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Introduction to Writing Poetry

Course Code: CRWR 1101
Faculty: Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Department: Creative Writing
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Tutorial
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

This course concentrates on the process of writing poetry. Students will draw from their individual experiences to create poems that are clear, arresting and well-crafted. Students will develop an ear for the musicality and resonance of language, a clear sense of image, and a consideration of audience. Poems written by students will be read and discussed by the instructor and students in a workshop.

Course Content

Selected poems from published texts.

Students’ manuscripts.

Methods of Instruction

Classes will be conducted in the workshop format. The following may be combined with the workshop:

  • lectures and discussions
  • small group work
  • assigned reading and class presentations
  • interviews with instructor
  • exercises
  • recitations

Means of Assessment

At least ten poems submitted and revised throughout the term will constitute 60% of the grade. At least one of the poems must be in a traditional form, such as sonnet, sestina or villanelle. Other evaluations may include class participation, in-class assignments; report on a book of poems, or a presentation of a memorized poem.

Students are required to attend 80% of the workshops. A student missing more than 20% of the workshops without receiving prior permission from the instructor will receive a 0 mark for participation. Leaving after the break is considered half an absence.

Learning Outcomes

General Objectives:

The student will transform his or her experiences and insights into appropriate poetic form and language. The student will develop a poetic voice by adapting recognized forms and structures to his or her own expression. The student will produce poetry to be presented to the class for discussion and suggestions for revision.

Specific Objectives:


  1. The student will consider personal experience and learn how this material can be used to create a poem.
  2. The student will develop an understanding of poetic techniques through classroom exercises.


  1. The student will learn to manipulate tone, movement, and imagery in order to produce a complete poem.
  2. The student will recognize a variety of poetic forms and learn to use these forms in his or her own poems, where appropriate.
  3. The student will learn to develop writing habits consistent with the production of quality written work.
  4. Over the term, the student will produce poetry that shows a growth in his or her understanding and rendering of poetic form and expression.


  1. The student will learn to read the work of published poets to discover how poets use form, imagery and style as an aid to expression.
  2. The student will learn to adapt and use the poetic techniques he or she discovers in published works of poetry.
  3. By reading his or her work aloud in the classroom, the student will develop the critical skills necessary to judge the effectiveness of his or her poetry.


  1. The student will learn to recognize the value of revision as an essential part of the writing process and will revise his or her work to its full potential.
  2. By participating in the workshop, the student will evaluate critical suggestions from the instructor and his or her peers, and incorporate these into the revised poems, where suitable.

course prerequisites

Any College entrance Language Proficiency Requirement with the exceptions of the Douglas College Course Options in ELLA or ENGU and the assessments listed below. These require the specified higher standard for entry into CMNS, CRWR and ENGL courses.
• a minimum grade of C- in ELLA 0460, or a minimum grade of C- in both ELLA 0465 and 0475, OR
• a minimum grade of C- in ENGU 0450 or ENGU 0455 or ENGU 0490, OR
• Mastery in ELLA 0330 and any two of ELLA 0310, 0320, or 0340, OR
• TOEFL overall score of 83 with a minimum of 21 in Writing, OR
• IELTS overall score of 6.5 with no band below 6.0; for individual bands below 6.0:
       • if in Speaking, ELLA 0210 required
       • if in Reading or Listening, ELLA 0220 required
       • if in Writing, ELLA 0230 and ELLA 0240 required
• CLB score of 8, OR
• CEFR level B2+, OR
• CAEL minimum overall and essay score of 70 (computer or paper based), OR
• recognized equivalent or exemption.


Courses listed here must be completed either prior to or simultaneously with this course:

  • No corequisite courses


Courses listed here are equivalent to this course and cannot be taken for further credit:

  • No equivalency courses

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.