MFA in Creative Writing - William B. Patrick
I write and teach poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and screenwriting, because each genre surprises me differently. I also enjoy the specific elements and varying challenges that each one offers. Because I prize originality, I encourage students who want to work in more than one genre to find hybrid forms that will push them along new paths and surprise them as well.
To make something new, it helps to know what's been done already. I do a lot of research for most pieces I write, so I urge students to read extensively, too, but as writers read - to ground themselves in stories, strategies, and forms that have worked, or not worked, in the past. At the same time, I hope my students will have the nerve to dissect and question all the earlier texts and techniques, mine included, to discover what works best for them. Why re-present the same, well-worn paths when we can cut our own trails through the wilderness?
Let's ask for too much from our writing. Let's search out that numinous spot in every piece of writing where our imaginations might lift off the page and spirit the reader into an unexpected, shimmering world. Why not?