More than Just Mentorship and Modeling: Creative Writers and Pedagogy

Gerry LaFemina | November 2008


While student writers are trying to figure out what it means to be a writer, and graduates of MFA programs have to consider what next, there is another broader question that is being asked in the recent discussions about creative writing pedagogy: what does it mean to be a writer in the academy? Many people dislike the term “writers who teach” because it emphasizes the importance of being a writer more than being a professor, something that must be particularly galling because, let’s face it, for most of us, the college or university where we teach pays our bills, puts food on our table, and clothes us. I do not make a living as a poet in America. I make it as a professor. And personally, I’m proud to be a professor. I’m a professor of creative writing and literature. I’m also a poet. When asked about his situation as a poet and professor, Robert Pinsky said “I earn my bread as a teacher as William Carlos Williams earned his as a physician and Wallace Stevens earned his as an attorney. I am also aware of Frost’s opinion that the lofty title ‘poet’ should be awarded by others. But there are contexts in which to avoid a kind of inverse pretension, I will refer to myself as a poet. That is my profession, on the most profound level.”1 When people ask me what I do for a living I say I’m a professor. The second and third questions usually are what do I teach and where do I teach.

That said, the fact is poetry surrounds my identity as a teacher. I direct the Frostburg Center for Creative Writing; I served on the AWP Board of Directors; I teach writing and literature, and I bring to the latter (as I’ve written previously), a perspective slightly different than those whose backgrounds are purely critical or scholarly. I coordinate visiting writers on campus and other literary arts programming. It should be pointed out though that the student literary journal is directed by a literature professor. My students know me as “professor” since I do not hold a doctorate. They know me, though, also as a poet. I’ve given readings in the community, participated in major fairs in which the various tracks of the department are discussed, and have been written up in the school and local newspaper when a new book has come out. My role as a poet and my role as a teacher are intertwined, no less so and no more so than any of my colleagues in the music department who play at recitals and jazz concerts, or in the art department who show work in galleries across the country. Nor is it any different than my colleague, the Poe scholar, whose critical work on Poe has been presented at MLA, and who participates in community programs talking about Poe, etc.

But my colleague the Poe scholar can show what she does as research. Her research into Poe just may lead to some new tidbit to present in class. There’s a pedagogical application to the work of scholars and critics that doesn’t seem evident in the production of creative work. In many of the criticisms of creative writers in the academy, much of the argument revolves around the notion that they are not interested in pedagogy. This disinterest in pedagogy comes from a lack of pedagogical development—either in the form of research or in the form of essays about teaching. The compositionist stance on this is particularly galling because their criticism of creative writers is tunnel-visioned. Kelly Ritter and Stephanie Vanderslice, both in the article in The Profession and in their book, lay out the claim that creative writing pedagogy is steeped in lore, and that writers project a level of unprofessionality toward their roles as professors when they fail to publish about pedagogy. There’s an insidious problem in Ritter and Vanderslice’s claim regarding the lore of creative writing pedagogy—in their desire to dispel “the lore” around creative writing programs, they spend most of their time existing in the realm of “lore” themselves, with little support for many of the claims they make. Nowhere do they state evidence supporting, for instance, that there is an “absence of teacher training and pedagogical reform” among creative writing programs. Or, for that matter, do they show evidence for how such “lore” is different than the lore that perpetuates such academic activities in the traditional English department as cultural studies, the lecture and seminar style of teaching literature, or the notion that composition-rhetoric can not only be taught, but be taught by “specialists,” particularly as comp-rhet programs espouse the importance of Writing Across the Curriculum.

But what does it mean to be a writer and to maintain current knowledge in pedagogy? Surely writing new poems and new stories, the critics of creative writing insist, can’t be enough. Although Tim Mayers praises those writers who work on “craft criticism” in (Re)Writing Craft,many of the critics of creative writing are dismissive of review writing and interviewing as acceptable publications for faculty review. This seems to be both short-sighted and misguided. If we agree that creative writers should bring a broad variety of textual options for their students to read, then creative writers need to be current with the trends of contemporary literature. Review writing is one way to show evidence of critical reading2 of new texts—in other words, the attempt to remain up-to-date, a pedagogical imperative. Interviewing other writers is a particularly strong way to gather insights into teaching, composition, and revision that may help students; being interviewed allows a writer the opportunity to articulate notions that may then be refined and brought into the classroom. Not every interview works out this way, but I know I have used statements from interviews I’ve given to explore some notions that I hadn’t explored before and which were prompted by the interview’s questions.

By suggesting, however, that these types of critical writings “don’t count” and that the only way for creative writers to show they care about pedagogy is to write about pedagogy is to stack the deck in the favor of compositionists who often don’t publish anything beyond pedagogical theory. Having now written numerous essays on the subject of pedagogy and having spent the last year or more studying pedagogy, I can say something else about why creative writers don’t write much of it. They don’t like the language of pedagogy. As is apparent from the diversity of styles out there today, different writers have different strengths: why should we insist that poets write pedagogy anymore than we should suggest compositionists also ought to write a stage drama (preferably a romantic comedy, but I won’t be picky) and literary critics should write a weekly newspaper advice column. (Or for that matter that the Poe scholar mentioned earlier should write instead about Chaucer). People have strengths, they have areas of expertise, and, although many writers may not share their expertise as teachers in the form of pedagogical essays, that doesn’t mean they don’t have such expertise any more than someone writing a pedagogical essay proves that he is a good teacher (myself included). If I want to know how good a teacher someone is, I look at the syllabus, sit through the class, listen to the students, and see how this person engages me as a colleague in the academy. Many of the critics have done no such things.

Creative writers, therefore, are much maligned as colleagues. Ritter and Vanderslice begin their problematic assessment of Creative Writing programs and “the powerful lore that sustains them” by citing a Morris Freedman essay from 1960 in regards to the relationship between writers and their colleagues in the academy. They claim:

Freedman asserts that creative writing (including its for-profit conferences and institutes) constitutes “big business” and that institutions, seeing their overall work as more intellectual or academic in nature, thus deliberately separate themselves from this teaching business. These assertions still ring true in 2005, even as the shape of the modern English department has changed dramatically to include other similarly “fringe” concentrations such as film studies, cultural studies, and gay and lesbian studies.3

Here they suggest that the supposed separation between literature and composition faculty in one camp and creative writing faculty in the other is rooted in professional disdain for the “business” of creative writing. Later on, however, they make a different claim, stating that the separation is one imposed by creative writers who don’t see themselves as teachers. They note that:

there exists a temptation to further marginalize creative writers as they seek to become respected university teaching faculty members. This temptation significantly comes from the faculty and programs themselves. Such self-marginalization in creative writing is largely related to the absence of teacher training and pedagogical reform in the face of the lore that perpetuates the traditions and customs of the field.4

Ritter and Vanderslice, ignore the obvious contradiction of these claims. How can the move to place creative writing on the fringe of English departments be both imposed by literature faculty á la Freedman’s claims, and be self-imposed?

Moreover, the initial claim as to the big business of creative writing—that the writers conferences and other institutions that have risen up around universities are a lucrative business fail to take one thing into consideration: most writers conferences more often than not lose money. Furthermore, many who teach at these conferences make little money for the amount of work that they do and the level of engagement that they have with the participants. Rather, what these programs do is fulfill other community-based missions of the host colleges and universities.

Perhaps, teaching at writers conferences, etc, allow creative writing faculty to be disengaged from their home institutions. David Radavich argues in “Creative Writing in the Academy” from Profession 1999 that creative writers are not good colleagues: they are “less than reliable, (and) sometimes troublesome”5. Ritter and Vanderslice claim that for many teaching writers “(t)he notion of teaching (is) a burden that is wholly separate from the act of writing, or a job that writers do while fiercely maintaining their primary identity as writers (or poets).”6 To support their argument Ritter and Vanderslice give two examples to then stereotype an entire professional group.7 This is not to say that some creative writers may not be troublesome colleagues, nor is it ridiculous to think that sometimes, when I’m hard at work on something nonclassroom related, whether as a poet or a parent, that the idea of teaching doesn’t seem to be “a burden.” All scholars make difficult choices: if some new finding of Poe were made, I imagine my Poe scholar colleague might put off grading papers for a few days to investigate the finding. When I’m working on a poem, I, too, may put off grading for a few days. But that’s because, more often than not, I write less during the semester because of the energy I put toward classroom activities, grading, course prep, and student interaction. I spend a lot of time with professors of creative writing—they do most of their writing of new poems during breaks from teaching. This perhaps is another reason why they don’t write pedagogy. In their time off from teaching they want to work on new poems, new stories, the next novel.8

The fact is that any profession has its poor workers: once at a reading at Kirtland Commuity College where I taught for nine years, a visiting writer discussed how happy he was to be retired and how he had hated his students and teaching, and how the best parts of being a professor were sabbaticals. This is not a damnation of the entire class of writers who teach—I, for one, was appalled; I took solace in the fact that many writers are not only good teachers but good colleagues. AWP has recently added a prize to celebrate good writers who are also good teachers, and the organization’s annual conference has always included celebrations of writing teachers being remembered/honored for their role as teachers. AWP’s Executive Director, David Fenza, points out that “the competition in the academic job market has improved the quality of teachers in our programs .... (T)his job market has enabled programs to become extremely selective in their new hires. The programs demand more of their faculty, and their faculty, in turn, demand more of their students. The rigor and quality of artistic education in the programs have improved as a result.”9

Assuming it were true that some writers make poor colleagues, we are left to ask other questions: how did such professors get through tenure review, and who hired these writers to begin with? In the three dozen or so MLA interviews I’ve participated in for Creative Writing positions, at least two-thirds of the hiring committee members were literature scholars and compositionists who seemed to know little of my work or what creative writers do in the classroom. Many times I’ve been asked to discuss my work in ways the committee would understand or discuss how exactly I grade creative writing or did I actually think creative writing (and creativity itself) could be taught. These faculty show little interest in the pedagogy of creative writing or seem to have not read the critical assessments of creative writing espoused by the MLA and other organizations, and seem to have very little understanding of the contemporary aesthetic and its relationship with the history of literature.

Furthermore, the arguments that creative writers are rarely on campus and tend to be “difficult” colleagues present another fallacy: such arguments imply that literature scholars and composition/rhetoric professors—many of whom have endowed chairs and small teaching loads—are always on campus, easily accessible to their students, with their doors open and cookies out. When one compares the class size of an introductory literature class with an introductory workshop, more often than not Creative Writing teachers have more one-on-one face time with their students, are more likely to have individual conferences with their students and thus tailor individual writing and reading assignments targeted toward each individual student’s needs. After studying over 250 creative writing syllabi, I know that, at the introductory level (100-200 level), the pedagogy of creative writers is much more individualized and capable of dealing with a variety of learning styles than that of literature classes.  Teachers of creative writing need to be willing to engage in a variety of critical methodologies, have a broad foundation of contemporary literature from which to draw, and must manage a forum in which all students ought to participate (as opposed to the introductory lecture class in literature).


This necessarily leads to a discussion regarding what the role of the creative writer is in the classroom. To suggest that we’re mentors overgeneralizes our role—we’re not mentors to all our students. Some students want as little contact with us as possible. The fact is the role of the creative writer in the classroom—as it is with most faculty in any discipline—varies from student to student. Many students come into an introductory poetry workshop expecting it to not include reading or critical work, and when they see my syllabus, they drop the class; others don’t want to revise their poems—they want academic credit for writing the poems they would have written in their journals or posted on their websites or My Space pages, although that seems to me academically dishonest. Still others want to learn something about teaching. And others just want three credits, any three credits. Some do want to write. And some who don’t know how to, come to want to write. No doubt that I am a mentor to some students—those who seek out mentoring from me. But what does it mean to be teacher of writing?

Many of the compositionists question the role of the authority of the teacher when it comes to evaluating student work. But we’re hired—all teachers are hired—to be an authority. As we can see, authority and author share a root, and it is essential to teach students to be the authority in their pieces of writing. With authority, however, comes responsibility. Much of the criticism I read in regards to the authority of the teacher in workshop—Bizzaro points out how, early on, he unconsciously attempted to shape student work to sound like his own10—seems to me to be criticisms of abuses of authority. The authority in workshop comes from asking the right questions, mediating disputes between students in discussion of a particular poem, and looking directly at the text—what’s in the poem, and what’s not in the poem, and helping students find the poem that they’re trying to write.

Once, when Stuart Dybek visited one of my classes at Kirtland Community College, he suggested that writing was different from sculpting because in sculpting you had to find the block of marble and begin chiseling away, but in writing you first had to create the block of marble. And how do you know if the block of marble you quarried is the best marble for the job? You can’t. When a poem is working particularly well, a workshop teacher might suggest where to do some chiseling, but in other cases the teacher might think the marble is too soft or too small or too flawed. In other words, a teacher has to be aware of the possibilities and the potential in a student’s poem. By paying attention we can usually see what each student’s obsessions are, and gauge how successfully a poem engages this material. By teaching awareness and using the whole class—not just the teacher’s authority—we help students engage material that resonates for them and the reader.

But we also teach them something about process. Bizzaro puts it nicely in Responding to Student Poems:

my real purpose as a teacher is to model what Donald Murray (1982) calls an “ideal other self.” When I write, I am aware of a voice—most often inside me, though sometimes... on the page—that guides the making of the poem. I think of the self that writes as one self; the self that guides is the “other” self. As a teacher, my role is to serve as the students’ other self until they are ready to perform in that role by themselves.11

In order to be this other self for the students requires that the teacher be attuned to each student’s independent vision for his or her poetry.  Noted poet and teacher Jack Ridl describes his mission as a teacher as two-fold, both having to do with this pedagogical sensibility:

1. To be alert for signs of a student’s moving toward her/his own vision, to be very careful not to destroy it simply because I think “she/he can’t live without also…” and to support the authenticity of the vision.
2. To give the students the elements that go into making any poem (image, rhythm, line, that stuff) and show them that these are not mere decor, or craft, but a key means by which their work is transformed into art, that are to be re-considered for each poem, that one never learns how to write poetry, that one must always be willing to learn how to write the next poem. (Email to the author)

Exercises, close readings, discussions about what is and what isn’t in the poem, and examinations of process and craft all help teach “how to write the next poem.”

And again, this emphasizes the differences between literature in the workshop as opposed to literature in the seminar. David Johnson in Word Weaving—an NCTE publication on poetry pedagogy—puts it succinctly:

When we view a poem as a finished product, it is tempting to conclude that the basic ingredients of poetry, such as metaphor and meter, have been added to ordinary language to raise it to the level of poetry, like adding candles and frosting to a cake. This analytic view regards the language of poetry as ornamentation.... An alternative view regards poetic language as a means of exploring both the inner world of the person and the phenomenal world outside, and of creating imaginative relationships with these worlds.12

Johnson argues that writing is a way of weaving our two languages—our private and public tongues—together. The elements of technique have to be part of the crafting process because creative writing isn’t “free.” Student writers must learn the formal, stylistic, semantic, aesthetic, and aural options for delivery of this information, and as they do, they must make fundamental changes either to the facts of a given event or to the language. They are learning to give up pure self expression for the finding of that voice Kinnell mentions when he suggests how poetry transcends the autobiographical. For the rhetorician, language is usually in service to the factual truths. For the creative writer, on the other hand, the facts are often working in service of language. And perhaps it’s this difference that makes rhetoricians distinctly distrustful of creative writers. Creative writers teach these things, in part, by modeling this use of language in the classroom, in conference and on the page.

Linguists suggest that modeling language usage is a crucial way that we learn grammar and usage. Reading permits us to understand rules of punctuation that we never experience in spoken grammar (in other words, we do not “punctuate” spoken language by inserting the words “comma” and “dash” in the correct places in a sentence). If we accept then, that written language has a somewhat different grammar than spoken language, then the writing of poetry or prose or lab notes all become “dialects” of this written language. Furthermore, linguists now believe in the “Active Construction of a Grammar theory” of language acquisition, which helps explain the way young speakers create words despite knowing certain rules (i.e., “goed” instead of “went”).13 Experiencing the language of numerous expert practitioners and a variety of poetic styles and voices, allows students to acquire the “grammar” of their poetic sensibilities—a grammar that is going to be influenced by all the other linguistic stimuli around them. One of the things critics of creative writing often forget is that, in the end, students only spend three hours a week in the classroom with the teacher and perhaps another hour or two doing homework and other outside work; the rest of their engagement with language is on their own.

This leads me to the last thing that good modeling by professors can do—we can teach our students hunger for poetry or fiction or creative nonfiction. We can teach them to listen to language and take joy in a diversity of styles, modes, and voices. Moreover, the best student writers are the ones who read—and read voraciously. Sarah Lawrence College now requires workshop students to hand in a list of books read during the semester, and I have done something similar with more advanced workshops by asking students to keep a running annotated bibliography of what they’ve read. New technologies—such as online class components—have allowed me to require students to post poems or stories that they find and like (or dislike) on the class discussion site. Some teachers ask students to research a literary journal and discuss what makes its editorial vision unique by examining the work in the issue. Again, then we see the importance for good creative writing teachers to be good and active readers who read critically and with a wide vision.


There’s no doubt, then, that current scholarship for creative writers includes reading a broad array of new works. But does this seem like “research” in the traditional academic sensibility? It’s apparent that most compositionists do not consider what creative writers read as pedagogical research, and therefore they see creative writers as disengaged from pedagogical concerns. And literature professors often see the difference in how creative writers read texts as signifying a lack of serious scholarship rather than as a different type of scholarship. No doubt, then, there are times when creative writers feel under siege by the scholars in their departments. Both Mayers and Myers document the tensions within the traditional English department between the writers and the literature professors, but what neither notes is the impact of the recent run of essays—by compositionists who extend their hands in solidarity on one front—criticizing the teaching of “lore”-based practices without more than a reliance on lore as support. The role of anecdote, a lack of real field experience, and a reliance on personal experience that is often more than two decades old does not allow for an adequate picture of what occurs in the creative writing classroom—or in creative writing programs—today.

In the intervening years, English Departments have survived the so-called “theory wars” in which critics and creative writers often seemed at odds. There are significant articles available detailing some of this fight in the archives of the Writer’s Chronicle, but these wars have their own lore around them. Francine Prose in Blue Angel, her novel about middle-aged novelist (Swenson) who is fired from Euston College after a sexual harassment ordeal, captures much of the attitude between writers and critics in English Departments at that time. Take this scene from a dinner party at the dean’s house featuring all the English faculty:

     Dave says, “We were doing Great Expectations last week. And one of my students—a big beery jock—asked if Dickens meant there to be a homosexual thing between Pip and Magwich. Was this kid trying to bait me? They all know I’m gay. I said I thought there might be critical writing on the subject, which the kid could look up for extra credit. But I didn’t think Dickens meant us to read a gay subtext into the book. And finally we had to consider what the writer intended.”
     “What the writer intended?” cries Jamie. “I can’t believe I just heard you say that, Dave. Have I taught you nothing.”14

Here we see a way in which current literary study devalues writers—something that is only heightened by the fact that, as already noted, many scholars don’t want to give “credit” to creative works on faculty evaluations.

Now there’s no doubt that many creative writers can be better teachers; I have no doubt, however, that the same is true for teachers in any discipline or sub-discipline—even composition and literature scholars. But what’s frightening is how creative writers have allowed the compositionists and literary critics to dominate and control the conversation about creative writing pedagogy. Or at least that’s what Mayers would like us to believe. The arguments about lore in the creative writing classroom, argue loudly that creative writers aren’t interested in pedagogy. We don’t publish in The Profession or College Composition and Communication or College English. However, if creative writing pedagogy is truly a subject with few people talking about it, then we should be surprised to find out that a quick Research Port search under the subject headings “creative writing” and “pedagogy” brings up nearly one hundred hits—the majority of them recent—which shows active scholarship happening in this field. Furthermore, beyond the usual suspects for publishing on creative writing pedagogy (which represents much of the criticism by Ritter and Vanderslice, Mayers, Bizzaro, etc. in Profession, College English, CCC, the Writer’s Chronicle) several other journals dedicated to writing and creative writing pedagogy have begun more recently publishing: Pedagogy and New Writing, to name two. The magazine Teachers & Writers of Teachers & Writers Collaborative now offers the annual Bechtel award for writings about the teaching of creative writing; furthermore, Text—the on-line journal of the Australian Association of Writing Programs—publishes articles on this topic as well. AWP’s Writer’s Chronicle continues to publish articles on pedagogy and continues to host pedagogy forums at its annual conference.

Furthermore, walking hand-in-hand with this increase in publications interested in pedagogical essays is the increase in creative writing textbooks. I often get asked to preview textbook manuscripts and review textbooks often. A quick look at the poetry writing textbooks on my bookshelf shows that they can be broken down into two general categories: material generating text books (such as A Poet’s Companion) and prosody textbooks (such as Sound and Sense). The fact is, most poetry writing texts are prosody texts: I recently previewed a text book called Nine Forms, the goal of which is to give poetry students an understanding of several traditional verse forms, and a sense of how stanza and line work in free verse. Whether I thought the textbook was a strong one or not, the fact remains that text book publishers believe that the study of prosody is a significant element of the poetry workshop to keep publishing new titles such as this. The other texts, the ones such as Everyday Creative Writing: Panning for Gold in the Kitchen Sink and The Poet’s Companion, help writers find material that has resonance, and to help them take that material and morph it into art. Fiction writing textbooks are similar. Some, such as Crafting Fiction, look at the various styles a writer can use (its first chapter is titled “Realist, Romantic, and Avant-Garde Traditions”) and the various ways to shape fiction. Others are more intensely craft oriented—examining how to make fiction more realistic so that it delivers more impact on the reader, as in Take Your Characters to Dinner. Still others, such as What If: Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers, present exercises for beginning stories. Nicholas Delbanco’s textbook, The Sincerest Form, focuses on belletristic methods to teach craft, using samples by “twelve master stylists, from Ernest Hemingway to Jamaica Kincaid,” explaining how these samples work, and asking students to imitate these measures in order to learn technique. Once certain skills are learned, they can be transcended.

My goal here is to not discuss what works in the classroom or about classroom practices in general, but to point out how much discussion of pedagogy is actually going on among writers who teach. The sheer volume of material being published by creative writer-teachers about classroom practices in peer-reviewed publications counters the arguments that creative writers are not interested in pedagogy, that they have little-to-no teacher training, and that most creative writing pedagogy is based on lore and established, unquestioned and unquestionable belletristic practices. AWP suggests that creative writing

(f)aculty (should be) both working writers and committed teachers, who routinely make themselves available to students outside of class. Such faculty are professionally active, not only in publishing creative work, but also in providing leadership in the profession through national, regional, and local service. They are promoted and tenured based on publication of creative work, demonstrated ability as teachers, and contribution to the university and greater literary community.15 (Emphasis mine)

All these things suggest an active and engaged community participating and developing pedagogical strategies and research in alternative venues from that of the traditional dialogue in English studies.

Nowhere in the criticisms of creative writing is there a study of text books and syllabi, of actual teaching practices and pedagogical papers being published in alternative venues. This is the problem of the criticism. As creative writing’s place in the academy becomes more established, the professors will rise to the demands of their students and colleagues. Indeed, the evidence suggests that they already do.


Gerry LaFemina’s latest books are Figures from The Big Time Circus Book/The Book of Clown Baby (Mayapple Press, 2008) and The Parakeets of Brooklyn (Bordighera Press, 2005). He directs the Frostburg Center for Creative Writing at Frostburg State University, where he teaches, and he also edits Review Revue.


  1. Qtd in Graeme Harper, “Interview with Robert Pinsky,” New Writing: an International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing 1,1 (2004): 24.

  2. This is not to say that there aren’t problems with review writing today—surely many writers and editors are wary of publishing critical reviews of “name” writers, etc. I know many critics of the “business” of creative writing suggest that this is a problem inherent in the discipline, but there are enough tough reviews being published today that suggest that this isn’t the case.
  3. Kelly Ritter and Stephanie Vanderslice, “Teaching Lore: Creative Writing and the University,” Profession 2005: 102.
  4. Ibid., 103.
  5. David Radavich, “Creative Writing in the Academy,” Profession
    : 107.
  6. Kelly Ritter and Stephanie Vanderslice, “Teaching Lore: Creative Writing and the University,” Profession 2005: 106.
  7. In the spirit of full disclosure, I am one of the two examples given: Ritter and Vanderslice take my comment out of context. I am troubled that people who teach composition and the importance of verifying research failed to look at any other easily available essay from me that extolled the importance of teaching and the seriousness with which I take being a teacher.
  8. I point out that while working on this project for the last several months, both my reading of new poetry and my writing of new poetry has significantly decreased. I wonder, in the end, how this makes me a better teacher just because I’ve immersed myself in and engaged with pedagogical theories.
  9. D.W. Fenza, “Creative Writing and Its Discontents,” the Writer’s Chronicle March/April 2000,
  10. Patrick Bizzaro, Repsonding to Student Poems (Urbana: NCTE, 1993): 56-61.
  11. Ibid., 26.
  12. David M. Johnson, Word Weaving, (Urbana: NCTE, 1990), 26.
  13. Chris Gerfen, “Language Acquisition,” UNC Website, Spring 2002,
  14. Francine Prose, Blue Angel (New York: Harper Collins, 2000): 103.
  15. Association of Writers & Writing Programs, AWP Director’s Handbook (Fairfax: AWP, 2006): 10.

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