I realize that this is an unconventional approach to reviewing a text, but considering the subject… here we are. The Home page should’ve situated you in terms of the schema for inquiry. Next the Viewer and Review pages should’ve walked you through some of the strains of discourse in the field of creative writing pedagogy IRL and via the collected essays. Finally, this page, the Reviewer page, illuminates why I chose this form to review the text.
In the final analysis, this text is a must for any educator who teaches creative writing. I highly recommend this book. From the exercises to the situation of the field, it is an indispensable primer.
A lot of work went into the collation of this review. I had read the book when it came out, and again before deciding to interview the author/teachers. In early spring 2017, I began filming the interviews. By summer, I had written the extended haiku, and I was well on my way to formulating an appropriate format for connecting the video interviews with the analysis/review of the various pedagogical approaches contained within the book. When fall hit Kentucky, I was making final tweaks to the code. Designing and coding were critical to the audience-driven impetus behind the review. The site had to be clean and easy, as well as a good blend of viewing and reading. In the end, the whole site had to have a poetical feel, like a collage or analysis and artful presentation.
To conclude, the following is a poetical narrative. The subject of the poem is me reflecting on the creation of the site, the text, and the review at hand. This form of process reflection is an apropos way to cue the curtain.
Pomo meta memo mentions multi-tiered ruminations on review and steps to culmination. Rollercoaster-scream spot: pedagogies from book and life and making up review, coalescing narrative, tech, and audience engagement. Video editing, acting and writing all detail oriented, but in me wheelhouse. Wish for more time (diagnosed procrastination), but pleased with form: poetry, prose, and interview in a thin candied digital humanities shell. Reviews are fun for me, writing and reading I reckon. When queried, others shared they often ignore reviews, so I assumed the challenge of super engaging review. Conversely, this review is a hybrid-type-experimental-poem-thing that may fail at its purpose (to comment on the text under consideration), which gives artistic pause, which fastly fades to shades of hope this re[view] sings.
Guess-timating number one take-away from interviews, at this point of reflection, are these three things: 1) both Dale and Frank mentioned how their students are under-read (note to self: READ MORE). 2) Frank’s plinth of historical poetry “research, memory, imagination, and empathy.” 3) Dale’s def. of a creative writer, “They resist the conventions, almost congenitally.”
From text under review, best take-away is over 130 exercises/writing prompts/activities included in Creative Writing Pedagogies for the Twenty-First Century (I’ve read the text twice and counted while writing this, but this number is off-hip a bit). Several essays conclude with appendix sections where these can be found. Buy the text if you teach “English” from middle grades to post-grads; you’ll find it resourceful.
Process image: Image taken during site development. The review spanned Steno, Mac, and wound down in HTML.
Peary, Alexandria, & Hunley, Tom C. (Eds.). (2015). Creative writing pedagogies for the twenty-first century. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press.
Vampire Weekend (2010). California English. Contra [MP3]. XL Recordings. Retrieved from amazon.com