Types of Creative Writing

Poetry & Life Writing with Noʻu Revilla


                    “Words feel realer on paper.

                    Don’t forget the hurt. But remember the love, too.

                    You can make sense of both of them.”

                       — former 313 student, fall 2019

Course Description

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 sharing 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 with regular and reliable feedback. It is crucial to note that while the writing process is vulnerable, it does not have to be alienating or destructive. There will be zero tolerance for hate speech, sexual harassment, or any other kind of hostility in this class. We will treat each other with respect and learn to support each other as writers. Intellectual, artistic, and spiritual generosity are not passive practices. So while our learning materials may generate passionate discussions, we will honor the intellectual, emotional, and physical space we need to grow beyond what we know or what we think we know.


Required Course Texts

  • Amorak  Huey and W. Todd Kaneko. Poetry: A Writer’s Guide and Anthology (ISBN: 978-1-350-02015-3)
  • Brandy Nālani McDougall, The Salt Wind-Ka Makani Paʻakai (ISBN: 978-0-9668220-5-2)
  • Brenda Miller and Suzanne Paola, Tell It Slant: Creating, Refining, and Publishing Creative Nonfiction (ISBN: 978-1-260-45459-8)


Major Assignments

  • Weekly drafts of original writing
  • Regular contributions to Laulima discussion forum
  • Short close reading
  • Two revision statements
  • Literary analysis midterm
  • Class recitation
  • Individual recitation of original poem
  • Multimedia final portfolio