Creative Writing – Poetry

This assignment consists of three parts: a poem, a reflection on your work and the revision process, and a formal response to a classmate’s poem. The poem and reflection should be submitted on your class site. The formal response will be submitted as a hardy copy in class.


Your poem should be 5-30 lines. If you want to write haiku or other short poems, you should write multiple poems to get to the minimum line requirement, and there should be some sort of thematic or narrative connection between the poems. The maximum line requirement applies as well, both for the sake of our available time to workshop our poems and so that you can better focus your attention and ideas.

There are no particular constraints on the subject matter or language of your poem, but please be mindful and respectful of your classmates in terms of what you are asking them to read. For further thoughts and activities to help you develop your poem, see this handout.


Your writing in the reflection (400-700 words) should address the following prompts and questions:

  • What were you hoping to achieve in your poem? Did you want to tell a particular story? Capture a particular feeling or experience? Create a particular mood? Convey a particular message? To what extent did you achieve this goal? In what ways was your poem most successful? What are its main limitations?
  • Explain your choices about your use of language. What words in the poem are most important to you? Why did you choose them? How about things like line length, rhythm, and rhyme? Why did you craft the poem in the way that you did?
  • What changes did you make to your poem through the revision process? Why?
  • Which poem(s) from your classmates did you find most successful? What did you like about the poem(s)? What was most successful – engaging, moving, insightful, beautiful, etc. – about them?


The expectations for your response to a classmate are detailed here. On the day that you offer a formal response, you should bring two hard copies of the response: one for your classmate and one for me.