The Art of Writing Poetry


Fall 2014 and Winter 2015 quarters

Taught by

visual arts, creative writing, poetry


Students should have reasonable college-level writing skills, such as may be gained from Freshmen English or Core program experience.

Poets use language to create an experience for the reader by using images, metaphors, similes, rhythm and sound like musicians use notes, sound and rhythm to tempt audiences to feel deeply what can be known about the roots of the human condition. 

In this writing-intensive program, students will read poetry by a wide variety of writers, study poetic form and explore a variety of strategies for writing poetry. Fall quarter, they will read Western Wind: An Introduction to Poetry by John Frederick Nims and David Mason, and will learn about the history of poetry and the development of different styles and techniques for writing poems. There will be assignments online that allow students to listen to poets and performers read poetry and study techniques for reading poetry as well as writing it. All students will be required to write at least two poems each week and to present those poems for discussion in a writers' workshop. They will continue to work on drafts throughout the quarter. Students will also be required to attend poetry readings, and to study poetry publications and strategies for publishing their work in a variety of magazines, journals and online sites. At the end of the quarter, they will hand in a portfolio that contains all the drafts and comments on their poems with a clean final draft on top.

Winter quarter, students will have the opportunity to study a diverse collection of chapbook and book length collections of poems and to discuss how poets choose and arrange poems to prepare them for submission to a press. They will continue to hand in two poems a week for workshop and to work on drafts of their poetry throughout the quarter and submit new drafts to their faculty. They will study publishers of poetry books, and hand in a portfolio with all their drafts at the end of Winter quarter. They will also prepare poetry for submission to a journal before the end of the quarter. 

Program Details

Fields of Study

Preparatory for studies or careers in

creative writing, editing, and teaching English.

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Day


Buy books for this program through Greener Bookstore.

Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning: Access to web-based tools required, but use of these tools does not displace any face-to-face instruction.

Special Expenses

Students will be expected to pay for transportation to poetry readings in Seattle and perhaps admission to one or two such events. Students will also be expected to make copies of two poems a week for the faculty and all the students in the program for writers' workshop.


Date Revision
March 11th, 2014 New opportunity added.

Registration Information

Credits: 16 (Fall); 16 (Winter)

Class standing: Sophomore–Senior

Maximum enrollment: 25


Course Reference Numbers

So - Sr (16 credits): 10185
So - Sr (1-16 credits): 10548

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Accepting New Students


Students joining the program will need to have read any edition of Western Wind: An Introduction to Poetry by John Fredrick Nims and David Mason by the start of the quarter.  Students are also encouraged to email Gail Tremblay three poems they have written, so she may prepare materials that will integrate them into the program. The faculty will email students fall materials for review.

Course Reference Numbers

So - Sr (16 credits): 20142
So - Sr (1-16 credits): 20281

Go to to register for this program.

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