Faculty of Arts


Writing Poetry

Please note: this is archived course information from 2018 for ENGLISH 343.


This course is for upper-level undergraduates who want to expand their poetry styles and ideas, write material-toward-poetry as well as "finished" poems and develop a reading community in which we attend to each other’s writing. The course operates like a class in drawing or dance, with exercises designed to open your writing perceptions and strengthen your writing muscles.

The last century has been good for poetries in global Englishes: innumerable approaches characterise what’s called poetry. We will discuss and write in some of those approaches. We’ll also investigate websites and books and talk about differences between composition and revision strategies. We will discuss representation, images, rhythms, diction, lines, words, syntax, sounds, rhymes, code mixing, page area, digitality, typography, punctuation, appropriation, performance, translingualism, rearrangement and more. We will discuss particular writing strengths, how to optimise the versioning of your poems and how to fit some poems and poetics together into two portfolios.

Provisional class limits for 2018

Enrolment is limited to 30 students. Selection will be based on GPA, and an evaluation of students’ transcripts to determine the relevance of previous courses undertaken as background to ENGLISH 343. Students must waitlist in the course by 4 December 2017 for 2018 entry. In the event of spaces remaining after the December selection, a further opportunity may be opened in March 2018.

View the course syllabus

Availability 2018

Semester 2


Coordinator(s) Associate Professor Lisa Samuels


We will read three poetry books as well as Canvas postings, handouts, and this syllabus. You need these materials in order to participate in the course.

Laura Mullen, Enduring Freedom (Otis Books 2012)

Tusiata Avia, Fale Aitu | Spirit House (Victoria University Press 2016)

Stephanie Christie, The Facts of Light (Vagabond 2014)


Coursework only


ENGLISH 343: 15.0 points


30 points at Stage II in English, Drama, and/or Writing Studies, and approval by Programme Coordinator



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