Place Writing

Here you’ll find two separate but related resources from Jos Smith, who teaches on the literature of place at the University of East Anglia (UEA). In Speculative Nature Writing, you’ll find a creative-critical exercise designed by Jos, exploring how historical and personal attitudes to nature are registered in the forms and subgenres of nature writing. This exercise is offered in full, including all the resources you’ll need to teach it. In The Poetics of Place, you’ll find an overview of the first half of Jos’s MA module of the same name, giving a sense of how a course on place writing might be structured to draw on both creative and critical ideas. You’ll also find suggestions for a creative assessment task involving the creation of a podcast or ‘radio essay’. Together, these two resources – one a single in-depth exercise, one an overview of possible approaches – should act as a spur to your own ideas and thoughts on how the extraordinary recent variety of place writing (sometimes called the ‘new nature writing’) can be taught in way which both engages students critically in the forms and innovations of the work studied, and encourages their own creative writing about place. Click on one of the resources, above, to begin.