Types of Creative Writing

ENG 313 Poetry & Creative Nonfiction (fall 2023)

Instructor: Noʻu Revilla    Email: nrevilla@hawaii.edu   


My silences had not protected me. Your silence will not protect you.

— Audre Lorde


Course Description

What stories do you want to see uplifted in the world?

Whose perspectives do you believe are missing, misunderstood, or underrepresented in the literary marketplace?

Toni Morrison famously implored writers: “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” This introductory course commits Morrison’s mandate to the genres of poetry and creative nonfiction. Students will read, discuss, and compose creative texts on a regular basis in order to learn the basic principles of craft and expand our expressive toolkit. 

Creative writing and community building are the primary modes of learning in this course. We will learn how to show up for our stories and how to build a safe and brave writing community. 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. Storytelling is a labor of the collective. 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 meet each other where we are at and grow with intention beyond what we know (or think we know).


Required Course Materials

This course has $0 textbook costs. Students are responsible for coordinating regular Internet access and understanding how to navigate their hawaii.edu email accounts as well as our Laulima website. Check your email and our Laulima website on a regular basis for announcements.

To help you develop a regular writing practice, we will use freewriting and composing exercises. What is the difference between freewriting and composing? When freewriting, we strive to generate language; the focus is quantity. The goal of freewrites is not to produce polished writing but rather to use writing as a tool to explore ideas. When composing, we strive to craft a story; the focus is quality. Please purchase a physical notebook to house your handwritten freewrites and other in-class writing exercises. Bring your notebook and a pen or pencil to each class.