Emil Hakl started in the eighties to write poetry and dramatize literary texts, which he staged for amateur companies. He was one of the founding fathers of the free literary association The Modern Illiterate (founded in 1988). The emphasis was on regular readings in clubs in and outside Prague. Hakl himself said that from an acoustic and social point of view the performance in the National Technical Museum in Prague was the most interesting when altogether three people were in the audience.
Since 1988 Hakl also writes works of prose, which were published in various magazines. The first two officially published titles by Hakl were volumes of verse and some of his poems were included in Anthologie de la poésie tchéque contemporaine 1945-2000 (Gallimard, Paris, 2002). His next book in 2001 was a volume of short stories, followed by two novels and another volume of short stories. His novel O rodičích a dětech (Of Kids & Parents) was awarded with the prestigious Magnesia Litera Prize for prose in the year 2002. His last novel Pravidla směšného chování (Rules of Peculiar Behaviour), a kind of follow-up to Of Kids & Parents, was awarded with the Josef Škvorecký Prize.