Discover Creative Writing Superpowers through Investigative Teaching Techniques

Investigative Creative Writing - Teaching and Practice - Mark Spitzer

Mark Spitzer [+-]
University of Central Arkansas
Mark Spitzer is Associate Professor of Creative Writing in the Department of Film, Theatre, and Creative Writing at the University of Central Arkansas. He is the author of 18 books, ranging from memoirs to novels to literary translations and collections of poetry. He is the editor of the award-winning Toad Suck Review (, a professor of creative writing, an authority on the notorious gar fish (See River Monsters, alligator gar episode), and the world expert on the poetry of Jean Genet. Other recent titles include the poetry collection, Inflammatosis: Polemic Poetry, Incendiary Prose, and Other Extremes of Love and War (Six Gallery Press, 2018); the young adult and children’s literature title, The Crabby Old Gar (Subversive Muse Press, 2018); the novel, Viva Arletty! Our Lady of the Egrets (Six Gallery Press, 2017); the nonfiction work, Beautifully Grotesque Fish of the American West (University of Nebraska Press, 2017); the literary translation The Genet Translations: Poetry and Posthumous Plays (Polemic Press, 2015), and the memoir, After the Octopus (Black Mountain Press, 2014).


This preface to the book employs theory posited by the canonized American writers William S. Burroughs, Ed Sanders and others to make a case for an investigative/discovery-oriented creative writing pedagogy. The intent of the investigative aspect is compared to the idea of the lyric essay as proposed by John D’Agata and Deborah Tall’s reference to the scholarship of Helen Vendler in the Fall 1997 issue of Seneca Review. As an active and experiential approach, the chapters are broken down into five main categories: Discovery-Oriented Basics, Investigative Theatrics, Programmatic Considerations, Eco-Investigations, and Experiential Exercises. Rationales are offered for the three to four chapters included in each section. The chapter is bound by the theme of accessing power for individuals and their communities and culminates with a brief discussion of the discovery-oriented process, which hinges on transformative learning events.

Notify A Colleague


Spitzer, Mark. Discover Creative Writing Superpowers through Investigative Teaching Techniques. Investigative Creative Writing - Teaching and Practice. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. Jan 2020. ISBN 9781781797181. Date accessed: 07 Dec 2019 doi: 10.1558/equinox.34889. Jan 2020

Dublin Core Metadata