Writing Table

Lindsay, Adam, and David will be serving as Currier’s writing tutors for the year, and we greatly look forward to working with students during our writing table hours.

Writing Table hours:

For this year, Lindsay, Adam, and David will work together to provide the following Writing Table hours:

– Sundays 8-10pm (starting on September 14), with Adam or Lindsay

– Thursdays 730-830pm (starting on September 18), with David

Why might you come to the Currier Writing Table? Throughout the year, we will be happy to provide students with:

  • General feedback on your writing approach, arguments, style or structure. We are happy to work with students in person on both academic and non-academic writing in the form of ideas, notes or drafts.
  • Help organizing a book group, writing workshop or guest event with a focus on literature, journalism or writing (something we hope to do sporadically throughout the year).
  • Advice on study skills that pertain to either reading or writing.
  • Advice on submitting or publishing work.
  • Referrals to other on-campus writing resources or models of good writing.
  • Advice on how to write in ways that don’t violate the principles of academic integrity.
  • Advice on how to read for pleasure while broadening your worldview and improving your writing skills.

While we welcome inquiries from students that pertain to the above, we are not able to provide students with:

  • Written feedback or edits to academic work.
  • A reading service where we review or proof read writing outside of office hours.
  • A perfect substitute for the excellent services provided by the Harvard College Writing Center.

Writing tutor bios:

Currier’s three writing tutors are happy to meet with students seeking advice on the full range of writing genres, from essays to poems to short stories to op-eds. Feel free to read a bit more about each of us and our writing interests before you come to one of our tables:

Lindsay

Roland Barthes once said, “A creative writer is one for whom writing is a problem.” Over time, this essential truth about writing has become its greatest appeal for me. I like that writing is hard. I like that there are an infinite number of ways it can be a problem—not just for a creative writer, but any writer. That means that when you come to me with your writing problem, I’ll be there to help with the nitty-gritty of how to get past this or that wall in your thinking. Everybody has those walls. Having earned an MA in writing from the University of Chicago and an MFA in creative writing from the University of Iowa, I still have them, but now I at least have some experience articulating what the problems in a piece of writing are, and sometimes doing that is half the battle. At bare minimum, I’ll be able to listen to what worries you about your current project, and probably will be able to say that I’ve been there too, at one time or another. The types of writing that interest me most, and that I have the most experience writing myself, are creative fiction and nonfiction—though I will happily talk about anything you’re working on, whether personal or academic. I also harbor a strange fondness for science writing, so if you have some intractable problem with your essay on the Golgi Apparatus (or whatnot), bring it on. In sum, whatever your writing passion may be, I’ll look forward to meeting and working with you.

Adam

As a PhD candidate in English as well as a creative writer and graduate of the poetry program of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, I’m open to diverse approaches to writing. I’m most excited about writing in the humanities, but I like all writing that forces us to think harder and notice more about how we create, resist, and buy into the meanings of the world we live in. In this vein, I like writing that makes us think with our whole being – not just with our intellect – but with our emotions, our intuition, even our body. As T.S. Eliot says, to look into one’s heart (or mind) and write is not to look deep enough: “One must [also] look into the cerebral cortex, the nervous system, and the digestive tract.” Thus, I believe that academic writing can and should sometimes be moving, and that creative writing should sometimes have ideas. And it’s about more than thought: writing, at its best, can be about finding, and creating for ourselves, the meanings that that we want to stand by or have come to govern our lives. One can and should use reading and writing to see through corrupt constructions of meaning (be they gender roles, political systems, or sentimental clichés), but one can also use it to discover the meanings we do want to dip into, agree with, become. This seeing and finding occurs slowly and with much labor. I hope to be helpful to students on their way, whether they are puzzling over essay ideas, wondering about the limitations of their style, or just trying to make their sentences ring out more clearly and forcefully. I’m also happy to think with you about a range of written texts from papers to plays to speeches to poems. It is easy to become jaded about writing, and to think of it as a series of stylistic mannerisms one can fake – whether it’s the cheery tone of an email or the expected jargon of a paper. We would all do well to listen to Richard Wilbur’s poem, “The Writer”: “It is always a matter, my darling,/ of life or death, as I had forgotten.”

David

Even for experienced and talented writers, it can sometimes seem like there’s nothing more terrifying than the blank page. As a writing tutor, I hope to alleviate the anxiety of getting started by making myself available to you for dialogue and guidance. Often the mere act of explaining what your paper is about to an interested listener can catalyze the writing process, helping to get you excited and confident about what you have to say. As a graduate student in the PhD program in English here at Harvard, I’ve had many years of experience with writing, both as a scholar producing my own academic papers, and as a teacher responding to a wide range of student essays. I also spent two years working at a major publishing house in New York, during which I learned to look at manuscripts from the point of view of both the editor, and the (more nitpicky but just as indispensable) copy-editor. I’m thus happy to work with you both on the macro level of your ideas and arguments, and the micro level of your style. Although my own interests tend toward literary subjects, I strongly believe that clear, forceful, and elegant writing is an indispensable skill no matter what your area. I look forward to working with you towards realizing those ideals.

We look forward to working with you this year! Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.