The annual Summer Seminars at Hope College will focus on the spoken and written word, with topics ranging from how gender affects conversational style; to writing fiction and nonfiction, including family history; to contemporary American poetry.

The seminars will run Monday-Friday, July 29-Aug. 2. This year's four courses are "Creative Writing: Postcards and Radios," "Legacy: A Guide to Writing Personal History," "Let's Talk: Gendered Language in Understanding and Misunderstanding Each Other" and "Reading Contemporary American Poetry."

The seminars will meet concurrently from 9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. in the air-conditioned Van Zoeren Hall on the Hope campus. Refreshments will be provided during mid- morning breaks.

All of the courses are available for undergraduate credit, and most are available for graduate credit or on an audit basis, depending on the needs of the enrollee. Class sizes are limited to 15 students per course.

"Creative Writing: Postcards and Radios" will explore short fiction, sometimes called postcards, and short creative nonfiction, sometimes called radios. Students will read examples of each and also craft works of their own. The course will be taught by Carla Vissers, part-time lecturer in English.

"Legacy: A Guide to Writing Personal History" help provide students with a starting point to write their own life histories or their family's history. The course will include reading, discussion, in-class research and writing. The course will be taught by Carol Braaksma, part- time lecturer in English.

"Let's Talk: Gendered Language in Understanding and Misunderstanding Each Other" will focus on how differences in conversational style by gender have an impact interpersonal relationships, education, work, career paths and images of God. The role of childhood experience will be emphasized. The course will be taught by Dr. Debra H. Swanson, associate professor of sociology.

"Reading Contemporary American Poetry" will run as a book-group style seminar, and is designed for poetry lovers and veterans as well as newcomers to the genre. Participants will read and discuss work by a variety of authors. The course will be taught by David James, adjunct associate professor of English and director of the writing center.

Enrollment for each seminar costs $180 for those who wish to audit, $285 for one hour of undergraduate credit or graduate credit, and $570 for two hours of undergraduate credit. Pre-registration is advised, although final registration will be on Monday, July 29, from 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. in Van Zoeren Hall.

Those interested in attending a seminar should call the Hope College Registrar's Office at (616) 395-7760.