R200. News of the World: Fact-Based Practice in the Creative Writing Classroom

Room 209ABC, Washington Convention Center, Level Two
Thursday, February 9, 2017
12:00 pm to 1:15 pm


How do we engage undergraduate writers, so often invested in personal expression, in the more analytical processes of fact-based exploration? How do we guide them in incorporating archival and observational materials into their work? How do we encourage them to give dry facts—scientific or historical or statistical—new life on the page? Five teachers, including poets, memoirists, and fiction writers, explore this pedagogic challenge through their project-oriented course designs.


Nathalie Anderson’s three books of poems are Following Fred Astaire, Crawlers, and Quiver; she has also authored libretti for four operas. A 1993 Pew Fellow in the Arts, she serves as poet in residence at the Rosenbach Museum, and directs the Program in Creative Writing at Swarthmore College.

Betsy Bolton produces & facilitates natural-history-focused digital storytelling. She held a 2013–2014 Fulbright scholarship for digital storytelling in Morocco (maghrebi-voices.swarthmore.edu). Recent work includes "Lamentations" in Coldnoon and "Wild Fermentation" at EASLCE in Brussels.

Lisa Sewell is the author of several books of poems, including Impossible Object, winner of the 2014 Tenth Gate Prize. She has also edited two collections of essays for Wesleyan University Press, and has received grants from the NEA, and the Leeway Foundation, among others. She teaches at Villanova University.

Elaine Terranova is the author of six collections of poetry, most recently, Dollhouse, winner of the 2012 Off the Grid Press contest. Her awards include the Walt Whitman, an NEA, a Pushcart Prize, and a Pew Fellowship. She has taught writing at Community College of Philadelphia and in Rutgers-Camden's MFA program.


March 7–10, 2018
Tampa, FL

Tampa Convention Center & Marriott Tampa Waterside