The student muse: creative ways of teaching talent

Alison Habens*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To the timeless question writers face, ‘where do you get your ideas from?', an historical answer is attempted; one which takes us back to ‘divine inspiration’ as it was expressed in classical culture, embodied in the Muses of ancient mythology. Their influence is traced through literary history, from the poets and philosophers who invoked their aid, to the authors who didn’t seem to need them. The Muses’ position as the implied ‘mascots’ of Creative Writing degrees, where genius may be facilitated but talent cannot be taught, is explored; and ways of using them in a classroom context are suggested.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-58
Number of pages10
JournalNew Writing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2007


  • creative writing
  • genius
  • inspiration
  • pedagogy
  • teaching
  • the Muse


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