poetry

course

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

forum

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?

1

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

2

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

3

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

4

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

5

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

6

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

7

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

8

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

Performing poetry on stage

9

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

10

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

 
  • 01

    What is poetry?

    Introduction to the course

    Five key pieces of advice

    The big question: What is poetry?

    The poetry spectrum

    Additional material

  • 02

    FINDING INSPIRATION

    Where does inspiration come from?

    Two contrasting approaches

    Where do poems come from?

    Additional material

  • 03

    The Poetry Toolbox

    Form & structure

    Rhythm & meter

    Sound & rhyme

    Imagery & metaphor

    Additional material

  • 04

    Why does some poetry seem so difficult?

    Difficulty: a note

    Olson & cummings

    Manifestos & movements

  • 05

    Poetry & Visual Art

    Poetry as a social practice

    Historical connections

    Visual art as inspiration

    Additional material

  • 06

    Revising Your Poetry

    Revision is creative

    Approaches to revision

    The first reader

    Focusing in

    Additional material

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