Write your best poetry yet

10 sessions

The course includes 10 sessions of 2 hours each and will finish with a special graduation event

3 big awards

At the graduation event, we'll give three awards: Best Poetry Award; Writers' Award; Readers' Award

beat your best

Face the ultimate challenge - yourself - and beat it like it owes you money


Join the course and get access to our exclusive, member-only forum to share and discuss your poetry

Core philosophy


Creative writing is about disinhibition (allowing yourself to write) and craft (structuring, shaping, polishing). The course will look at both sides of this balance.

Tom Phillips, tutor at the Poetry Course

Specific challenges

along the way


a. k. a. lesson plan

What is poetry?


An introduction illustrated with poems demonstrating the huge variety of possibilities that poetry offers  - from oral epics to love sonnets, from modernist collage to rap and spoken word. Poetry as a means of finding value and meaning in experience & of asking questions to yourself.

Where inspiration comes from


Poets ‘find’ poems in all sorts of unlikely places… We'll look at different kinds of poems to see where writers have taken inspiration – e. g. ‘I do this I do that’ poems, ‘found’ poems, ‘confessional’ poems, ‘conceptual’ poems, etc.

We'll also talk about reading as a writer – dismantling a poem and seeing how it works.

How poems work


This is about the ‘toolbox’ that poets can draw on – the forms, techniques and other things that you can play around with…


We'll focus on key forms, techniques and tools for writing poetry: rhythm & meter, sound, rhyme, conventional forms (sonnet, haiku, etc.), free verse, image/metaphor/symbol.

Why some poems seem difficult


Poetry often goes ‘out on a limb’ and can seem difficult. Often because one of the ‘jobs’ that poets do is to be attentive to the language and its possibilities – i. e. to find new ways of using it creatively.

We'll explore experimental poetry – avant-garde ‘schools’ and manifestoes (Dada, Surrealism, The Beats, Concrete Poetry, visual/graphic poems, sound poems, etc.)

Poetry & music, poetry & art


Poetry is very often inspired by other art forms – especially music (which it’s said to resemble) and visual art. But also there’s poems written to be set to music and also ‘text art’.

We'll dive into poetry inspired by music; poetry written for music; poetry responding to art (ekphrasis); poetry in visual art (text art).

Poetry & place


Why is ‘place’ such an important theme in poetry?


We'll talk about poetry as psychogeography; poetry as ‘accommodation’; familiarisation and defamiliarization.

The art of revision


We'll talk about revision as a crucial part of the poetry-writing process – identifying opportunities and enhancements; techniques for positively revising work.

Putting poetry on its feet


We'll delve into slam poetry & spoken word, satirical poetry and political/protest poetry – writing to be heard.

Performing poetry on stage


With poetry being one of the best literary genres for performing, we'll take our time to explore the approaches and techniques to performing poetry in front of an audience.

Publishing & promoting your poetry


We'll pay attention to publishing and promoting your work. What are the options? We'll discuss conventional publishing, self-publishing, online outlets, poetry films for YouTube, Instagram poetry, blogging/vlogging.


We'll also recap the course. 

Course sessions

member-only access