Poetry

Poetry Courses
Study online or in London

From introductory courses to the more in-depth longer courses, revisit classic works or enjoy discovering new poets, sharing your views in lively class discussions.

You can study in-person or in the comfort of your home with our online courses. For more information about our live online courses, please see our guide to online learning.

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  1. Wild Nights: poetry and desire
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 21 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Laurie Smith
    Some poets write about desires which are difficult to express at the time of writing – desire for another person and, more complexly, desire to express in writing feelings which the public may find unacceptable. This can lead to poetry which expresses feelings in new ways. We will explore how some great poets have written about such feelings, from Shakespeare and Byron, through Tennyson and Emily Dickinson, to Edith Sitwell and the great 20th century Russian poet Marina Tsvetaeva.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £259.00 Senior fee £207.00 Concession £168.00
  2. Symbolist Poetry: a season in Hell
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 2 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Beatrice Ashton-Lelliott
    The pandemic has made many people feel as though we are living in a slow apocalypse – but looking back at similar feelings experienced by the poets of the late nineteenth century can help to put things into perspective. This weekend online course looks at a selection of the Symbolist poetry of Arthur Rimbaud, Arthur Symons and Charles Baudelaire, considering their contemporary struggles and how, through these often initially morbid fin de siècle poems, we might find some light at the end of the tunnel.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  3. T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land at 100
    Course start date:  Fri 7 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  David Barnes
    100 years ago this autumn an extraordinary poem was published that changed the literary world in ways we are still processing today. T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land was a modernist masterpiece, a broken hymn of despair, a collage of voices from different cultures and histories – and a poem that soon became iconic. From its memorable opening line – ‘April is the cruellest month’ – to its closing prayer, it takes us through a rich cast of characters and settings, evocations of myth and religion, and references to modern life. In this course we will look at the poem’s politics, its attitude to religion and sex, its many allusions, and the great writers it influenced.
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £111.00 Concession £90.00
  4. Edward Thomas: 'On a Strange Bridge Alone'
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 8 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Peter Brennan
    The reflective, questioning poems of Edward Thomas have gained many admirers. By studying a carefully chosen selection of both his poetry and prose writings, we shall look more deeply into the significance of his achievement.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  5. An introduction to poetry
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 29 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Laurie Smith
    Always wanted to read and discuss poetry? Enjoy this introduction to a range of poetry from the last 400 years and explore how the poets shape our responses.
    Full fee £29.00 Senior fee £23.00 Concession £19.00
    Rating:
    93% of 100
  6. Coleridge: The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 2 Nov 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sophie Oxenham
    This half day online Literature course celebrates Coleridge’s iconic poem, ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’. We consider how this tale of an albatross shot at sea, and a becalmed, parched crew visited by a spectre ship, continues to resonate with us today. We also explore later cultural responses to the poem.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £29.00 Senior fee £23.00 Concession £19.00
  7. The art of the sonnet: from the Renaissance to European Modernism
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 5 Nov 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Stephen Winfield
    Shakespeare's is the most celebrated of all sonnet cycles, but the form itself has been integral to Western lyric poetry for nearly eight centuries. Explore works by Petrarch, Shakespeare, Donne, Michelangelo, Vittoria Colonna and Rilke.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  8. 'Isaac Rosenberg, Londoner and War Poet: 'An Inch of Candle'
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 12 Nov 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Peter Brennan
    Discover the poignant, incisive poetry of Isaac Rosenberg, who grew up in Cable Street and developed into a gifted poet and painter. His reflections on the private soldier’s experiences of the trenches are unique and compelling.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  9. Smart Poems: poetry and social media
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 19 Nov 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Laurie Smith
    Poetry writing, publication, courses and competitions have all increased enormously since the coming of computers and social media. Are the two connected or opposed? If we can write and share poems on our screens, why do more and more people want to have their poems published in books, pamphlets and magazines?



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £15.00 Concession £12.00
  10. Two Centuries of the German Novel: Goethe, Fontane, Thomas Mann, Ingeborg Bachmann, W.G. Sebald
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 19 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Stephen Winfield
    Explore five masterpieces that trace the coming of age of the German novel, from Goethe’s spectacular arrival on the European literary scene in the late 18th century, to two of the most celebrated and influential products of 19th century social realism, to two contrasting responses, both formally brilliant and emotionally unflinching, to the catastrophic impact of the Second World War.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £142.00
  11. An Introduction to Poetry: Carol Ann Duffy and Philip Larkin
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 22 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Laurie Smith
    Come and join an introduction and exploration of the poetry of Carol Ann Duffy and Philip Larkin. We will read, discuss and enjoy a selection of their poetry and consider how the poets shape our responses.
    Full fee £29.00 Senior fee £23.00 Concession £19.00
  12. First poets of the Modern City: Baudelaire, Whitman, Laforgue and Eliot
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 24 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Laurie Smith
    We explore how Baudelaire, Whitman, Laforgue and Eliot were the first poets to express in detail both the exciting



    opportunities and the emotional and spiritual damage of life in the modern city. We will look in particular how Baudelaire’s



    poems and Laforgue’s translations of Whitman into French influenced Eliot’s early poetry, culminating in The Waste Land (1922).



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £64.00
  13. 'Furious Giants Looming over Europe': World War 1 In continental poetry
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 18 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Peter Brennan
    How did poets in continental Europe respond to the unprecedented events of World War I? Representing four countries, this innovatory online course examines the powerful, distinctive work of Guillaume Apollinaire, Anna Akhmatova, Giuseppe Ungaretti, and Georg Trakl.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00

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