Creative Writing

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Greetings! Whatcom Community College currently offers an Introduction to Creative Writing course each quarter—taught by different creative writing instructors to ensure diversity of form and content. This English 236 course is designed to acquaint students with various forms of creative writing, particularly fiction and poetry, and encourage the study of the craft of writing creatively. To facilitate learning the craft and appreciation of fiction and poetry, students are asked to read and think critically about other writers who have come before them, so that they too might see themselves creating fine pieces and seeing them through to publication, perhaps in WCC’s own Noisy Water Review or another excellent publishing forum. Above all, students will explore their own imagination and talent, and hopefully learn to love writing.

In addition, two spots are held in each class for returning creative writing students to take this course again with a new instructor. This advanced 237 course allows dedicated students to return to the basics, while still building upon the skills they began to cultivate in 236. As well as taking on extra readings, 237 students will also have advanced writing projects they design with the help of their instructors.

Click on a name below to find statements put together by current creative writing faculty, along with sample exercises and writing samples. We look forward to seeing you in our classes!

Kenyon, Joanna

  • Departments:English Composition & Literature, Creative Writing
  • Divisions:Arts & Humanities, Kelly Hall (KLY)
  • Title:English Adjunct Faculty
  • Phone:360.383.3906
  • Email:
  • Office LocationKLY 112

About the teacher and writer: 

I see writing as a task with a thousand reasons. Whether writing prose or poetry, we are creating truth even as we unravel it. We shamelessly make ourselves into heroes, villains, fools, adventurers, detectives, lovers, philosophers, and sometimes ruthlessly venomous exacters of vengeance (or justice). We can live a thousands lives we do not have time for, just as we can strive to understand and appreciate the thousands of lives we do lead. We can solve puzzles, or puzzle out the solver, or spend an eternity simply looking at the world. We use words like clay, or words like the whittle that carves the clay. We can do all of that, I think.

I primarily write prose—both fiction and nonfiction—in my writing life, and tend to obsess on travel and “home,” interiority, narrative design, and the way different stories overlap. In addition, I went to graduate school at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where we talked about the commonality and difference of all media and genre. Since then, I also dabble in prose poetry, book-making, computer graphics, and photography.

I approach teaching creative writing much as I approach writing: I want to do it all, and I settle for what there’s time for. I feel that all writers should be free to try everything, perhaps even all at once, in an open environment. I also am a strong believer that to be a writer or artist, we must also be readers and critics; knowledge of craft only unlocks doors, or perhaps the better metaphor is that it helps us build the mansion, weatherproof the windows, test the integrity of our foundation, and design an interior where it feels good to belong. Thus, in my classes at WCC we study writing and we write—all forms and genres! And with joy that we get to create!

Sample class exercise:

kenyon

Samples of her work:

Click here to see a nonfiction piece she's proud of, which she wrote over a flurried weekend down in Ecuador.
Click here for a slightly weirder fiction piece that uses some of her signature image-work.

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