literary readings

If you haven’t gone to a reading- do so!  I’ve posted some below.  Please remember the reading paper is due by December 7th.
  • You can also go to the weekly poetry slam at the cantab.
  • and on campus:  Amy Clark is doing a reading at the UMass Boston Bookstore on Tuesday, Nov 29th at 1 PM

– see you at conferences,


Thursday, December 1, 2:30 pm
Fred Moten
McCormack Family Theater
70 Brown St.
free and open to public

Thursday, December 1, 5:45 pm
Henri Cole in conversation with Christopher Lydon
Upstairs on the Square
PEN New England
91 Winthrop Street
Harvard Square, Cambridge

Monday, December 5, 8 pm
Meghan O’Rourke and Joanne Diaz
Blacksmith House Poetry Series
56 Brattle Street
Harvard Square

Tuesday, December 6, 7:30 pm
Gerald Stern
Poetry Center at Smith College
Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall
Northampton, MA

Thursday, December 8, 7 pm
Denise Bergman, Susan Freireich, Molly Lynn Watt: Annual Reading of New Material,
followed by a reception and conversation
Central Square Library
45 Pearl Street

Sunday, December 11, 12:45 pm
Chuck Harper and Thomas Libby
Mike Amado Memorial Series
The Plymouth Center for the Arts
11 North St
Plymouth, MA
[Downtown just off Rte 3A]

Sunday, December 11, 3 pm
“Comic Muse: The Light Brigade Charges Again”
X.J. Kennedy, Barbara Lydecker, Robert Clawson, Amy Woods, and Joan Kimball of the poetry group, X.J.Kennedy & the Light Brigade Poetry at the Concord Free Public Library
129 Main St.
Concord, MA

Sunday, December 11, 3 pm
Jane Yolen
Back Pages Books
289 Moody Street

Monday, December 12, 8 pm
Rosanna Warren and David Yezzi
Blacksmith House Poetry Series
56 Brattle Street
Harvard Square

Saturday, December 17, 3:30 pm
Laura Rodley and Richard Hoffman
Brockton Public Library
304 Main Street
Brockton, MA


for Monday, November 21

Hey guys,

I’m going to post this short short story for you to read and annotate.  I might bring another into class but we are likely going to do an in-class activity.

We will also talk to the 3 remaining groups about what they liked about each other’s short stories and what they learned about their own.

Print, read, annotate and come with two prepared responses to this story for Monday:


Don’t forget, your reading response paper is due tomorrow!



Flash Fiction and Other News

11/23 marks our first Flash Fiction workshop.  We will be reading and discussion Flash Fiction in class this week but we’ve already read some in Burroway.  “Incarcerations of Burned Children” David Foster Wallace is flash fiction.  As is the Alice Munroe story, “Prue” which we began in class on Friday.  I will be bringing in some more examples (as opposed to posting on the blog) Monday.

Keep in mind, on 11/23 you will need to bring in your Flash Fiction (no more than 1.5 pgs) for workshop and at that time you will also be bringing a copy to me.  This is separate from the short story (5-10 pgs ) that you’ll turn in 11/18.


Update:  As luck would have it NPR just announced the winner of their 3 minute story contest.  This is flash fiction at it’s finest.  Check it out:


Literary Reading Paper

The literary reading paper has been talked about in class since the beginning of the semester.  Many of you have attended a reading, some of you have yet to attend one.  I will post some more readings today but please find your way to a reading ASAP.  At the end of the semester I will not accept the excuse of not being able to attend a reading as you’ve been aware of this requirement since day one. That said, no one has turned in a Literary Reading Paper.  I asked that you hand these in at any time in the semester but if you’ll look to your syllabus you’ll see there is a final deadline of December 7th.  I encourage you to turn them in sooner than that so you’ll have an idea of where you stand in the class.


Literary Reading Paper

2-3 pgs

12 pnt font.

  • The focus of this paper is to explain why attending a reading is different than reading from a book.  There are obvious ways these two things are different and then there are other, less obvious ways.  Hearing how a writer reads their own work can help you better understand the work.  You might notice a writer emphasizes their words differently than you’d imagined etc.  The writer might read from old publications of which you’re unfamiliar or new unpublished work.  How might this shape your understanding of the writer/
  • Please describe the reading.  Where did it take place?  Was there a crowd?  Q & A?  A panel?  More than one reader?  And then, how did these details affect your experience?  Take me to the reading- tell me what you noticed and what you learned.
  • Tell me what was most interesting?  Where did the reading fall short?  Explain how it might have influenced your own writing.
  • Finally, connect all of this to class.  How does it play into things we’ve discussed and things we’ve read in Burroway?

Due:  In Class – December 7.

Fiction Response Paper

I’ve recieved some questions regarding the upcoming papers.  I’m going to post a blog entry for each assignment.  Starting with the Fiction Response paper due Monday, November 21 – in class.

You will notice the Fiction Response Paper looks a lot like the Poetry Response paper.  Do notice the length difference.  I want you to pick a story either from the text or that we’ve discussed in class.  If you chose to study another story please get my permission via email or speak to me after class.

If you plan to rewrite the Poetry Response Paper it must be turned in with the Fiction Response paper on Nov. 21.

English 210-3 – Intro. To Creative Writing

Reading Response Paper- Fiction

2-4 pgs


Double spaced

12-point font

Quotes/citations pulled directly from text and story




  • Demonstrate that you can read like a writer.


  • Take a close look at what Burroway says about reading like a writer.  Not simply indicating “I like this” and “I don’t like this” but “This works because…” Tell me why the author has chosen the image, voice or setting they chose and which literary elements they used to support these choices.


  • Look at the particular elements of the story that seem most interesting to you.  Use the conversations we had in class if they seem especially pertinent but do flush them out more and take it further than what we discussed.    I’m not looking for a repetition of our class discussion but a deeper analysis of a poem.


  • Explain why the elements you chose to focus on were especially meaningful to you and how those techniques might translate into your own work.


  • Talk about the plot, the story, the characters.  Tell me how the characters are portrayed in the story- how does the writer deliver these characters to us.  Tell me about the title, about the setting the timing.

Due In Class Monday, November 21. 

Assignment Nov 9.

Paperhanger part 1

Paperhanger part. 2

Here is a short story by William Gay to be read for class November 9. (The PDF is split into two parts, you need to read and print both parts.)   Please, print the story and annotate it.  Underline areas you admire and leave a note as to why you like it.  For example:

His arms were smooth and brown and corded with muscle and in the light that fell upon the paper-hanger through stained-glass panels the doctor’s wife could see that they were lightly downed with fine golden hair.  (Gay, 1)

You might note how the description of the man also ties in some details of the house telling you the type of place where the story is set.   This costitutes as a close-reading of the story.  These are the types of readings you’ve done for the poems in the workshop and I’d like you to do for the stories in the upcoming fiction workshops.

As always, I’d like you to come to class with at least two prepared comments on this text.  Write them on a piece of paper so when I say, “What are your reactions to this story” every one of your hands should shoot up.  This will also faciliate an in-class discussion where you may disagree or agree with one of your classmates.  I will ask to see everyone’s prepared questions and annotated text at the end of class 11/9.