Types of Creative Writing

ENG 313 (003) Poetry & Spoken Word

Spring 2022 / MWF 10:30 – 11:20 / Online Synchronous


“I keep thinking how my life would have been changed if I’d known earlier about this second throat, this poetry, this alternate way of processing my life. I want people to look at me and say, ‘I can do that.’ I want them to see that words can be fists, flowers, tears, screams, prayers, and apologies.”

— Patricia Smith, four-time National Poetry Slam champ


“I think that the first steps are always oral.”
— Miguel Algarín, Puerto Rican poet & co-founder of Nuyorican Poets Café


Course Description

Poetry belongs in the body. Our bodies carry important stories that deserve to be seen, heard, and

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. In this course, we begin to develop the emotional intelligence, accountability patterns, and writing practices that will enrich your advanced study in poetry and spoken word or your other pursuits in creative community and leadership.

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 Materials ($0 textbook costs)

Internet Access to Laulima & Zoom

Students are responsible for understanding how to navigate their hawaii.edu email accounts as well as our Laulima website and Zoom meetings. Check your email and our Laulima website on a regular basis as any changes will be announced in class and via email and announcements on Laulima.


Major Assignments

  • 4-5 sets of posts to Laulima forum
  • Two short close readings
  • Group poetry podcast
  • Poetry chapbook
  • One-on-one rehearsal of spoken word poem with professor
  • Reflection and revision packet
  • End-of-the-semester hōʻike