Contemporary poetry

Course Dates: 18/01/19 - 12/04/19
Time: 10:30 - 12:30
Location: KS - Keeley Street
Tutor: Barbara Marsh

Using Staying Alive, (Bloodaxe Books, Ed. Neil Astley) and a range of poems supplied by the tutor, we will read and discuss a variety of poetry written in the last 50 years, exploring a range of poetry in terms of theme, style and viewpoints. No class on 22 Feb.


What is the course about?

You will read and discuss a variety of contemporary poetry written by a range of poets; choices for the week may be
based on theme, style, viewpoints, etc.

Barbara Marsh is a London-based American writer, musician and teacher, and winner of the 2015 Troubadour International Poetry Prize. Her debut collection, To the Boneyard, is published by Eyewear. Her poetry has been widely anthologized and appeared in various magazines and pamphlets. As a musician/singer/songwriter, she was half of the Anglo-American duo The Dear Janes (Geffen Records). She has an Mphil in Creative Writing from the University of Glamorgan.

What will we cover?

We will study poetic devices such as metaphor, personification, rhyme, and rhythm, and how these work within the particular poem.

We will explore the meaning of the poetry studied, improving your analytical skills.

Please note that different poems will be studied from term one's HLT23 Contemporary Poetry course.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

Understand how poetic form can create meaning.
- Recognise the ways in which poetry can reflect the concerns of society or the individual at a particular point in time.
- Appreciate the use of poetic devices such as imagery and the use of rhythm and rhyme.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

You will need an enthusiasm for reading and discussing a range of texts in large and small groups.
You will be willing and able to do some reading and preparation outside the class.
You will be interested in listening to, and learning from, the responses of other students to the work discussed.
You will have a commitment to developing your analytical skills.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

A variety of teaching methods including lectures, large and small group discussions, listening to audio and Youtube clips, etc.
You will be expected to read the poems chosen for the week and be prepared to contribute to discussions in the sessions.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Please bring pen and paper.
You will need to buy an anthology -Staying Alive, (Bloodaxe Books, Ed. Neil Astley)
A range of poems will be supplied by the tutor. Please note that different poems will be used from term one's HLT23 Contemporary Poetry.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Look for literature courses under History, Culture and Writing at

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


Book your place

Course Code: HLT64

Fri, day, 18 Jan - 12 Apr '19

Duration: 13 sessions (over 13 weeks)

Full fee: £199.00
Senior fee: £159.00
Concession: £88.00
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