In this class, we'll study and practice the oldest media art: text as such. Since writing has been around for many millennia, and has a myriad of forms and purposes, we'll narrow things down to three genres that rely on no other technology but placing tiny symbols on a flat surface in order to engage readers: poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. At the root of all the disparate materials selected for this course is the authors’ desire to surprise their readers. This surprise may vary from shock to astonishment to revelation to amusement. But the question at the root of it all is the real puzzle: how do language and elements of poetry and prose come together on the page? The best way to begin to figure it out is to read closely and write bravely.