This introductory course will help beginning writers take their first steps towards exploring the craft of poetry and fiction. Students will be introduced to the fundamental vocabulary and techniques of each genre. Throughout the semester, the class will also be presented with diverse readings to study and emulate in order to kindle their own imaginative strategies. We will study differing modes of narration, character development, narrative voice, and minimal and maximal plot developments. In poetry, we will consider the differences between closed and open forms, the use of sound and rhythm, and uses of figurative language and imagery. We will also study prosody and the practice of the line. Assigned exercises will give you the space to experiment with unfamiliar forms. Students are also invited to meet visiting poets and fiction writers at Poetics Plus and Exhibit X readings on campus and in downtown Buffalo.