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Advanced Poetry Writing

Course Code: CRWR 2201
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 writing poems, on developing an individual’s voice and craft in these poems, and on deepening the understanding of prosody. It includes instruction in writing poetry and developing one’s own style, while exposing students to a variety of poetic forms and devices. The student is expected to master certain forms; these forms and other poems will be read and discussed by the instructor and students in a workshop format. It is recommended, but not required, that students enrol in English 1114 (Studies in Poetry) before or while taking CRWR 2201.

Course Content

Selected poems from published texts, students’ manuscripts.

Methods of Instruction

Classes will be conducted in the workshop format and may include:

  • in-class exercises
  • recitations of poems by others
  • poetry readings
  • lectures and discussions
  • small group work
  • assigned reading and class presentations.

Means of Assessment

  1. At least ten poems submitted fairly evenly throughout the term (no more than two poems may be submitted per week), and revisions of the above submitted at the end of the term in a portfolio valued at a minimum of 60% of the course grade. The following are requirements of the course to be included in the portfolio.
    • Two or more poems on a single theme.
    • A poem in which the first line is provided by the instructor and the poem is completed by the student.
    • A poem based on a traditional myth.
    • At least three poems written in traditional forms: villanelle, sestina and sonnet.
    • An imitation. (The first stanza will be given by the instructor from the work of an established writer, and the student will be required to complete a second stanza in the same style. This poem must be narrative or lyrical free verse, not written in a traditional form.)
    • A 500-750 word poetic testimony: i.e. a well-developed personal poetic statement and exploration of what constitutes poetry and the poetic process for the student. It may include the student’s definition of poetry, criteria for good poetry, and an analysis of what motivated the student to write. Examples of poetic theory by other poets will be provided. This will be averaged in as part of the portfolio mark.
  2. A 500-750 word book report on a volume of poetry by a contemporary Canadian poet published within the previous calendar year (no more than two years since publication date). This assignment may be an opportunity for students to attend a poetry reading. The report must include a summary, context, analysis, evaluation. Value: 20% of course grade. Due on a date determined by the instructor.
  3. Class participation: 20% of a course grade.
    May include:
    • response to peer work in workshops
    • contribution to class discussion
    • recitations, readings and performances of work
    • preparedness in terms of readings and assignments.

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 grade of 0 in Class Participation. Leaving after the break is considered half an absence. Persistent lateness (3 or more Times) is counted as an absence.  

Learning Outcomes

General Objectives:

Students will learn what elements of the poetic tradition are at work in their own poems, and thereby learn to develop and broaden their own technical capabilities as a result. They will generate poems in response to a variety of structured assignments, learning to recognize their own poetic strengths and weaknesses. Students will present work–both their own poems and analyses of poems from texts–to the class for discussion.

Specific Objectives:


  1. Students will develop a general understanding of the major traditions of poetry.
  2. Students will learn to read published work with an eye to discovering the craft of other poets.
  3. Students will learn to recognize the nature of inspiration at work in the writing of their poems.


  1. Students will write poems demonstrating their ability to work in more than one traditional form.
  2. Students will write a series of poems demonstrating their ability to explore one theme or subject from different approaches.
  3. Students will learn to write an imitation of a published poem as a means of exploring style.


  1. Students will learn to edit and revise their work.
  2. Students will work with other students to identify aspects of poems that both succeed or do not yet succeed, articulating clearly why such is the case.
  3. Students will learn to give and receive constructive criticism in the workshop.
  4. Students will learn to present work in a professional manner.

course prerequisites

A grade of B in CRWR 1101 plus satisfactory result on College Writing Assessment or substitution/equivalent as stated in College Calendar, or permission of instructor.


ENGL 1114 recommended.

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.