Creative Writing and Literature courses available this fall through University College at Fairfield University


This fall, University College at Fairfield University will offer writing courses entitled "Finding Your Voice: Legacies and Memoirs," and "Short Story Writing" as well as a "Chinese American Literature" course.

Norwalk-resident Susan Pascucci, a fellow of the Connecticut Writing Project and the Connecticut Council of Teachers of English Poet of the Year, will teach "Finding Your Voice: Legacies and Memoirs."

We have many stories to share and many different people to share them with: our children, grandchildren, friends, and most of all, ourselves, Pascucci said. Poetry, memoir, short stories, and children's stories are among the many ways to tell stories. Participants in the course, which will run on Wednesdays from Sept. 24 through Oct. 29 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., will work in a collaborative setting to bring to life their own stories that are waiting to be heard.

The poet Joy Harjo once said, "As I write, I create myself again and again."

"My response to that would be: writing gives us an opportunity to look inward and discover selves we never knew were there, and to look out and see the world around us with new eyes," said Pascucci, who recently retired after 20 years of teaching at Greenwich High School. "That's really what I'm trying to do."

"Chinese American Literature," which will run on Wednesdays from Oct. 1 through Nov. 5 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., will be taught by Gale Joyce Bellas, Ph.D., instructor of composition and diversity literature at Fairfield University.

"The course," said Dr. Bellas, "will explore the cultural divide between generations of immigrant Chinese living in the United States and the complexities of how children and grandchildren come to terms with their heritage (traditional morality and Confucian teachings), their individuality, and their 'Americaness.'"

Those themes will be examined in three novels: "Eat a Bowl of Tea," by Louis Chu; "The Kitchen God's Wife," by Amy Tan; and "Bone," by Fae Myenne Ng. The last class will be held in a local Chinese restaurant.

"We know little of the old country. We repeat the names of grandfathers and uncles, but they have always been strangers to us. Family exists only because somebody has a story, and knowing a story connects us to history." (From the novel "Bone," by Fae Ng.)

Dr. Bellas, a local resident, has had several short stories and essays published in various magazines and journals. She lived in China and taught at Shanghai International University in the summer of 2000.

Dr. Bellas will also teach "Short Story Writing," which will run on Tuesdays from Oct. 28 through Nov. 9 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

The course will enable new and experienced writers to gain confidence in exploring and developing their individual creativity through class exercises and discussion. While learning practical writing skills such as structure, characterization, and dialogue, students will also learn to apply imaginative and critical faculties to their own writing. Students will complete a short story by the end of class.

"A creative mind and pen can triumph over any experience," said Dr. Bellas.

The cost of the seminar is $149, and $129 for members of Fairfield University's Institute for Retired Professionals. To register by phone, call (203) 254-4288. For more information call (203) 254-4307 or visit University College at www.fairfield.edu.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on August 22, 2003

Vol. 36, No. 23