Author Biographies

Alyssa Jewell is a Ph.D. student at Western Michigan University and edits poetry for Waxwing and Third Coast. Her poems have appeared in Best New Poets, Virginia Quarterly Review, Poetry Daily, and Witness, among other publications. She lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan where she teaches ESL and creative writing classes.


This article addresses the gap between ESL and creative writing in college-level ESL writing courses. In ESL classrooms, creative writing activities may be implemented sporadically, but rarely, if ever, prove part of a standard, long-term curriculum. However, the benefits of utilizing creative writing in ESL classrooms are manifold. Highlighted here are various short-term studies and personal accounts that examine smaller creative writing assignments used in college ESL classroom settings. Gloria Anzaldúa has provided a philosophical rationale and springboard for engaging in this pedagogy and its potential wider applications, especially through her bi-lingual approach to creative scholarship. Felicia Rose Chavez’s anti-racist workshop model has provided a means for practical implementation of creative writing activities in the ESL classroom. Multiple studies in the ESL field confirm what Anzaldúa has always known: creativity empowers language learners.

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