(Re)writing Craft: Composition, Creative Writing, and the Future of English Studies

(Re) Writing Craft explores the past, present, and possible future relationships between composition studies and creative writing, two subfields of English studies that have struggled for recognition and prestige in the shadow of literary studies. Tim Mayers proposes an alliance between composition and creative writing, through which these disciplines might invert the common hierarchy in English departments that privileges the interpretation of literature over the teaching of writing. He analyzes many of the barriers that prevent such a union and considers factors that might make an alliance possible. Foremost among these is a new theoretical discourse in creative writing he calls craft criticism, inspired largely by the work of German philosopher Martin Heidegger, which bears important similarities to the work of several scholars in composition. Mayers makes a variety of suggestions for how scholars and teachers might employ these theoretical convergences between creative writing and composition to help bring about changes in the structure, focus, and administration of college and university English departments. He concludes that the separate fields of composition and creative writing - whether they remain within traditional English departments or not - together have the potential to carve out an academic disciplinary space where writing, in all its forms, can flourish.