Back to School for Everyone: (Free!) Syllabi from Some of Our Favorite Writers

Featuring Victoria Chang, Julia May Jonas, Sam Lipsyte, and More

There’s something about a fresh syllabus. A sincerely grandiose course description, all those readings curated just for you, a schedule that promises a beginning, middle, and end. If I could’ve stayed in school forever, I might have. Alas, the working world came for me eventually.

But even if we’re not in school anymore, should we be deprived of the sweet, sweet rush of a new syllabus? I say no! So did these ten writers, who I greatly admire, and who generously shared with us the courses they love to teach (or hope to teach one day). Each syllabus is accompanied by a refreshingly un-stodgy reading list and a few words about what makes the topic so special.

Take a full course load this fall or dip in and out as you please. Your scholarly journey awaits. Bon voyage, fellow students!

–Eliza Smith, Special Projects Editor


the darker fall

Ekphrastic Poetry with Victoria Chang


dangerous liaisons

The Literature of Obsession with Julia May Jonas


a history of my brief body

Multigenre Experiments in Form with Paul Lisicky


writers and lovers

Reading About Writing with Peter Ho Davies


left hand of darkness

Speculative Women with Lina Maria Ferreira Cabeza-Vanegas


cover of breaking and entering

Place, Space, and Landscape with Alexandra Kleeman


Citizen book cover

Writers and the World with Viet Thanh Nguyen 


Sports and Contemporary Writing with Sam Lipsyte


Generations cover

Hybrid Poetry with Ocean Vuong


the black maria cover

Lyric Research with Ross Gay

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