Spring 2024 - ENGL 372 E100

Creative Writing I: Poetry (4)

Class Number: 7679

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 8 – Apr 12, 2024: Mon, 4:30–8:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 24, 2024
    Wed, 7:00–10:00 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    30 units; or two 200-division English courses; or formal declaration in the creative writing minor and ENGL 272.



A seminar-workshop in the theory and practice of creative writing with specific emphasis on poetry.


Wonder and Precision

“Art doesn’t change you. Attention changes you. Art is one version of attention”

                        Patrick Rosal, Atang: An Altar for Listening to the Beginning of the World


As intoned by the quote above from poet and essayist Patrick Rosal, we will be practicing attention in this course. This work is guided by our questions—about ourselves, the world we live in, the worlds that bring us to this one, the worlds we dream of, and the worlds beyond.


Because we are working in language, there is an inherent collaboration to the work of creative writing: we respond to the language and stories that have shaped us, that we encounter in our everyday lives, the ones that move us and trouble us, the ones that snag and hold our attention; our act of offering more attention is how we respond; attention to each other's work deepens our own. One of the gifts of art is that it reveals to us questions we didn't know we were asking (a paraphrase of visionary author James Baldwin) and offers us responses that might lead to more wonder.


Although this course is divided roughly into two halves: (1) generation—Towards Wonder: Our Voices and Obsessions—and (2) revision—Towards Precision: Experimentation and Revision, we will engage in both generation and revision throughout.


We will begin class weekly with a free-write. We will hold discussions about our readings, our process, and the highlighted topics, which will lead to prompts and further in-class and take-home writing, some of which we will revise.


With a foundation in practice, learners will deepen their relationships to poems, their attendant creative processes, and what these offer, while honing their poetic curiosity, attention, and precision.


  • Reading journal and homework prompts 30%
  • Writing & Refection Journal (10 opening free-writes + 10 at-home entries) 10%
  • Attendance and Participation (including peer reviews, in-class writing, quizzes) 10%
  • Portfolio I + Reflection 20%
  • Portfolio II + Reflection 20%
  • Final Reflection 5%
  • Final Class Reading 5%


Education research shows that improvement and discernment in skills such as creative writing come primarily through the processes of iterative and reflective practice. This course will therefore include: in-class writing, reading responses, homework prompts, writing journals, multiple drafts, and revision. Learners will write and read a lot.


To offer each other the most collaborative support and to make discussion most fruitful to the process, learners will be expected to come to every class prepared and ready to engage.


Learners will practice attentive reading of each others' work for the purpose of offering reflective, generative, and respectful feedback, deepening their understanding of their own processes, and helping them transform feedback they receive into processual learning.


This is a place where you can expect to challenge your own and others’ ideas of writing, and to explore new ground in your writing and reading. Each student is an important member of the community that is this class; your thoughtful, creative, and respectful participation is expected and appreciated.



A folder for handouts and/or Materials posted online (SFU Bookstore; stationary stores and sections).

Access to a printer

A writing journal or for in-class and take home writing and reflection assignments (SFU Bookstore; Foo Hung Curios; Opus Art Supplies, Rath Art Supplies).

All other supplementary materials will be available on our Canvas website.


We Were Not Alone (Community Building Art Works, 2021). Hari Alluri and Seema Reza (editors). Available for purchase at Massy Books (discounted) –  https://storestock.massybooks.com/ – or other independent local bookstores (not ordered to SFU Bookstore)

Read Ritual: An Anthology (Locked Horn Press: 2023. Hari Alluri and Amanda Fuller, editors (Locked Horn Press, 2023): eBookhttp://www.lockedhornpress.org/buy-here/e-book-read-ritual).


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Department Undergraduate Notes:

IMPORTANT NOTE Re 300 and 400 level courses: 75% of spaces in 300 level English courses, and 100% of spaces in 400 level English courses, are reserved for declared English Major, Minor, Extended Minor, Joint Major, and Honours students only, until open enrollment begins.

For all On-Campus Courses, please note the following:
- To receive credit for the course, students must complete all requirements.
- Tutorials/Seminars WILL be held the first week of classes.
- When choosing your schedule, remember to check "Show lab/tutorial sections" to see all Lecture/Seminar/Tutorial times required.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html