Writing the Lyric Essay: When Poetry & Nonfiction Play

5-Week Online Class

Writing the Lyric Essay: When Poetry & Nonfiction Play

January 7 -- February 10

$260 if registered by 12/17/2018
$310 if registered after 12/17/2018

Learn how to receive a "refer-a-friend" discount by clicking here.

Your course registration includes a free 4-issue subscription to Creative Nonfiction or a free ebook; click here for more details.

Refund and cancellation policies

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Instructor: Joanna Cooper

Some of the most artful work being done in essay today exists in a liminal space that touches on the poetic. In this course, you will read and write lyric essays (pieces of creative nonfiction that move in ways often associated with poetry) using techniques such as juxtaposition; collage; white space; attention to sound; and loose, associative thinking. You will read lyric essays that experiment with form and genre in a variety of ways (such as the hermit crab essay, the braided essay, multimedia work), as well as hybrid pieces by authors working very much at the intersection of essay and poetry. We will proceed in this course with an attitude of play, openness, and communal exploration into the possibilities of the lyric essay, reaching for our own definitions and methods, even as we study the work of others for models and inspiration. Whether you are an aspiring essayist interested in infusing your work with fresh new possibilities, or a poet who wants to try essay, this course will have room for you to experiment and play.

Week 1: Lyric Models: Space and Collage
Week 2: Experiments with Form: Braided Essay and Hermit Crab Essay
Week 3: Lyric Vignette and the Prose Poem
Week 4: Witnessing the Self: Essays by Poets
Week 5: Hybrid Forms and the Documentary Impulse

See the complete syllabus here »

See schedule of all available classes »

* US residents will receive a complimentary 4-issue subscription to Creative Nonfiction magazine with their online course registration (or a 4-issue extension to their existing subscription). Students outside the US can receive a free copy of the ebook Creating Nonfiction: Lessons from the Voice of the Genre, or can choose to receive a 4-issue print subscription for the cost of shipping fees. We regret that we are not able to offer complimentary digital subscriptions for international students at this time.

If you are an international student who would like a print subscription, please click here to add the cost of shipping to your order total. If you prefer the ebook, contact us at information@creativenonfiction.org after you register.

Refund and cancellation policies

By 5pm EST on the Monday before classes begin (one week prior to start date):

  • Students may request a refund (less a $50 application fee). You may also request a transfer (no fee) to another course in the same term or future term. Transfer credits must be applied within two years from your cancellation date.

By 5pm EST on the Friday at the end of the first week of classes:

  • Students may transfer their enrollment credit to a future course (less a $95 processing fee for 10-week courses or a $75 processing fee for 5-week courses). Transfer credits must be applied within two years from your cancellation date.
  • Students may switch to another class in the same term (subject to availability) for a $25 fee.

No refunds or transfers will be offered after this deadline.