Week 4: Prose and Journal Poetry / Exploding the Moment

Seminar Aims:
• What makes a prose poem poetry? Become familiar with the forms and model of Prose and Journal Poetry
• Introduction to the idea of Exploding the Moment
• Share and critically reflect on location field exercise material.
• Discuss ways of drafting this material for Project 2.

• Consider the way language is used through heightened imagery and emotional effects to create a poetic quality within prose poetry that ‘make it qualify’ as possessing poetic qualities.

  • On descriptive language.
  • Experiment with the idea of Exploding the Moment in writing.

• Share and critically reflect on location field exercise material.
• Discuss ways of drafting this material for Project 2.
• What do you hope to know at the end of this module? Identify your aims for the module. Write them in your notebook for review later in module.


Read     Extracts from Exercises in Style by Raymond Queneau and Extract from A Generative Device by Joseph Conte

Write    Project 2: Complete first draft of a journal or prose poem


Week 3: Cut Up / Aleatory Writing [continued] / Prose Poems

This week we will have a look/listen to your Cut Up works and discuss what effects are being generated by the various approaches and technique adopted. Please feel free to share some of your work under this post as comments. Be great to have some on here as part of the module work-in-progress archive.

Here’s link to a doc on Gysin with a William burroughs V/O – very beat. very cool. and gives some insight to the methodlogy


And here’s another link to a really interesting site with a special piece on Cut Up by Burroughs.


We will also consider the reading and what Bok considers to be a Poetics of Chance. We will also have a look at the some of experiemental writing strategies offered by Hazel Smith in the Chapter 1 extract hand out from her fascinating book The Writing Experiment.


Read: Extract from “Adjunct: an Undigest” by Peter Manson

adjunct – prose poem

Do: At a location of your choice and over the course of a specified duration, record conversation, ambient sound, printed text, and other sensory materials in as much detail as possible in your notebook and bring to next seminar. Start collecting material from the TV/internet/radio/advertising/newspaper. Bring to seminar.

Week 2 part 2: The Cut Up

Seminar Aims:

  • To consolidate close reading techniques through group discussion and presentation [using Everyday Life Reader Introduction and Debord Extract]
  • Develop thinking about using theory in relation to practice.
  • Introduction to Cut Up model and The Poetics of Chance.
  • Read Extract – Burroughs, W and Gysin, B: 1978. The Third Mind, New York: Viking Press
  • Read Minutes to Go [see handout]
  • Introduction to aleatory writing
  • Workshop Practice: Cut Up method using found text





Week 2: Tracing The Invisible Threads of Life

Attempts to theorize the minutae of everyday life are destined to be problematic at best. Geater minds have tried and slipped but in the trying perhaps make the path for the next traveller a little surer. The search for something is often lauded as equal if not greater than the thing that is itself searched for and if this is true it were never more so than of the search for a standup, conclusive theory of everyday life. But where theory may stutter and falter under the weight of its own need to provide an all encompasing explanation creative writing may have the edge.  In its diversity, it polyphony, it ability to capture. convey, illuninate and engage. So as you consider Ben Highmore’s clear assimilation of the key theoretical approaches and perspectives on the subject in his Everyday Life and Cultural Theory:An Introduction or reflect on the primary source texts in his reader [highlights for me includes Barthes essay on Plastic] you can think about how this quest to find a way to render visible the invisible threads of our everyday existence – – might open up your own world. How you might [re]discover the mundane and passed over, the forgotten, the unnoticed and yet to be considered in your own life and that ofthose you see around you – unique yet familiar lives, full of ordinary extraordinariness and see what impact that illumination may have on your writing.

Debord ‘Alterations’ Extract – Discussion Questions

EL = Everyday Life

  1. What is the purpose of studying EL?
  2. What needs to be transformed and why?
  3. Why is Debord concerned with demomstrating EL is right here?
  4. Debord compares EL with the search for the Yeti. In what ways does this illuminate the problems of defining EL?
  5. EL is not..? What is it not?
  6. What connection does Debord see between the notion of EL and revolution?
  7. How does a denial of the existence of EL leads to a society of alienation?

Week 1: What is CW? What is Everyday Life Theory?

This first week is concerned with orientating ourselves in the subject and direction of the module and becoming clear about how this module will be assessed. Key aims are: To become familiar with the module schedule, aims and assessment; To set some ground rules for the seminar; To define creative writing and critically consider its problematic nature in both practice and reflective analysis; Introduction to close reading. Questions we’ll consider are:

  • What types of creative writing are there? What is creative writing?
  • What types of creative writing do you like to read?
  • What informs you choices of reading? Reviews, word of mouth, other?
  • Where does creative writing come from?
  • What is the role of theory in relation to practice.

In the seminar we will provide a close reading of Chapter 1 of Francine Prose’s, Reading Like Writer.

Useful brief guide on close reading here: what is close reading? 


Please read:       Debord, Guy. Perspectives For Alterations in Everyday Life [1961] reprinted in The Everyday Life Reader p 238-240

Highmore, Ben. Introduction to The Everyday Life Reader 2002 London: Routledge [Available on Google books]

And the Introduction to Highmore’s Everyday Life and Cultural Theory: An Introduction [Available on Google books]

Acquire a hardback notebook and a magazine and bring both to week 2 seminar with a ruler and scissors or pencil to experiment with the CUT UP technique.

Week 2: Making Connections & Putting it Out There

I really enjoyed the discussions in seminar today. some excellent points being raised about our transforming relationship to the creation, practice and sharing of images online in response to the A Life More Photographic paper. Thanks to everyone who showed up and took part. Project 1: the Pinterest projects [the ones we had time to see] were really interesting viewing and represented a range of responses to what at first might seemed like a simple task but that in fact reveals some edifying distinctions in the way we think about our self, society and what it means to be networked.

Here’s a summary of this week for those who missed the class so you can catch up and not get left behind!


  • Read: Rubenstein, D. and Sluis, K. A Life More Photographic: Mapping The Networked Image – reflect on discussion questions for class.
  • Project 1: Pinterest Project

Create a Pinterest account and create THREE boards: One entitled Self, one another Society and one that represents your thoughts and ideas about what it means to be Networked.


  • Discussion of reading.
  • Project 1: Presentation Pinterest boards and discuss.
  • Introduction to Blogging
  • Introduction to WordPress software.

Week 3: the Art of Blogging


  • Project 2: Set up a WordPress Blog. You will use this online space to present and share your class assignments and presentations for this module.
  • Include a biog or ‘about me’ entry, likes and dislikes and three things you need to know about me.
  • In addition to your blog roll or home page create three pages entitled: Window Project, Self Portrait, The Networked Image.
  • Carefully customize your blog appearance using the available options and be prepared to answer questions about you design choices.
  • Use Images to visually identify your blog

Looking forward to seeing your blogs next week!