ERIC Number: ED362868
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Oct-16
Reference Count: N/A
Teaching Creative Writing: That Is, Teaching Something Other Than the Craft.
Teichmann, Sandra Gail
Recent articles by August Kleinzahler, Joseph Epstein, and Diana Gioia question the value of contemporary poetry, particularly that which comes from graduate and undergraduate creative writing programs. Ron McFarland, in a recent issue of "College English," argues against these articles and advocates teaching craft as the only essential which can be taught among the five essential qualities of a serious writer, the others being desire, drive, talent, and vision. However, to focus on craft and ignore the other four essentials is to merely provide an empty artistry for arranging equally empty thoughts. Desire can be "taught" as it is encouraged by the instructor and peers; drive can be "taught" as it is stimulated in an atmosphere where a real interest in the subject of the writing is discussed, read about, written about and responded to; talent can be "taught" as all writers are encouraged to explore their own resources; and vision can be "taught" as students are led to take risks and think in new ways. Perhaps Epstein, Kleinzahler and Gioia's criticisms are well founded if teaching writing in the universities centers on the craft of writing with the focus on product, rather than teaching qualities like desire, drive and vision, with the focus on content. (NH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Composition Theory; Teaching Perspectives; Writing Development
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association (Denver, CO, October 15-16, 1993).