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Explore your creative side with poetry, publishing or advanced composition classes this Spring

January 04, 2017

Western student Casi
Western student Casie Jarvie reads her work at the semester-end Feast of Words event for Poetry I and II students.

The English Department at Western Wyoming Community College is offering several courses this winter and spring that will help students flex their creative muscles.

ENGL 2080– Creative Writing: Poetry I, taught by Associate Professor of English Rick Kempa, M.F.A., is “an invitation for poetic people to get together once a week to inspire each other,” Kempa says. “Basically, we will spend four months reading, writing, and talking poetry.” A highlight of the class will be an April field trip to Lithic Bookstore in Fruita, Colo., for a poetry celebration with creative writing students from Mesa State University. Poetry I is a full-semester course that meets on Wednesdays from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Students who have already taken a college-level poetry class should register instead for ENGL 2090 – Creative Writing: Poetry II, which meets in the same time and place.

ENGL 2091 – Creative Writing: Publish Your Work is a five-week Internet course that begins on Monday, Feb. 6. Also led by Kempa, this one-credit class will teach students tools and techniques for pursuing publication of their creative work. Participants will gain hands-on experience on market research, manuscript preparation, composing query letters, and submitting their work to editors. Prof. Kempa is a widely published writer and editor whose recent books include Going Down Grand: Poems from the Canyon, which he co-edited, and On Foot: Grand Canyon Backpacking Stories, which he edited and provided an essay for.   

ENGL 1111 – Advanced Composition, taught by Assistant Professor of Composition Heather Pristash, Ph.D., will help students build on skills they developed in their introductory composition course and prepare them for advanced college writing and research assignments. According to Pristash, “We will investigate the fascinating field of writing studies and gain powerful knowledge about what, how, and why we write.” English 1010 is a prerequisite for this full-semester course, which meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:30 – 3:45 p.m.

English 2050 – Creative Writing: Prose I will teach students the basics of strong narrative writing. This is a full-semester Internet course that begins Wednesday, Jan. 18, and concludes Wednesday, May 10.  

ENGL 2065 – Creative Writing: Memoir Writing, taught by Professor Emeritus of English Barbara Smith, is a six-week course that meets at the Rock Springs Young at Heart Community Center from 1 – 3:45 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning March 21 and concluding May 9. Students in this class will learn how to write their own life stories from veteran poet, essayist and Western instructor Smith.

For details on these and other English courses, view the Spring 2017 schedule at All of these courses may be taken for credit or on an audit basis.  For information on how to audit a class or register as a non-degree-seeking student, contact Mustang Central at (307) 382-1677, or email  

For more information, contact Audrey Harton at (307) 382-1661 or
(307) 382-1600 or toll free (800) 226-1181