Types of Creative Writing

ENG 313 (004) Poetry & Creative Nonfiction (DA, WI)

Creative Writing (CW) is a pathway for majors in the English Department. This course fulfills the following requirements: Breadth of Field (CW) and 300-level course.


“this is an archive.

it hurts to be a story.

i am the boundary between reality and fiction.”

— Billy-Ray Belcourt



How do we tell the stories of a life? How can we, through the power of writing – because it is a power to be cultivated and shared responsibly – contribute to a more inclusive and accountable world? How can we, in the words of Toni Morrison, take the responsibility of response-ability, more seriously by reading, writing, and performing creative writing? This introductory course is guided by the ʻōlelo noʻeau (Hawaiian proverb) “ma ka hana ka ʻike.” In doing, one learns. Throughout the semester, we will craft foundational knowledge of poetry and creative nonfiction by reading published authors and producing original work ourselves.

Whether you are a beginning or practiced writer, this course will allow you to develop your creative writing skills, explore your voice, and participate in a creative community. In the first half of the semester, we will learn the basic mechanics and techniques of poetry. In the second half of the semester, we will approach the art of creative nonfiction. We will examine works for their craft and technique and experiment with our own writing exercises.

It is crucial to note that while the writing process is vulnerable, it does not have to be alienating or destructive. Throughout the semester, we will build a learning community that is supportive and thoughtful. As the writing workshop is central to our course, students will participate in at least two large workshops, with the possibility of two smaller roundtables.



  • Weekly writing exercises
  • Laulima discussion posts
  • Midterm: Literary Analysis (1250-1500 words, double-spaced with Works Cited)
  • Group recitation
  • Poetry & the People: attendance & written response
  • Two workshop submissions
  • Final portfolio
  • Final Exam: You will recite an original poem that you have memorized. The performance must be at least one minute long.



  • Brandy Nālani McDougall, A Salt Wind-Ka Makani Paʻakai
  • Billy-Ray Belcourt, This Wound is a World

This is a tentative list. If there are any changes, this list will be updated. All other course texts will be available as PDFs or hyperlinks on Laulima.