Switching Style and Focus in Writing by James Cihlar, from issue 299.1

The brain is more receptive to ideas at different times. Who’s to say why some concepts stick while others don’t? It must have been in an introductory creative writing class at the University of Iowa where I first interpreted the notion of ars poetica to mean a poem that defines poems. I’m sure one of my impassioned graduate student instructors wrote the term on the board, as she assigned Geography III by Elizabeth Bishop and Ariel by Sylvia Plath, Lost in the Funhouse by John Barth, and What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver. Creative writing courses must be the gateway drug to literature courses: they are great books’ point of entry into students’ consciousnesses as well as into the curriculum.

1% Reign

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