting is more than a backdrop with these novels.
Get out your tie dye, your peace signs, your fringe vests - and most of all, your vinyl! It's time to honor Bob Dylan, one of the true geniuses of folk/blues/rock/gospel music. Listen to his music from 1962 to the present and put it into the context of his life and times. Come ready to sing, dance, clap your hands and stomp your feet as we celebrate a true American treasure, a 2016 Nobel Prize winner, an icon of the music of the Great American Songbook.

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In four short novels (novellas), make the acquaintance of these unforgettable characters: Mrs. Dalloway, Bartleby, Gustav Aschenbach, and a French woman reminiscing about her lover in colonial Vietnam. Explore these novellas and gain expertise in analyzing character development, narrative styles and literary devices used to convey atmosphere and meaning. Develop an appreciation for the precision, clarity and subtlety of this little-known literary form -- and these indelible characters. Please read Mrs Dalloway before the first class. Required texts: Mrs Dalloway by Virginai Woolf Benediction Classics 2017 ($5.99); The Lover by Marguerite Duras Pantheon Books 1998 ($12.68); Bartleby the Scrivener by Herman Melville Dover Thrift edition ($3.29)Death in Veniceby Thomas Mann Dover Thrift Edition ($2.50)

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New York sports writer Red Smith once observed, "Writing is easy. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein." We don't use typewriters anymore, but popular local author Roy Peter Clark writes "?the world is a storehouse of writing ideas. As you gain proficiency with each tool, and then fluency, the art of writing will make you...a better person." Explore these tools and free the writer within. Required text: Writing Tools: 55 Essential Strategies for Every Writer by Roy Peter Clark ($15.99). Optional: Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg ($14.95).

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Read and discuss literary and philosophical texts from an anthology. Organized around the Socratic "shared inquiry" method of discussion, participants interpret and evaluate the meanings and ideas of classic works from the "Western Canon." Readings will include Nietzsche, Aristotle, Plato, Henry Adams and Virginia Woolf, Dante's Inferno and King Lear Required text is Great Books Reading and Discussion Program Series Five ($28.95), available through the the instructor.

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This course will allow you to learn more about a topic of great personal significance--you! You will listen to and read published and unpublished life stories; then you will begin work on writing your own. The sessions will focus on childhood, family history, relationships, children, work (volunteer or paid), and personal sorrows and victories. This popular course is for beginners interested in turning their memories into family heirlooms or even works of art! This class is limited in size, so register early.
A follow-up course for participants of Life Story Writing I. Explore new methods to add depth and color to your stories about people, places and even objects from your past. You will need to access information about your great grandparents through family bibles, genealogy research or oral history. Think about the contrast between your life and theirs and how your life is influenced by their struggles and successes.

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In this course, participants will be invited to think about their own memoirs by writing and sharing brief pieces in the style of several authors. Often these short pieces encourage writers to continue their reflections and to read further about the craft. Texts range from Dorothy Day's The Long Loneliness, to Jamaica Kincaid's Girl, Sandra Cisneros' The House on Mango Street, and John Edgar Wideman's Brothers and Keepers.

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Do you have a story to tell but struggle to put words on paper? Join other writers who want to begin again and explore new ways to succeed. Build confidence writing short pieces in fiction, essay, memoir, or writing for others. Meet every other week for instruction and practice in class, then write and revise at home at your own pace. With full support, develop a three-to-four-page story under 1,000 words in six weeks. We share our work through email and a private Facebook group, so a computer is essential.

This course contains no sessions

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What are the ingredients that constitute a "Great" poem? What is the difference between good poetry and great poetry? And why do we relegate some poems to the category of mediocre,or worse? Choosing a different theme each week, we will read and discuss poems and decide on their ratings.
Writer Neil Gaiman observed, "A short story is the ultimate close-up magic trick --a couple of thousand words to take you around the universe or break your heart." Join us to examine the literary elements of the short story genre utilizing a variety of 20th and 21st century short stories and authors including Hemingway, Faulkner and O'Connor. Discover some 21st century authors who are taking the short story genre to new levels. No textbook required, stories online or copies provided by instructor.
Western conceptions of Africa and African culture are often determined by movies and books not written by Africans themselves. Compare and contrast western conceptions, beliefs and customs with those of Africans to gain a deeper understanding of similarities and uniqueness. The basis of class discussions will be Chinua Achebe's masterpiece of world literature, Things Fall Apart ($13, required) about the cataclysmic encounter between Africans and European colonialists.

This course contains no sessions

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