Jeffrey McDaniel

on leave spring semester

BA, Sarah Lawrence College. MFA, George Mason University. Author of five books of poetry, most recently Chapel of Inadvertent Joy (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2013). Other books include The Endarkenment (Pittsburgh, 2008), The Splinter Factory (Manic D Press, 2002), The Forgiveness Parade (Manic D Press, 1998), and Alibi School (Manic D Press, 1995). His poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Best American Poetry in 1994 and 2010. Recipient of an NEA Fellowship. SLC, 2011–

Undergraduate Courses 2018-2019

Writing

Masks, Personas, and The Literal I: A Poetry Workshop

Open , Seminar—Fall

In this writing workshop, we will read books by poets who utilize masks and personas to explore depths of honesty, thought, and feeling that might otherwise be off-limits. We will consider the different ways in which a character may be created and inhabited via syntax, diction, emotional crescendos and deflations, associative leaps, metaphors, and tonal shifts. We will also read books by poets who collapse the space between poetic speaker and author, employing a more literal I. We will strive to come to a richer understanding of the possibilities of the first person. Students will be asked to create their own mask, a constructed first person to breathe and speak through, and also to write poems in the mind/throat/heart of a more literal I. The reading class will be roughly a book of poetry a week. There will be a number of short response essays to the reading. Students will be expected to write and rewrite with passion and vigor, turning in a new first draft each week and a final manuscript of six to 10 poems. Class time will be split evenly between discussing outside reading and student work. This class will be good for both workshop veterans and those who have been harboring an urge to give poetry a try.

Faculty

Hybrids of Poetry and Prose: A Multigenre Creative Workshop

Open , Seminar—Fall

One of the exciting literary developments in recent years is the plethora of work that refuses easy categorization created by authors such as Maggie Nelson, Jenny Offill, and Eula Biss. Our syllabus will be composed of texts that blur the lines of genre. We will consider architecture, diction, association, metaphor, and other issues of craft. Students will be required to write critical responses to the reading and to bring in a new piece of writing each week. For workshop, students can submit poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, or anything in between. We will aim to locate a piece’s heat—its linguistic, figurative, and musical energy—and consider how that energy might be developed, or maximized, in subsequent drafts and to what effect. Half of each class will be devoted to discussing the weekly reading; the other half will be spent discussing student work. Occasionally, we will do in-class writing exercises that emphasize intuition and chance and steer students toward a place of hybridity. In the spring semester, students will work on hybrid projects of their own. A background in creative writing is not essential to taking this class; a willingness to read and write and take creative risks is.

Faculty

Previous Courses

Hybrids of Poetry and Prose: A Multigenre Creative Workshop

Open , Seminar—Year

One of the exciting literary developments in recent years is the plethora of work that refuses easy categorization by authors such as Maggie Nelson, Claudia Rankine, Jenny Offill, and Eula Biss. Our syllabus will be composed of texts that blur the lines of genre. We will consider architecture, diction, association, metaphor, and other issues of craft. Students will be required to write critical responses to the reading and bring in a new piece of writing each week. For workshop, students can submit poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, or anything in between. We will aim to locate a piece’s heat—its linguistic, figurative, and musical energy—and consider how that energy might be developed, or maximized, in subsequent drafts and to what effect. Half of each class will be devoted to discussing the weekly reading; the other half will be spent discussing student work. Occasionally, we will do in-class writing exercises that emphasize intuition and chance and steer students toward a place of hybridity. In the spring semester, students will work on hybrid projects of their own. A background in creative writing is not essential to taking this class; a willingness to read and write and take creative risks is.

Faculty

Masks, Personas, and The Literal I: A Poetry Workshop

Open , Seminar—Fall

In this writing workshop, we will read books by poets who utilize masks and personas to explore depths of honesty, thought, and feeling that might otherwise be off limits. We will consider the different ways in which a character may be created and inhabited via syntax, diction, emotional crescendos and deflations, associative leaps, metaphors, and tonal shifts. We will also read books by poets who collapse the space between poetic speaker and author, employing a more literal I. We will strive to come to a richer understanding of the possibilities of the first person. Students will be asked to create their own mask, a constructed first person to breathe and speak through, and also to write poems in the mind/throat/heart of a more literal I. The reading class will be roughly a book of poetry a week, including John Berryman’s Henry, Zbigniew Herbert’s Mr. Cogito, and the expansive I in Whitman’s Song of Myself. There will be a number of short response essays to the reading. Students will be expected to write and rewrite with passion and vigor, turning in a new first draft each week and a final manuscript of 6-10 poems. Class time will be split evenly between discussing outside reading and student work. This class will be good for both workshop veterans and those who have been harboring an urge to give poetry a try.

Faculty

Poetry Workshop/Mixed-Genre Craft

Workshop—Spring

Poetry students may take this class as either a craft class OR a workshop. Please email Paige Ackerson-Kiely (packerson@sarahlawrence.edu) if you have any questions.

In this class, we will read and discuss books that do not fit cleanly in a single genre, work that blurs the boundaries between poetry and prose or fiction and memoir. Authors to be read include: Maggie Nelson, Eula Biss, Aurelie Sheehan, Eliza Griswold, Ben Lerner, and others. Half of each class will be devoted to discussing the weekly book. The other half of each class will be spent discussing student work. So the class itself will be a hybrid of craft and multi-genre workshop. Students will be encouraged, but not required, to embark on a project that explores hybrid forms. For workshop, students can bring in poetry or prose or anything in between. There will be biweekly one-on-one conferences, where any genre of creative writing will be welcome and discussed.

Faculty

Mixed-Genre Craft/Poetry Workshop

Craft—Spring

Poetry students may take this class as either a craft class OR a workshop. Please email Paige Ackerson-Kiely (packerson@sarahlawrence.edu) if you have any questions.

In this class, we will read and discuss books that do not fit cleanly in a single genre, work that blurs the boundaries between poetry and prose or of fiction and memoir. Authors to be read include: Maggie Nelson, Eula Biss, Aurelie Sheehan, Eliza Griswold, Ben Lerner, and others. Half of each class will be devoted to discussing the weekly book. The other half of each class will be spent discussing student work. So the class itself will be a hybrid of craft and multigenre workshop. Students will be encouraged, but not required, to embark on a project that explores hybrid forms. For workshop, students can bring in poetry or prose or anything in between. There will be biweekly one-on-one conferences, where any genre of creative writing will be welcomed and discussed.

Faculty

First-Year Studies: Hybrids of Poetry and Prose: A Multigenre Creative Workshop

Open , FYS—Year

One of the exciting literary developments in recent years is the plethora of work that refuses easy categorization by authors such as Maggie Nelson, Claudia Rankine, Jenny Offill, and Eula Biss. Our syllabus will be composed of texts that blur the lines of genre. We will consider architecture, diction, association, metaphor, and other issues of craft. Students will be required to write critical responses to the reading and bring in a new piece of writing each week. For workshop, students can submit poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, or anything in between. We will aim to locate a piece’s heat—its linguistic, figurative, and musical energy—and consider how that energy might be developed, or maximized, in subsequent drafts and to what effect. Half of each class will be devoted to discussing the weekly reading; the other half will be spent discussing student work. Occasionally, we will do in-class writing exercises that emphasize intuition and chance and steer students toward a place of hybridity. In the spring semester, students will work on hybrid projects of their own. A background in creative writing is not essential to taking this class; a willingness to read and write and take creative risks is.

Faculty

Where Words Are Born: A Poetry Workshop

Open , Seminar—Year

In this course, we will voraciously read and write and think. And as the course progresses, we will begin to look for ways to bring poetry out of the classroom. For instance, one project in the spring term will be a mobile reading where the audience physically walks around campus, encountering student poets in set locations along the way. While we will look for creative ways to bring poetry out of the classroom, the core of the class will be making poems come to life on the page. We’ll read a book each week, an eclectic assortment of texts published mostly in the last 10 years. We’ll spend half of each class discussing the reading in detail. Each week, students will write a new poem and critical responses to the reading. At the end of each semester, students will turn in a manuscript of revised poems.

Faculty

Poetry and Prose Hybrids

Open , Seminar—Fall

In this course, we will read and discuss books that defy easy genre classification and blur the lines of poetry, fiction, and memoir. Authors to be read include Maggie Nelson, Eula Biss, Jenny Offill, Ben Lerner, James Baldwin, and others. Half of each class will be devoted to discussing the weekly reading. The other half of each class will be spent discussing student work. Students will be encouraged, but not required, to embark on a project that explores hybrid forms in their writing. Students will be required to write critical responses to the reading and bring in a new piece of writing each week. For workshop, students may bring in poetry, prose, or anything in between. The semester will culminate with students turning in a revised portfolio. Open to any poet or prose writer interested in exploring hybridity.

Faculty