The MFA in Creative Writing Program at Manhattanville College

Current Courses

Jump to Spring 2017 course listings

Fall 2016 semester courses

Foundations in Graduate Creative Writing (ENG 5110/3 cr.)
This course could be called “Great Attention to detail in Poetry, Fiction and Drama”. In it, students explore the many aspects of writing, focusing attention on particular tasks, and discovering answers to questions such as: How do we build our work from notes to drafts to completed pieces of work? How do we write believable characters? How do we bring the language of color, climate, or the intimacies of mood to our work? What images, objects or symbols help support the ideas of our writing? How do we find the source in ourselves from which to write poetry? How do we know when a piece of work is finished? Copies of the readings will be provided by the instructor. (Writing/Craft-based seminar)
Instructor: Sharbari Ahmed

Advanced Seminar in Creative Writing (ENW 5130/3 cr.)
This course examines the history and theories of Creative Writing, with particular attention to both community-based Creative Writing and the post-WWII period of graduate creative writing initiated by the advent of the first program in the field, the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Students will read several historical and theoretical texts that describe and critique this historical development. They will also be introduced to a wide variety of models through which the Creative Writing workshop model has been used in K-12 schools, community centers, workplaces, prisons, and other public and private spaces. Students will also study the fundamentals of critical pedagogy as it pertains to creative writing. (Literary theory/Craft-based seminar)
Instructor: Mark Nowak

Poetry Workshop (ENW 5220/3 cr.)
In this workshop, participants will develop their poetic voice and experiment with new methods of approaching the page. Through writing exercises, a range of readings, and study of the diverse offerings of contemporary poetry, students will work to discover ways to imaginatively challenge, re-purpose and bend the poetic genre to fulfill their creative objectives and forge a distinct aesthetic identity. (Writing workshop)
Instructor: Suzanne Parker

Fiction Workshop (ENW 5210/3 cr.)
Students study language, tone, structure, dialogue and point of view in order to get at how to create compelling, empathetic characters on the page. We examine extensively the ways exemplary stories connect with readers. The semester’s work consists largely of reading and exercises, with some workshopping of student writing. Students are to be thoroughly familiar with the assigned readings and are expected to have useful and insightful responses to relevant issues of craft. The final requirement for the class is a short story (most likely between 8 and 30 pages in length) or a chapter or two of a novel (same page requirements) that has been workshopped at least once. (Writing workshop)
Instructor: Jeff Bens

Creative Nonfiction Workshop (ENW 5230/3 cr.)
A commitment to fact in all its inconvenience combined with a commitment to achieving a depth of meaning comparable to that found in diction is the passion of the nonfiction writer. There is no better way to explore this genre than by working in its four principle forms: Memoir, Opinion, Essay and Literary Working. In this workshop students will write a piece in each form and we will also analyze the work of masters in each form. (Writing workshop)
Instructor: Lori Soderlind
Special for fall 2016: CNF Workshop on Saturdays. 
Saturday workshops meet six times over the semester for daylong intensives. Each day of the CNF workshop will focus in greater than usual depth on the work of an individual literary nonfiction writer.

Spring 2017 Course Listings

NEW COURSE: Cross-Genre Research (3 cr.)
Creative writing demands introspection and increasingly deeper exploration of our personal concerns, interests, and artistic goals. This course seeks to balance that inner gaze with materials from other perspectives. By seeking data, records, and other materials in stored sources, by using interviews and personal sources, and by exploring physical locations, students will expand their awareness of the matters they choose to write about and discover how subjective and objective realities interact and inform each other. This course does not seek to limit the definition of research to academic or journalistic modes, but rather, its intention is to widen students’ perception of what research is and how it can enlarge one’s creative universe. (Writing/craft-based seminar)
Instructor: Kate Daloz

Topics in Graduate Writing (ENW 5850/3 cr.)
Image & Text
In this course, students will examine both historic and contemporary interactions of visual practices (photography, film, graphic novels, web-based projects…) with literary texts (poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and cross-genre writing). Select image-text collaborations to be studied may include Wright Morris’s The Home Place, Richard Wright’s 12 Million Black Voices, Claudia Rankine’s Citizen, and Gene Luen Yang’s Boxers and Saints. Students will then create their own final projects at the intersection of image and text.
Instructor: Mark Nowak

Screenwriting Workshop (ENW 5003/3 cr.)
Students are introduced to the craft of visual story-telling, exploring character, dialogue, plot setting and tone. Students view movies weekly and read extensively in professional film scripts. Each week student writing is discussed in a workshop format. The semester project is the completion of the First Act of a feature screenplay, approximately thirty pages of writing, as well as an accompanying outline of the entire screenplay. (Writing workshop)
Instructor: Jeff Bens

Poetry Workshop (ENW 5220/3 cr.)
In this workshop, participants will develop their poetic voice and experiment with new methods of approaching the page. Through writing exercises, a range of readings, and study of the diverse offerings of contemporary poetry, students will work to discover ways to imaginatively challenge, re-purpose and bend the poetic genre to fulfill their creative objectives and forge a distinct aesthetic identity. (Writing workshop)
Instructor: Mark Nowak

Fiction Workshop (ENW 5210/3 cr.)
Students study language, tone, structure, dialogue and point of view in order to get at how to create compelling, empathetic characters on the page. We examine extensively the ways exemplary stories connect with readers. The semester’s work consists largely of reading and exercises, with some workshopping of student writing. Students are to be thoroughly familiar with the assigned readings and are expected to have useful and insightful responses to relevant issues of craft. The final requirement for the class is a short story (most likely between 8 and 30 pages in length) or a chapter or two of a novel (same page requirements) that has been workshopped at least once. (Writing workshop)
Instructor: Hannah Tennant-Moore