Creative Writing

English 313: Drama, Poetry, and Community
TR 12:00-1:15
Instructor: Aiko Yamashiro –

“we are here because we must remember/summon all our memories/stony scrubby slimy mucky/luminous audacious gracious sumptious/not one of them not even the most stunted must be denied/they are all our inheritance/they are all our history”

– Chantal Spitz, “The Words to Speak Our Woes,” trans. Jean Anderson


In this course we will explore how poetry, drama, and performance can be places and practices where communities can grieve, remember, fight, awaken, reconnect, eat, raise conflict and complex issues, and transform. We will be attentive to how communities are complicated and full of motion. We will learn basic principles of the craft of poetry and drama, and try out unique forms inspired by community-engaged creative projects. We will create our own thoughtful and caring protocols for writing for and with communities. We will be a supportive writing community for each other and push each other to take risks.


Grade Breakdown: 100 pts

Attendance and Participation: 20 pts

Weekly writing and reading responses: 10 pts

**Review of theater performance: 10 pts

**Interview monologue assignment: 10 pts

**Research/documentary poem assignment: 10 pts

**Poetry rewrite midterm: 10 pts

**Writing Workshop Leadership: 10 pts

**Group Performance: 10 pts

**Final Portfolio: 10 pts

**You must complete all major assignments in order to pass this course.

A (93-100) A- (90-92) B+ (87-89) B (83-86) B- (80-82) C+ (77-79) C (73-76) C- (70-72) D+ (67-69) D (63-66) D- (60-62) F (<60)


Required Texts (available at UHM bookstore):

Hoʻihoʻi Hou: A Tribute to George Helm and Kimo Mitchell (ed. Rodney Morales), Recombinant (Ching-In Chen), Salmon is Everything: Community-Based Theater in the Klamath Watershed (Theresa May), Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 (Anna Deavere Smith)