In a time when much is appalling yet somehow still fails to surprise us, how do writers wrestle with productively representing the explicit, the lewd, and the crude bits of the world in their work? In this course, we’ll delve into writing the “nasty bits,” as Anthony Bourdain would say, of the every day. We’ll (re)discover the mess of morality in folktales and fables, the deviance of writing about divinity, and, overall, the indecency of imagination. If, as it’s been said, obscenity can’t be defined but we can know it when we see it, we’ll look hard for a definition of our own while seeking how such material can be utilized artfully rather than to manipulate—never mind simply shock—our audience. Authors studied alongside participant’s own work in this multigenre workshop will include Mary Gaitskill, Roland Barthes, Alissa Nutting, and Susan Sontag.