WRITE202-20B (HAM)

Creative Writing: Voice and Image

15 Points

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Division of Arts Law Psychology & Social Sciences
School of Arts


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: alexandra.cullen@waikato.ac.nz

Placement/WIL Coordinator(s)


Student Representative(s)

Lab Technician(s)


: anne.ferrier-watson@waikato.ac.nz

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Paper Description

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This course explores the basic elements of imaginative writing – image and voice – concentrating the student’s attention on the central writing practices of ‘seeing’ and ‘saying.’ The emphasis is on deepening and honing perception, exploring concrete and energetic imagery, and developing awareness of the cadence and impact of voice.
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Paper Structure

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Each lecture will discuss techniques and structures central to vital imagery and compelling voice, examining these techniques in action through close analysis of selected poetry and prose. Workshop exercises will then stimulate the student to apply these discoveries to their own writing, challenging them to experiment with aspects of image and voice through direct engagement with the page. Work-in-progress generated by these exercises will be presented weekly for constructive critique online and within workshop sessions, producing a portfolio for final assessment.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the major genres of imaginative writing, including poetry, short fiction, prose poetry and the novel.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Demonstrate awareness of key structures of imaginative writing – such as characterisation, setting, dialogue, point of view, pacing, sound, form and style – and an ability to target and strengthen these facets in their own creative writing.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Exercise an ability to ‘read like a writer,’ working closely with selected texts to identify and analyse creative techniques central to generating dynamic imagery and powerful voice.
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  • Exercise their own imaginative energy through interaction with creative prompts, tasks and models based on connected texts.
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  • Demonstrate workshop skills for peer review, and an ability to critique their own and others’ work in progress.
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  • Demonstrate an ability to revise and proofread their creative work, responding to constructive critique from workshop feedback, and developing an awareness of substantive and structural editing.
    Linked to the following assessments:
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All assessments may be submitted online. Instructions for submission will be provided via Moodle. In the event of Covid-19 Alert Levels rising, assessment structure may be reviewed to meet changing student needs.
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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Assessment One: Poetry
21 Aug 2020
4:30 PM
  • Online: Upload to Moodle Forum
  • Hand-In: Faculty Information Centre (J Block)
2. Assessment Two: Prose
9 Oct 2020
4:30 PM
  • Online: Upload to Moodle Forum
  • Hand-In: Faculty Information Centre (J Block)
3. Workshop Submission, Attendance & Participation
4. Final Portfolio
26 Oct 2020
4:30 PM
  • Online: Upload to Moodle Forum
  • Hand-In: Faculty Information Centre (J Block)
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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Chuck Palahniuk Fight Club

Mayhem Anthology

Course Reader: available for purchase from Campus Copy, containing selected poetry and prose extracts from the following:


Billy Collins, ‘Introduction to Poetry.’

Zbigniew Herbert, ‘Five Men.’

Adrienne Rich, ‘Diving into the Wreck.’

Archibald McLeish, ‘Ars Poetica.’

Olivia Macassey, ‘Outhwaite Park.’

Emma Neale, ‘Confessional Poem.’

Olivia Macassey ‘A & E.’

Rae Varcoe, ‘How Can I Tell You This In 30 Minutes?’

Honor Moore, ‘Mourning Pictures.’

Lynn Emanuel, ‘Frying Trout While Drunk.’

Vincent O’Sullivan, ‘Surfacing.’

James Brown, ‘The End of the Runway.’

Philip Larkin, ‘This be the Verse.’

Wallace Stevens, ‘Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird.’

Dinah Hawken, ‘Talking to a Tree Fern.’

Anna Smaill, ‘Apples.’

Beverley Farmer, ‘Figs.’

Sylvia Plath, ‘Mirror.’

Craig Raine, ‘A Martian Sends a Postcard Home.’

Sonja Yelich, ‘1YA.’

Sonja Yelich, ‘writing desk.’

Lynn Emanuel, ‘Single Girl. One Room Flat.’

Louise Erdrich, ‘Painting of a White Gate and Sky.’

Jayne Anne Phillips, ‘Wedding Picture.’

Gregory O’Brien, ‘Walking Woman.’

Sonya Yelich, ‘whangaparoa – on the sundeck.’

Sharon Olds, ‘I Go Back to May 1937.’

Anne Sexton, ‘Baby Picture.’

Helen Chasin, ‘The Word Plum.’

Mark Strand, ‘Eating Poetry.’

Donna Masini, ‘Cherry Ice.’

Denise Levertov, ‘O Taste and See.’

Sharon Olds, 'Sex Without Love.'

Sharon Olds, 'I Cannot Forget the Woman in the Mirror.'

Natasha Saje, ‘Creation Story.’

Emma Neale, ‘Four and Seven’ and ‘The Artist’s Models Reply.’

Hone Tuwhare, ‘Inconspicuously Sensual.’

Rachel McAlpine, ‘Burning the Liberty Bodice.’

Emily Dickinson, ‘It Was not Death,’ ‘The Soul has Bandaged moments’ & ‘I felt a Funeral in my Brain.’

John Donne, ‘Holy Sonnet XIV.’

Philip Larkin, ‘The Trees.’

Steven Cramer, ‘Villanelle After a Burial.’

Sylvia Plath, ‘Mad Girl’s Love Song.’

Dylan Thomas, ‘Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night.’

Mary Stanley, ‘Sestina.’

Dan Lechay, ‘Ghost Villanelle.’

Bill Manhire, ‘Erebus Voices: The Mountain’ and ‘Erebus Voices: The Dead.’


Patrick White, 'Down at the Dump'

Anne Enright,The Gathering

Carol Shields, The Stone Diaries

Maurice Duggan, ‘Along Rideout Road That Summer’

Ronald Hugh Morrieson, The Scarecrow

Luke Davies, Candy

Tim Winton, The Turning

Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the


Helen Zahavi, Dirty Weekend

Ernest Hemingway 'Hills Like White Elephants'

Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men

Don de Lillo, Underworld

Rick Moody, The Ice Storm

Annie Proulx, Brokeback Mountain

Handouts detailing workshop exercises will be circulated during each lecture.

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Online Support

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There is an online Moodle community for this course. Moodle can be accessed via iWaikato. Lecture material, tutorial exercises, workshop discussion forums, assignment details, important dates and the paper outline will all be available from this site.

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The expected workload for this paper is 12 hours per week (4 hours of class time and 8 hours of self-directed study) throughout the 17 week semester.

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Linkages to Other Papers

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WRITE300 Creative Nonfiction

WRITE546 Creative Writing: Writing and Embodiment

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Restricted papers: ENGL215

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