i'm teaching creative writing 140 this coming semester, and i'm in the middle of preparing my syllabus. i want my students to learn how to incorporate research material in their creative writing. i also want to develop in them an appreciation for highly informative, technically accurate essays that are engaging if not entertaining. the essays they will be made to write for the course will contain more scientific, cultural/artistic information than personal opinion.
As there is a dearth of nature writing in the philippines, i'm considering making my students try their hand at it. of course i know that most of them will not have the necessary knowledge and inclination to be much good at it, but i'd like them to experience how it's done. so now i'm rereading some of my favorite books of nature writing. i am currently enjoying dianne ackerman's the moon by whale light and other adventures among bats, penguins, crocodilians, and whales. if you haven't read this book, you're missing out. ackerman has this amazing ability to blend scientific information and personal observation into engaging essays that read almost like poetry.