Sarah Broom

Dec 2017

Professor Broom is, thus far, the best teacher I've had at Columbia across all the disciplines. She is committed, wildly intelligent, and will push you to new limits every time the class meets. She is also a careful reader of your work, and provides incredible feedback that is comprehensive and useful. Nothing feels like busy work in this class. And the readings she gives — about two or three each week — are of a wide variety, including works by James Baldwin, Hilton Als, Jamaica Kincaid, Jo Ann Beard, and many more. Not only were these readings wonderful, but they were also discussed, as Professor Broom would efficiently take us through some of the pieces page by page, or paragraph by paragraph, and show us, in detail, what the writer does to make each moment so affecting. While this sounds tiresome, trust me when I say that Professor Broom is so insightful that these tours are never dull, and they WILL help you grow as a writer. You will also go as a critic in this course as well, for a large backbone of the work is centered around reading and writing one page critiques on your classmates' work each week. This is pretty standard for a writing workshop, but Professor Broom puts particular emphasis on the importance of developing this skill. The only thing I would say about this course is that it is probably one of the more intense workshops out there. I think it is wonderful for this reason, but if you're looking to get an easy A in a creative writing course, then this is not the one for you.