Taylor M. Polites is a novelist living in Providence with his small Chihuahua, Clovis. Polites’ first novel, The Rebel Wife, was published in February 2012 by Simon & Schuster. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from Wilkes University and a BA in History and French from Washington University in St. Louis. In 2009 he was awarded the Norris Church Mailer Fellowship from Wilkes University. He has lived in Provincetown, MA; New York City; St. Louis and the Deep South. He has covered arts and news for a variety of local newspapers and magazines, including the Cape Codder, InNewsWeekly, Bird’s Eye View (the in-flight magazine of CapeAir), artscope magazine and Provincetown Arts magazine.
Academic areas of interest
Polites is a writer of historical fiction with a broad interest in history and literature and the ways in which they interact. He has focused his research on the black and white experience in the 19th-century American South, myth-building in Southern fiction, and Southern women’s narratives of the Civil War.
Fall 2023 Courses
BEGINNING FICTION WRITING WORKSHOP
While the writing of fiction involves only the writer and the page, the group workshop affords the writer the opportunity to explore, develop and refine his or her work in a small community focused on a single goal. This environment of craft and creativity is particularly critical to the beginning writer. As with any craft, revision is the key to effective storytelling. The revision process will be emphasized. Short fiction by leading writers will be read and discussed; elements of craft will be explored; students will learn to deliver criticism in a supportive, constructive way; but learning by doing will comprise the majority of the class. Writing will begin in the first class, leading to small, peer-driven workshop groups and culminating in a full class workshop at semester's end. Students will produce three stories throughout the semester, all of which will be workshopped and revised. The student's engagement in the course, participation and attendance, will drive the final grades.
Open to Sophomore, Junior or Senior Undergraduate Students.
Spring 2024 Courses
BUILDING NARRATIVE: WRITING WORKSHOP
In his 1909 An Essay in Aesthetics, Roger Fry talks about the moral purpose of art-to offer viewers the opportunity to experience emotion with objectivity. Rather than actually witnessing a terrible accident in a train station, in a film we are able to experience the event and its associated emotions without the urgency of response required if it were truly happening before us. We are able to feel and to observe ourselves feeling. While Fry was focusing on the experience of visual art, his description of purpose is precisely applicable to the writing of narrative fiction. The ultimate goal of storytelling is to share an experience or another world with a reader, and the focal point of that experience is the conjuring of emotion. This course will focus on the development of understanding and facility in the creation of emotion in fiction. We will address the basic structures of plot and conflict and move directly to the creation of work that will be presented in workshop. The discussion will focus on the writer's intent: their goals for the emotional and narrative experience for the reader.
Open to Graduate Illustration Students.
Major Requirement | MFA Illustration
ADVANCED FICTION WRITING WKSHP
The advanced workshop assumes that students have some experience with writing fiction and are ready for an environment that will challenge them to hone, revise, and distill their craft. A writer begins inspired by dreams, language, a face in a crowd. But inspiration is only the beginning of a writer's work. In this course we'll study form, theme, voice, language, character, and plot. We'll also read and talk about stories by masters of the craft. The aim of the workshop is to help you discover what your stories want to be and fulfill the promise of your original vision.
Please contact the instructor for permission to register.