We often think of poetry and memoir as those forms of writing which capture the “voice” of their authors through expressing one's innermost feelings. This course works to first explain, and then reverse that model: we will learn to write creatively from the outside in. We will read the work of modern and contemporary writers who write poetry and memoir out of materials that exist outside of the self (including mathematical equations, court testimony, movies, newspaper articles, and Google searches). Students will explore individual and group writing experiments that employ collage techniques, methods of random generation, and new media technologies as a part of our active investigation of how poets and memoirists are discovering and enacting new relationships between writing and self-expression. These alternative ways of thinking about language, and subject matter will help us situate our writing acts in relation to our selves as we call attention to, and challenge, the continued consignment of one voice to one author and individualized writing practices. At semester's end, students will turn in a final portfolio including poetry and prose pieces, and a letter which will serve as a critical introduction to the work.