Writing Poetry

Please note: this is archived course information from 2020 for ENGLISH 343.


This course is for upper-level undergraduates who want to expand their poetry styles and ideas, write material-toward-poetry as well as finished poems and develop a reading community in which we attend to each other’s writing. The course operates like a class in drawing or dance, with exercises designed to open your writing perceptions and strengthen your writing muscles.

The last century has been good for poetries in global Englishes: innumerable approaches characterise what’s called poetry. We will discuss and write in some of those approaches. We’ll also investigate websites, books and selected readings and talk about differences between composition and revision strategies. We will discuss and experiment with poetic representation, images, rhythms, lines, word choice, syntax, sounds, rhymes, code mixing, page area, digitality, typography, punctuation, appropriation, performance, translingualism, rearrangement and more. We will discuss different kinds of poetry writing strengths, how to optimise the versioning of your poems and how to fit your poems and poetics together into two portfolios.

Enrolment limits and procedure for 2020

Enrolment is limited to 30 students. Selection will be based on GPA plus evaluation of a sample of recent poetry.

Instructions for enrolment: 

In order to ensure consideration for entry, potential students must waitlist in the course no later than 31 January 2020. 

Student applicants must also email Professor Michele Leggott (m.leggott@auckland.ac.nz) no later than 31 January 2020, with Subject line ‘ENGL 343 application (student name).’ The email must include their English 252 grade if available, their reason for wishing to take the 343 course, a copy of their recent University transcript, and a Word file containing up to 3 pages of their recent poetry. 

Successful ENGL 343 applicants in the November-January application window will be notified no later than 31 January 2020 and will then be enrolled into the course. 

Availability 2020

Semester 1


Coordinator(s) Professor Lisa Samuels
Lecturer(s) Professor Michele Leggott



Recommended Reading



Coursework only


ENGLISH 343: 15 points


30 points at Stage II in English, Drama, and/or Writing Studies and approval by Programme Coordinator