Advanced Creative Non-Fiction Writing

W413 — Spring 2019

Catherine Bowman
Days and Times
1:00 - 3:30p T
Course Description

Topic: “Nature Writing, Trees”


This is a class on the personal essay and narrative nonfiction. In this class our focus will be on nature writing. Specifically the class will focus on writing about trees. Our class will be held at the IU Teaching and Research Preserve, a 185 acre natural wooded field-setting. Many of our classes will be held outside. We will be taking lots of walks in nature and writing about our experiences. We will observe the trees, listen to them, and write about them. We will be reading far and wide in the realm of creative nonfiction on trees, nature, art, sustainability, science, ecology and the natural world. We be asking questions about form, voice, point of view, time, narrative, audience, perspective, ethics, the nature of truth and fact and other elements of writing as related to the nonfiction literary essay. We will be reading mostly as writers, practicing close reading skills that focus on language, technique, style, and the journey the piece makes down the page. We will hone and develop our writing so that it moves beyond "reportage" and "self-expression" to create crafted, complex works that explore culture and what it means to be human. Your creative nonfiction will be discussed in class workshops. There will be visits from scientist, ecologists, naturalists and others.