The Rhetorical Situation Number 3: Teaching Creative Writing

Welcome to the Rhetorical Situation Podcast: The Podcast about writing for people who might not write but want to listen to people talk about writing. This week, we’ll be discussing the ends and outs of teaching the careful and wonderful art of Creative Writing.  My guest this week is Professor Zachary Benavidez of Montgomery College.  We talk about workshops, grammar, format, generating ideas and community building.  I also try and explain to him the theme of the podcast, but I don’t think I do a very good job.  Listen, learn, enjoy and please leave feedback.




4 thoughts on “The Rhetorical Situation Number 3: Teaching Creative Writing

  1. As one of Zach’s former Intro to Creative Writing students, I can attest to the excellence of his class and the effectiveness of his messages. I cannot echo enough the importance, as Zach said, of fostering a community in the classroom. The workshop exercises – for the majority of students, including myself – were incredibly helpful in improving our prose and establishing a sense of agency in our own writing. I’ve been lucky enough to transfer from MC to a four-year university, and wish that the papers I write for all classes could go through such a process.

    As you both seemed enthusiastic about “doing this again” at the end of your interview, I’d like to suggest a path you two might explore more. I was somewhat miffed at the brief mention of Erdrich, Silko and Native American writing as a whole, as they are an integral part of Zach’s classes. I suspect that Zach identifies with many of the issues featured prominently in Native American writing, and I would like to hear about how they translate into his creative writing classes. Simply mentioning them in terms of recommended reading does not give credence to the obvious influence that they have had on Zach’s style of teaching and his own work. I would point no further than to the discussion of storytelling at the beginning of this podcast, which would snuggle perfectly into a discussion on the importance of Native American storytelling, oral histories, and oral traditions. Zach pushed each of us to become a recorder of our own lives, and a narrator/translator of the lessons we learned from analyzing the colours – as he would surely insist on spelling it – that weave together our experiences.

    • I think a future podcast-focusing on Zach’s different influences-would be a great podcast. I have a few others lined up, but I will discuss it with him and make it happen. Thanks for the comment and keep listening.

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