The University of Iowa Online

Power of the Pen: Identities and Social Issues in Poetry and Plays

A free course from The University of Iowa
You have the opportunity to sign up for a statement of accomplishment for $50.00.

On July 17, 2017, the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa will open Power of the Pen: Identities and Social Issues in Poetry and Plays, a free massive open online course. This creative writing MOOC will focus on writing about identities, communities, and social issues in poetry and plays. There is no cost to enroll; registration is completely free for all participants. No writing experience is required. This MOOC welcomes writers of all communities and identities. To sign up, click the Register button at top right!


COURSE OVERVIEW

This MOOC will:

  • Encourage you to experiment in both poetry writing and playwriting
  • Encourage you to explore the intersections between these two genres
  • Encourage you to explore the intersections of individual, community, and global identities
  • Encourage you to examine the effect of current social issues on individual, community, and global identities
  • Foreground the principles of writing poetry and plays
  • Support your experience of creative and cultural exchange with writers around the world!
COURSE PROFESSORS

Professors Christopher Merrill and Lisa Schlesinger will lead you through this course. Christopher Merrill is Director of the International Writing Program and University of Iowa Professor of English; he has published six collections of poetry, five works of nonfiction, and many works of translation. His new work Still Life with Dogwood has just been published. Lisa Schlesinger is Associate Professor at the Playwrights Workshop at the University of Iowa; her plays include Celestial Bodies, Wal-martyrs, Same Egg, Manny and Chicken, Rock Ends Ahead, The Bones of Danny Winston, and Twenty-One Positions.

CONTRIBUTING AUTHORS

Our contributing authors, who will share their craft principles and advice with you during the class videos, hail from around the world and across the United States. Each offers a unique perspective on the writing process. We are honored to present their voices here.

TEACHING TEAM

The teaching team, who will work directly with you online regarding the class videos, readings, and writing assignments, are alumni of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and other prestigious MFA programs with substantial publication records and exceptional teaching expertise. They will log into the course website at different times of day and night so that you will be able to interact with them from any time zone in the world.

HOW THIS MOOC WILL WORK

Every Thursday, we will post a set of new materials: videos recorded by our professors and contributing authors (including captions, transcripts, and audio files), readings, writing assignments, and discussions led by our teaching team.

Every Thursday, you can respond to these materials by: completing and posting a writing assignment; adding your thoughts and questions to the discussions, giving feedback on writing assignments, and receiving feedback on your own assignment.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE

You can participate at any time of day or night. We will post new materials every Thursday. But you can access them anytime after they have been posted. This MOOC site will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so you can work at your own pace, on your own schedule. However you choose to participate, we welcome you. Come when you can and enjoy working with your teaching team and your classmates.

OPTIONAL CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION

We offer an optional certificate of completion for a fee of $50.00 USD. The certificate is a way for you to earn formal recognition for your work. You do not have to pay for the certificate to sign up for the MOOC or to participate; every part of the MOOC is free.

In order to earn the certificate, you have to meet certain completion requirements. So if you think you would like to earn the certificate, make sure you review these requirements when this MOOC opens on July 17.

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS

You will need a computer or mobile device with a stable internet connection that will support your participation. If you would like to take this course but do not have reliable internet access, please contact us at distancelearning.iwp@gmail.com. We will try to facilitate a local MOOC access group where you live.

MOOC SCHEDULE

Opening DateMonday, July 17 at 12 pm Central Daylight Time (GMT-5)
Orientation DaysMonday, July 17-Thursday, July 20: Orientation materials posted
You can access orientation materials anytime after they are posted
Block A: Weeks 1 and 2

Thursday, July 20: Week 1 class materials posted
Thursday, July 27: Week 2 class materials posted
You can access class materials anytime after they are posted
Block B: Weeks 3 and 4

Thursday, August 3: Week 3 class materials posted
Thursday, August 10: Week 4 class materials posted
You can access class materials anytime after they are posted
Block C: Weeks 5 and 6

Thursday, August 17: Week 5 class materials posted
Thursday, August 24: Week 6 class materials posted
You can access class materials anytime after they are posted
Farewell DaysThursday, August 31-Tuesday, September 5: Farewell materials posted
You can access farewell materials anytime after they are posted
Closing DateTuesday, September 5 at 11:59 pm CDT

To sign up, click the Register button at top right. We look forward to working and writing with you soon. Onward!

Questions? Contact us at distancelearning.iwp@gmail.com.