Introduction to Literature: Creative Writing

In this course, we will be concentrating on the use of silence in poetry in relation to historical context, poetic form, technique, and performance. From readings that focus on post-colonial to contemporary times, we will contemplate how silences are created, broken, and played with in written/visual/spoken forms. We will consider how poetry is used to create a political stance and challenge norms. From this study, we will be inspired to write our own poetry and analyze our own writing process. Where are we silencing ourselves? How can we make silence work for us in the way that the poets we read are doing?


Class assignments will consist of one formal essay discussing core poets from class and a class presentation on poems of the student’s choosing. Students will be encouraged to write their own poems in response to prompts given and will workshop their work in class. By the end of the semester, students will be expected to have a portfolio of their poetry.


We will be reading from a range of poets including but limited to: Brandy Nālani McDougall, Dylan Tomas, Kamal Brathwaite, Li-Young Lee, Louise Gluck, Joy Harjo, Agha Shahid Ali, Elizabeth Bishop, Rajiv Mohabir, Ilya Kaminsky. Texts will be available as pdfs on Laulima.