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Creative Writing


The list for Creative Writing consists of 100 books (or equivalent), derived from five “Modules” (each containing 20 books), all assigned from the options outlined below. When constructing a list for the examination, the student must begin with the compulsory selections in the two “Core” modules (“Creative Pedagogy” and “Literary Criticism”). The student may then select two modules from the optional “Areas” of speciality (outlined below), after which the student must supply 20 books of their own for the “Open” module (explained in detail below). For the purposes of calculating workload, five texts, equal in length to either an essay or a story, constitute the equivalent of a book.

The structure of this list for Creative Writing owes its rationale to the precedent already set by the structure of the list for Media and Digital Humanities—(a list based upon the use of Modules to orchestrate emphases of specialization in a broad field of research).


A. Core Modules (Both Compulsory) 

01. Creative Pedagogy

02. Literary Criticism 

B. Area Modules (Any Two Options) 

03. Novel

04. Poetry

05. Short Story

06. Translation

07. Popular Genre* 

C. Open Module (Compulsory Task) 

08. Open Module 

*Students who select Module 07 (Popular Genre), must choose ONE of the following categories (representing classes supported by teaching resources in the Department): 

07a. Children’s Literature

07b. Comic Books and Graphic Novels

07c. Detective Fiction

07d. Speculative Fiction



01. Joseph M. Moxley, ed. Creative Writing in America (1989)

02. Mark Turner. The Literary Mind (1996)

03. Bill Readings. The University in Ruins (1997)

04. Frank Conroy, ed. The Eleventh Draft (1999)

05. Stephen King. On Writing (2000)

06. Anna Leahy, ed. Power and Identity in the Creative Writing Classroom (2005)

07. Hazel Smith. The Writing Experiment (2005)

08. David G. Myers. The Elephants Teach (2006)

09. Juliana Spahr and Joan Retallack, eds. Poetry and Pedagogy (2006)

10. Nigel Krauth and Tess Brady, eds. Creative Writing (2006)

11. Kelly Ritter and Stephanie Vanderslice, eds. Can It Really Be Taught? (2007)

12. Graeme Harper and Jeri Kroll, eds. Creative Writing Studies (2008)

13. Mark McGurl. The Program Era (2009)

14. Kenneth Goldsmith. Uncreative Writing (2011)

15. Paul Perry, ed. Beyond the Workshop (2012)

16. Heather Beck, ed. Teaching Creative Writing (2012)

17. Diane Donnelly. Establishing Creative Writing Studies as an Academic Discipline (2012)

18. Graeme Harper and Jeri Kroll, eds. Research Methods in Creative Writing (2013) 


19. Claude Lévi-Strauss. “A Writing Lesson.” Tristes Tropiques. Trans. John Weightman and Doreen Weightman. New York: Penguin Books, 1973. 294-304.

David Fenza. “Creative Writing and Its Discontents.” Writing in Education 22 (Spring 2000): 8-18.

Jacques Derrida. “Where a Teaching Body Begins and How It Ends.” Revolutionary Pedagogies. Ed. P. P. Trifonas. New York: Routledge, 2000. 83-112.

Kass Fleisher. “Scenes from the Battlefield: A Feminist Resists the Writing Workshop.” The Iowa Review 32.1 (Spring 2002): 109-115.

Paul Dawson. “Towards a New Poetics in Creative Writing Pedagogy.” TEXT 7.1 (Apr 2003).

20. Stephanie Vanderslice. “The Power to Choose: The Case for the Concept-based Multigenre Creative Writing Course.” New Writing 1.1 (2004): 15-21.

Nick Everett. “Creative Writing and English.” The Cambridge Quarterly 34.3 (2005): 231-242.

Joe Amato and H. Kassia Fleisher. “Reforming Creative Writing Pedagogy: History as Knowledge, Knowledge as Activism.” Electronic Book Review (05 Aug 2008)

Rosalie Morales Kearns. “Voice of Authority: Theorizing Creative Writing Pedagogy.” CCC 60.4 (Jun 2009): 790-807.

Becky Adnot-Haynes and Tessa Mellas. “Knocking Sparks: Demystifying Process in Graduate Fiction Workshops.” Pedagogy 12.2 (Spring 2012): 299-318.



Study of Fiction

01. Virginia Woolf. A Room of One’s Own (1929)

02. Georg Lukács. The Historical Novel (1937, Trans. 1962)

03. Alain Robbe-Grillet. For a New Novel (1963, Trans. 1965)

04. Mikhail Bakhtin. The Dialogic Imagination (1975, Trans. 1981)

05. Tillie Olsen. Silences (1978)

06. Mieke Bal. Narratology (1985)

07. Hélène Cixous. Three Steps on the Ladder of Writing (1993)

08. Thomas King. The Truth About Stories (2003) 

Study of Poetics

09. André Breton. Manifestoes of Surrealism (1924-1929, Trans. 1969)

10. Roland Barthes. The Pleasure of the Text (1973, Trans. 1975)

11. Nicole Brossard. The Aerial Letter (1985, Trans. 1987)

12. Steve McCaffery and bpNichol. Rational Geomancy (1992)

13. Johanna Drucker. The Visible Word (1994)

14. Charles O. Hartman. Free Verse (1996)

15. William F. Motte, ed. Oulipo (1998)

16. Marjorie Perloff. Unoriginal Genius (2010) 


17. Victor Shklovsky. “Art as Technique” (1925)

Charles Olson. “Projective Verse” (1950)

W. K. Wimsatt and Monroe C. Beardsley. “The Intentional Fallacy” (1954)

Roland Barthes. “The Death of the Author” (1968)

Michel Foucault. “What Is an Author?” (1969)

18. Julia Kristeva. “The Bounded Text” (1969)

Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. “What Is a Minor Literature?” (1975)

Jacques Derrida. “The End of the Book and the Beginning of Writing” (1976)

Steve McCaffery. “Writing as General Economy” (1986)

Susan Stewart. “Notes on Distressed Genres” (1991)

19. Rae Armantrout. “Feminist Poetics and the Meaning of Clarity (1992)

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak. “Echo” (1993)

Maurice Blanchot. “Literature and the Right to Death” (1995)

Ron Silliman. “The New Sentence” (1995)

Lyn Hejinian. “The Rejection of Closure” (2000) 

20. Franco Moretti. “The Slaughterhouse of Literature” (2000)

Joan Retallack. “The Poethical Wager” (2003)

Giorgio Agamben. “The Author as Gesture” (2005)

Sianne Ngai. “Tone” in Ugly Feelings (2005)

Jane Gallop. “The Author Is Dead, But I Desire the Author” (2011) 

03. NOVEL 

01. Herman Melville. Moby Dick (1851)

02. Joseph Conrad. Heart of Darkness (1899)

03. Franz Kafka. The Metamorphosis (1915, Trans. 1937)

04. James Joyce. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916)

05. Virginia Woolf. Orlando (1928)

06. William Faulkner. As I Lay Dying (1930)

07. Djuna Barnes. Nightwood (1936)

08. Jack Kerouac. On the Road (1957)

09. Doris Lessing. The Golden Notebook (1962)

10. Gabriel Garcia Marquez. One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967, Trans. 1970)

11. Michael Ondaatje. Coming Through Slaughter (1976)

12. Italo Calvino. If on a Winter’s Night, a Traveler (1979, Trans. 1981)

13. Kathy Acker. Blood and Guts in High School (1984)

14. Margaret Atwood. The Handmaid's Tale (1985)

15. Nicole Brossard. Mauve Desert (1987, Trans. 2006)

16. Jeanette Winterson, The Passion (1987)

17. Thomas King. Green Grass, Running Water (1993)

18. Arundhati Roy. The God of Small Things (1997)

19. Dionne Brand. At the Full and Change of the Moon (1999)

20. Esi Edugyan. Half-Blood Blues (2011)


01. Gertrude Stein. Tender Buttons (1914)

02. T. S. Eliot. The Waste Land (1922)

03. Hart Crane. The Bridge (1930)

04. Allen Ginsberg. Howl (1956)

05. Charles Olson. The Maximus Poems (1960)

06. Yoko Ono. Grapefruit (1964)

07. Sylvia Plath. Ariel (1965)

08. Phyllis Webb. Naked Poems (1965)

09. Margaret Atwood. The Journals of Susanna Moodie (1970)

10. Michael Ondaatje. The Collected Works of Billy the Kid (1970)

11. Tom Phillips. A Humument (1970)

12. bpNichol. Zygal (1985)

13. Lyn Hejinian. My Life (1987)

14. Dionne Brand. No Language Is Neutral (1990)

15. Erin Mouré. Pillage Laud (1999)

16. Darren Wershler. The Tapeworm Foundry (2000)

17. Lisa Robertson. The Weather (2001)

18. Harryette Mullen. Recyclopedia (2006)

19. M. Nourbese Philip. Zong! (2008)

20. Marie Annharte Baker. Indigena Awry (2012)



01. Edgar Allan Poe. Tales of Mystery and Imagination (1908)

02. James Joyce. Dubliners (1914)

03. Sherwood Anderson. Winesburg, Ohio (1919)

04. Langston Hughes. The Ways of White Folks (1934)

05. Jorge Luis Borges. Ficciones (1944, Trans. 1962)

06. J. D. Salinger. Nine Stories (1953)

07. Flannery O’Connor. The Complete Stories (1971)

08. Angela Carter. The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories (1979)

09. Raymond Carver. Cathedral (1983)

10. Thomas King, ed. All My Relations (1990)

11. Sandra Cisneros. Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories (1991)

12. Mavis Gallant. The Selected Stories of Mavis Gallant (1996)

13. Alice Munro. Selected Stories (1996)

14. Nalo Hopkinson. Skin Folk (2001)

15. Frederick Busch. The Stories of Frederick Busch (2013)


16. Nathaniel Hawthorne. “Young Goodman Brown” (1835)

Herman Melville. “Bartleby, the Scrivener” (1853)

Guy de Maupassant. “The Necklace” (1884, Trans. 1982)

Anton Chekhov. “The Lady with the Dog” (1899)

D. H. Lawrence. “The Odour of Chrysanthemums” (1911)

17. Katherine Mansfield. “The Doll’s House” (1922)

Lu Xun, “The True Story of Ah Q” (1923, Trans. 1960)

Ernest Hemingway. “Hills Like White Elephants” (1927)

Shirley Jackson. “The Lottery” (1948)

Hisaye Yamamoto. “Seventeen Syllables” (1949)

18. Julio Cortázar. “Letter to a Young Lady in Paris” (1951, Trans. 1963)

James Baldwin, “Sonny’s Blues” (1957)

John Cheever. “The Swimmer” (1964)

Joyce Carol Oates. “Where Are You Going, Where Have you Been?” (1966)

Toni Cade Bambara, “Gorilla, My Love” (1971)

19. Austin Clarke. “Leaving this Island Place” (1971)

Alice Walker. “Nineteen Fifty-Five” (1981)

Octavia E. Butler, “Bloodchild” (1984)

Lorrie Moore. “How to Become a Writer” (1985)

Rohinton Mistry. “Swimming Lessons” (1987)

20. Barbara Gowdy. “We So Seldom Look on Love” (1992)

Thomas King. “Borders” (1993)

Sherman Alexie. “This is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona” (1994)

Hanif Kureishi. "With My Tongue Down Your Throat" (1997)

Jhumpa Lahiri. “When Mr. Pirzhada Came to Dine” (1999)



01. Howard L. Chace. Anguish Languish (1956)

02. Paul Celan. Breathturn (1967, Trans. 1995, by Pierre Joris)

03. Georges Perec. A Void (1969, Trans. 1995, by Gilbert Adair)

04. Celia Zukofsky and Louis Zukofsky. Catullus (1969)

05. George Steiner. After Babel (1975)

06. bpNichol. Translating Translating Apollinaire (1979)

07. Jacques Derrida. The Ear of the Other (1982, Trans. 1988)

08. Rainer Schulte and John Biguenet, eds. Theories of Translation (1992)

09. Lawrence Venuti. The Translator’s Invisibility (1995)

10. Jacques Derrida. Monolingualism of the Other (1996, Trans. 1998)

11. Umberto Eco. Experiences in Translation (2001)

12. Erín Moure. Sheep’s Vigil by a Fervent Person (2001)

13. Rosemarie Waldrop. Lavish Absence (2003)

14. Anne Carson. If Not, Winter (2003)

15. Henry Meschonnic. Éthique et Politique du Traduire (2007)

16. Caroline Bergvall. Meddle English (2010)

17. Antoinette Fawcett, Karla L. Guadarrama, et al., eds. Translation (2010)

18. Anthony Pym. Exploring Translation Theories (2010)

19. Lawrence Venuti, ed. The Translation Studies Reader (2012)


20. Walter Benjamin. “The Task of the Translator.” Illuminations. Ed. Hannah Arendt. Trans. Harry Zohn. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich 1968. 69-82.

bpNichol and Steve McCaffery. “Research Report 1: Translation.” Rational Geomancy: The Kids of the Books Machine, The Collected Research Reports of the Toronto Research Group, 1973-1982. Ed. bpNichol. Vancouver: Talonbooks, 1992. 27-56.

Homi K. Bhaba. “How Newness Enters the World: Postmodern Space, Postcolonial Times, and the Trials of Cultural Translation.” The Location of Culture. London: Routledge, 1994. 303-337.

Barbara Godard. “Deleuze and Translation.” Parallax 6.1 (2000): 56-81.

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak. “Translation as Culture.” Parallax 6.1 (2000): 13-24.


Picture Books

01. Beatrix Potter. The Tale of Peter Rabbit (1902)

Ezra Jack Keats. The Snowy Day (1962)

Maurice Sendak. Where the Wild Things Are (1963)

Janet Ahlberg and Allan Ahlberg. Each Peach Pear Plum (1978)

Shaun Tan. The Arrival (2006)

Other Children's Books

02. Lewis Carroll. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865)

03. Louisa May Alcott. Little Women (1869)

04. L. M. Montgomery. Anne of Green Gables (1908)

05. J. M. Barrie. Peter Pan (1911)

06. A. A. Milne. Winnie-the-Pooh (1926)

07. J. D. Salinger. The Catcher in the Rye (1951)

08. E. B. White. Charlotte's Web (1952)

09. Madeleine L’Engle. A Wrinkle in Time (1962)

10. Judy Blume. Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret (1970)

11. Robert Cormier. The Chocolate War (1974)

12. Virginia Hamilton. M. C. Higgins, the Great (1974)

13. Lois Lowry. The Giver (1993)

14. Christopher Paul Curtis. The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963 (1995)

15. J. K. Rowling. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (1997)

16. M. T. Anderson. Feed (2002)

17. Markus Zusak. The Book Thief (2005)

18. Sherman Alexie. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (2007)

19. Neil Gaiman. The Graveyard Book (2008)

20. Martin Hallett and Barbara Karasek, eds. Folk and Fairy Tales, Concise Edition (2011)


01. Charles Schulz. The Complete Peanuts (1963-1966)

02. Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. Amazing Spider-Man #1-38 (1963-1966)

03. Martin Vaughn-James. The Cage (1975)

04. Will Eisner. A Contract With God (1978)

05. Art Spiegelman. Maus (1979-1992)

06. Jaime Hernandez. Maggie the Mechanic (1982-1987)

07. Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. Watchmen (1986)

08. Neil Gaiman, et al. Sandman: Season of Mists (1990-1991)

09. Scott McCloud. Understanding Comics (1993)

10. Joe Sacco. Palestine (1993-1996)

11. Robert Crumb and Zane Mairowitz. Introducing Kafka (1996)

12. Lynda Barry. 100 Demons (2005)

13. Posy Simmonds. Tamara Drewe (2007)

14. Alison Bechdel. Fun Home (2007)

15. Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki. Skim (2008)

16. Gene Luen Yang. American Born Chinese (2008)

17. Audrey Niffenegger. The Night Bookmobile (2010)

18. Jason Shiga. Meanwhile (2010)

19. Kate Beaton. Hark! A Vagrant (2011)

20. Chris Ware. Building Stories (2012)



01. Anonymous. “The Tale of the Three Apples” in One Thousand and One Nights (ca. 10th cent., Trans. 1838)

William Evans Burton. “The Secret Cell” (1837)

Edgar Allan Poe. “Murders in the Rue Morgue” (1841)

Edgar Allan Poe. “The Mystery of Marie Rogêt” (1843)

Edgar Allan Poe. “The Purloined Letter” (1845)


02. Anonymous. Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee (ca. 1700s, Trans. 1949)

03. Wilkie Collins. The Moonstone (1868)

04. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The Hound of the Baskervilles (1901)

05. Dashiel Hammett. The Maltese Falcon (1930)

06. Agatha Christie. Murder on the Orient Express (1934)

07. Raymond Chandler. The Big Sleep (1939)

08. Graham Greene. The Third Man (1949)

09. Patricia Highsmith The Talented Mister Ripley (1955)

10. John Le Carré. The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (1963)

11. Len Deighton. The Ipcress File (1965)

12. Chester B. Himes. Cotton Comes to Harlem (1965)

13. P. D. James. An Unsuitable Job for a Woman (1972)

14. Ishmael Reed. Mumbo Jumbo (1972)

15. Anne Perry. The Cater Street Hangman (1979)

16. Sue Grafton. ‘A’ is for Alibi (1982)

17. Elizabeth George. A Great Deliverance (1988)

18. Patricia Cornwell. Postmortem (1990)

19. Elmore Leonard. Get Shorty (1990)

20. China Miéville. The City and the City (2009)


01. Mary Shelley. Frankenstein (1818)

02. H. G. Wells. The Time Machine (1895)

03. Bram Stoker. Dracula (1897)

04. Edgar Rice Burroughs. A Princess of Mars (1912)

05. H. P. Lovecraft. At the Mountains of Madness (1936)

06. Ray Bradbury. The Martian Chronicles (1950)

07. Isaac Asimov. Foundation (1951)

08. Shirley Jackson. The Haunting of Hill House (1959)

09. Frank Herbert. Dune (1965)

10. Samuel R. Delany. Nova (1968)

11. Ursula K. Le Guin. The Left Hand of Darkness (1969)

12. Joanna Russ. The Female Man (1975)

13. Anne Rice. Interview with the Vampire (1976)

14. Stephen King. The Shining (1977)

15. William Gibson. Neuromancer (1984)

16. Octavia Butler. Dawn (1987)

17. P. D. James. The Children of Men (1992)

18. Nalo Hopkinson. Brown Girl in the Ring (1998)

19. Margaret Atwood. Oryx and Crake (2003)

20. Paolo Bacigalupi. The Windup Girl (2009)


Creative Writing often involves academic research outside the disciplinary boundaries of literature in English; and consequently, space is being made upon the exam for students to include 20 books not enumerated in other modules so as to enable broad study outside the field (if necessary) in preparation for the dissertation. The student can augment selections from other areas of specialization already cited on the list, or the student can elect to include other kinds of books related to the proposed, doctoral research (including, among other options, works of historiography, works of autobiography, etc.)—any titles that might be deemed appropriate, in consultation with the supervisor. The module is intended to give the student an opportunity to practice the kind of study, normally expected of creative writers, who conduct research in support of a creative project, often reading work in other fields, such as history, science, etc. The module fulfills the criteria of granting the student the option of modifying 20% of the list for any of the field exams; and consequently, the student cannot make any alterations to other readings in other modules, but must use this open list, instead, to make amendments to the syllabus.