What is the course about?
On this advanced course, you'll have the opportunity to develop your poetry, taking it in new directions and maturing your poetic voice. Various approaches and techniques will be explored, and students' work will be discussed and critiqued in detail. By the end of the course you should ideally be producing poetry of publishable quality.
Students say: "Excellent tuition"; "Knowledgeable tutor, good choices of texts to discuss, and sensitive feedback"; "An opportunity to look at a range of contemporary poems and critique them, and receive helpful and insightful feedback on our work"; "Probably the best poetry course in London."
The Tutor: John Stammers is an award-winning poet and editor. He has taught widely, including at Cambridge University where he was Judith E Wilson Fellow, and is editor of the academic journal British and Irish Contemporary Poetry.
City Lit reserves the right to change course tutors from those advertised in this outline. In line with our refund policy we are unable to grant a refund on the grounds of a change of tutor.
What will we cover?
- Redrafting and rethinking your own poetry, broadening your range and maturing your poetic voice
- Aspects of technique which you are grappling with in your work or want to explore further
- Exploring some approaches in contemporary poetry.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Edit and revise your work
- Read your poems aloud, and submit them for publication if you want
- See your own work in the context of contemporary poetry
- Respond to and assess poetry with sensitivity.
You should also have:
- Developed your skills as a poet
- Written some poems of publishable quality.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is a course for more experienced writers of poetry who have been writing poems for a year or more. City Lit offers introductory 'Ways into poetry' and intermediate 'Paths through poetry' courses for less experienced writers.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Tutor led discussion, critical feedback from the class on your own poems, tutor feedback and discussions of theory and structure. There will be no in-class exercises or set work for outside the class; you will be expected to have an established writing practice and be able to bring samples of your poems to the group for critique.
All writing courses at City Lit will involve an element of workshop. This means that students will produce work which will be discussed in an open and constructive environment with the tutor and other students. The college operates a policy of constructive criticism, and all feedback on another student’s work by the tutor and other students should be delivered in that spirit.
For classes longer than one day regular reading and writing exercises will be set for completion at home to set deadlines.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Paper and pen/pencil. You will need to make copies of your work to share with the class; these will be returned to
you as soon as the reading is over.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
City Lit offer a range of poetry courses at a range of levels. Browse the writing section of our website to find the perfect poetry course for you.
All students are invited to join us at Late Lines, our regular performance night for City Lit writers. Students are also encouraged to submit their work to Between the Lines, our annual anthology of creative writing. For the latest news, courses and events, stay in touch with the Department on Facebook and Twitter.
General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details