Poetics and Creative Writing

Academic year
Subject Area
Literature-Anglo-American Studies
Language of Instruction
Other Languages of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
1st Cycle Studies

Recommended Prerequisites


Teaching Methods

In addition to group discussion and reflection on theoretical and methodological notions, students will be asked to respond to each and every class with a text of their own which will be read at the beginning of the next class. All of these texts (including the ones resulting from the exercises in class) will be part of a portfolio. Each text must also include a brief description of its purpose in terms of the theoretical and methodological questions discussed. The evaluation will take into account this portfolio, the student’s participation in class and a final paper on his/her poetics.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the semester, the student should be able to:

1. understand the material nature of language (sound and graphic representation);

2. explore the available representations and avoid repetition;

3. balance repetition and variation;

4. reflect on as well as interfere in what is considered to be “meaningful” or “nonsense”;

5. identify theoretical and methodological questions of the literary debate;

6. understand and use some of literary studies terminology;

7. contextualize his/her own work, namely in 20th century literary history.

Work Placement(s)



1. Which model for Creative Writing? The materiality of writing. The difference between prose and poetry. Poetic Justice.

2. Sequencial and causal logic, and spacial logic. What does a legible/understandable meaning mean?

3. Inspiration and the importance of memory. Imitation and/or ventriloquy. Pleasure and power.

4. Sound patterns. The origins of poetry and the poet’s social function. Representation and the sacred.

5. What is an author? Literary fields/contexts: the canon. Transdiscursivity and transindividuality.

6. Visual poetry, or how to reify the object on the page. From Lyric to the sculpture-poem. Acrostics and mesostics.

Head Lecturer(s)

John Henry Havelda

Assessment Methods

Periodic Assessment
Mini Tests: 25.0%
Laboratory work or Field work: 25.0%
Synthesis work: 50.0%

Final Assessment
Exam: 100.0%


Aristóteles. (1990). Poética. Lisboa: I. Nacional/C. Moeda.


Bernstein, C. (1997). “A-poética”. In Revista Crítica de Ciências Sociais, 47.

Cooley, D. (1987). The Vernacular Muse. Winnipeg: Turnstone.

Cage, J. (1961): http://archive.org/details/silencelecturesw1961cage

Drucker, J. (1998). Figuring the Word. NY: Granary.

Dworkin, C.; Goldsmith, K. (Eds.). (2011) Against Expression. Evanston: Northwestern U.P.

Foucault, M. (2011). O que é um autor? Lisboa: Vega.

Goldsmith, K. (2011). Uncreative Writing. NY: Columbia U.P.

Hatherly, A.; Teles, G. M.; Santos, Z. (Orgs.) (2004). História e Antologia da Poesia Portuguesa, Séc. XVII, 29. Lisboa: F. C. Gulbenkian. http://www.leitura.gulbenkian.pt/boletim_cultural/files/HALP_29.pdf

Platão. (1997) Fedro. Lisboa: Ed. 70. http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1636/1636-h/1636-h.htm

Vassilakis, N., Hill, C. (2012). The Last Vispo Anthology. Seattle: Fontographics.

WEBSITES: PennSound, epc, ubuweb.