4. Multiple-Personality Pedagogy: Varying Voice in the Classroom

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 (toadsuckreview.org), 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).


First published in Hybrid Pedagogy, this chapter builds on pedagogy posited by Dr. Pete Rorabaugh and Dr. Jesse Stommel that encourages varying voice in both the classroom and one’s writing. I then review my own experience in applying characters such as “Crabby Old Man” to teach Walt Whitman, and “Big Dummy” to question the literary strategies of T.C. Boyle, Lester Bangs, Diane Wakowski, and Frank O’Hara. Both “Cool Dude” and “Tiger Nooodles” are recounted for their effectiveness in introducing the workshop procedure and for providing occasions for applying methods that stimulate inquiry and debate in order to foster critical thinking. This chapter includes one image.

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Spitzer, Mark. 4. Multiple-Personality Pedagogy: Varying Voice in the Classroom. Investigative Creative Writing - Teaching and Practice. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. Jan 2020. ISBN 9781781797181. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=34893. Date accessed: 14 Oct 2019 doi: 10.1558/equinox.34893. Jan 2020

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