Creative course expands
By Carey Weinberg
Students with a mind for literary endeavours will have double the opportunity to perfect their craft with the addition of a second English creative writing section next year.
Professor Stan Dragland, current instructor of the course, said he sees this as a good sign. "It shows the gut need for something creative. This shows something can be done in response to a demand."
Dragland said there were approximately 80 applicants for the course this year, 10 of which were accepted. Next year, Western English professor Lawrence Garber will lead two classes of 12 students each.
Garber said applicants to the course, who must submit samples of their work for consideration, will be selected not only on the basis of the quality of their work but also the angle of vision the student has. "What makes the class work is the dynamic. The way people interact is the most important thing."
The classes consist of a gender balance as well as a balance of poetry and prose. Garber said he is looking for both collusion and harmony for the composition of the class.
Charles Glasspool, a student presently enrolled in the course, said he enjoys the intimacy of the smaller class. "I feel that my writing has improved immensely with this class and its given me the confidence to pursue creative writing at a masters level," he said.
Glasspool added his academic writing has been bolstered by the intensive concentration on editing and writing provided in the course.
Both Garber and Dragland said creative writing holds a special place in the English department. "[The class gives students a chance to] live the life of a writer for a year, to develop talents already in place and to give the student the rhythm of the life of a writer," Garber said.
Garber himself is a voice of experience when it comes to writing. He is the author of books such as Tales From the Quarter, Circuit: a collection of short stories and Sirens and Graces. Dragland is also a published author with Pecker Tracks: a chronicle and Journeys Through Bookland and Other Passages to his credit.