Timothy Kreider

Essayist and cartoonist. Author of We Learn Nothing (Simon & Schuster). Contributor to The New York Times, The New Yorker‘s “Page-Turner” blog, al Jazeera, Men’s Journal, nerve.com, The Comics Journal, and Film Quarterly. His cartoons have been collected in three books by Fantagraphics. His cartoon, “The Pain–When Will It End?” ran for 12 years in the Baltimore City Paper and other alternative weeklies and is archived at paincomics.com. SLC, 2014–

Undergraduate Courses 2017-2018

Writing

I’m Not Making This Up: Writing Creative Nonfiction

Open , Seminar—Spring

Nonfiction has to be based on real life, but nonfiction is also supposed to make sense and mean something—two things that real life consistently fails to do. The fact that something really happened does not, in itself, make it interesting. How do you reconcile the messy raw material of reality with the necessities of art? How do you lop off little segments of time that are shaped like stories? How do you render your mundane and idiosyncratic personal stories into something significant and universal—something worth reading? How do you make your life matter? Another touchy issue is that of literal veracity vs. artistic truth: When does artistry become falsification? How do you write honestly and bravely without forfeiting all privacy? Also, hey, won’t everyone you know get mad at you if you write about them? No one’s pretending that there are clear or easy answers to these questions. What we’ll do is hash them over in class as truthfully and thoughtfully as we can. We’ll read beautiful, hilarious, and moving essays and memoirs and journalism to see how writers smarter and more talented than we, from Montaigne to Michael Herr, have managed it. We’ll labor to find strange new ways of saying the same old truths. We’ll talk euphony and rhetoric, memorize snatches of great literature, and write letters to loved ones. And we will do the very least fun thing anyone can voluntarily do—write essays ourselves.

Faculty

Previous Courses

Nonfiction Workshop: I’m Not Making This Up: Writing Creative Nonfiction

Workshop—Fall

Nonfiction has to be based on real life, but it’s also supposed to make sense and mean something—two things that real life consistently fails to do. The fact that something really happened does not, in itself, make it interesting. How to reconcile the messy raw material of reality with the necessities of art? How to lop off little segments of time that are shaped like stories? How to render your mundane and idiosyncratic personal stories into something significant and universal—something worth reading? How to make your life matter? Another touchy issue is that of literal veracity vs. artistic truth: When does artistry become falsification? How to write honestly and bravely without forfeiting all privacy? Also, hey, won’t everyone you know get mad at you if you write about them? No one’s pretending there are clear or easy answers to these questions. What we’ll do is hash them over in class as truthfully and thoughtfully as we can. We’ll read beautiful, hilarious, and moving essays and memoirs and journalism to see how writers smarter and more talented than we, from Montaigne to Michael Herr, have managed it. We’ll labor to find strange new ways of saying the same old truths. We’ll talk euphony and rhetoric, memorize snatches of great literature, and write letters to loved ones. And we will do the very least fun thing anyone can voluntarily do—write essays ourselves. By the end of this course, students will understand life.

Faculty