Seeing the World in Metaphor: Teaching Creative Writing to Students of Design

By Jeff Lodge.

Published by The International Journal of the Book

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar, located in Doha, offers undergraduate degrees in graphic, interior, and fashion design. We are proposing to add a writing minor, and one option may be creative writing. To students who are primarily EAL, and who may not aspire to become professional writers, how do we teach creative writing so that they learn it as a discipline and at the same time learn something that carries over into their chosen fields? We can teach them, to whatever extent we can, to see the world in metaphor. For example, students might begin a piece by writing, not about topics or subjects if they are writing essays, or not about "what happened" if they are writing stories, but rather about tiny slices in time from their own experience that engendered in them strong, if sometimes confusing, emotional responses. And they might begin an essay or a story only when they have accumulated several of those unrelated "moments." And they then must write about them all, not just one, and in doing so begin to find the connections among them. The students can discover metaphor for themselves, then, for surely the objects, the people, the movements, and the relationships that make up those "moments" signify something more than the elements that comprise these moments.

Keywords: Creative Writing, Metaphor, Pedagogy, Teaching

The International Journal of the Book, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp.61-64. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 454.671KB).

Jeff Lodge

Assistant Professor, Virginia Commonwealth University, Doha, Qatar

Jeff Lodge is the author of the novel Where This Lake Is (1997) and, with John A. Brown, A Prayer for Foxes and Hens (forthcoming). He has published fiction, poetry, and essays in GSU Review, Persona, Pleiades, Squib, and other publications, and has written dozens of book reviews for the Richmond Times-Dispatch and Style Weekly. He is a founding and contributing editor of Blackbird: an online journal of literature and the arts, and is currently an assistant professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar, where he teaches writing and literature.

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