Sophomore Seminars

Sports Writing

ENGLISH 90Q

How do we write about sports? In what ways do our competitions and leisure activities reflect our personal and collective beliefs about nature, the individual, and our society?  Why do sports distract us, and to what end do we cultivate and sustain that distraction? In this seminar, we will study and practice the many ways that creative writers frame and even critique an interest in athleticism, beauty, being a spectator, and achievement. From regional fans to the single adventurer,  from boxing and baseball to mascot dancing and table tennis, creative writers continue to mine a rich vein of "sports writing" as creative nonfiction. In doing so, they demonstrate the creative and formal adaptability  that’s required to write with excellence about any subject matter, and under the circumstances of any subjectivity. Throughout the quarter, we will read a wide range of popular and literary authors. We will discuss essays, book excerpts, and pieces of journalism. A variety of creative prompts and critical exercises will foster your understanding and appreciation of literature, as well as your growth as a creative writer.

Meet the Instructor(s)

John Evans

John W. Evans is an award-winning poet and memoirist. He is the author of Young Widower: A Memoir (University of Nebraska Press, 2014) and The Consolations: Poems (Trio House Press, 2014). His writing appears in The Missouri Review, Boston Review, ZYZZYVA, Slate, The Rumpus, and Poetry Daily.