Poetry - Online

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.

Some of our courses take place in the classroom — learn more about Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit.

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  1. The Emperor of Ice Cream: why Wallace Stevens, Marianne Moore and Frank O'Hara are important
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 11 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    We will explore the work of these three major 20th century American poets, focussing on what is original about their work and how they changed people’s understanding of what is possible in poetry. We will look at how their poetry developed over their writing lifetimes, how they saw their work in relation to the poetry of the past and present, and how their poetry reflected or otherwise gave meaning to their lives – Stevens as a lifelong insurance lawyer, Moore as an unmarried woman without a profession and living with her mother, and O’Hara as an art curator as out-gay as it was possible to be until his untimely death in 1960.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £97.00
  2. Contemporary Poetry by Writers of Colour
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 15 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Black, indigenous, and writers of colour have been creating exceptional poetry for millennia, but all too often their work is not platformed or canonised in the same fashion as their European contemporaries. This course seeks to continue the decolonising work of addressing that imbalance by foregrounding the poetry of four contemporary poets of colour: Claudia Rankine, Ocean Vuong, Danez Smith and Rupi Kaur.



    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 £36.00
  3. Russian poets: Anna Akhmatova and Osip Mandelstam
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 23 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    An evaluation, through close reading and discussion, of some of the most celebrated verse of the Silver Age, the Soviet Revolutionary period and the decades of Stalinism. What is it about the individual poems that cast a spell over so many of their contemporaries and the generations that followed? What do they tell us about the human spirit and the value of art in a time of catastrophic upheaval?



    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 £36.00
  4. 'Miles to go before I sleep': poems that help us appreciate returning home
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 5 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    During the past two years, many of us have had to stay at home much more than ever before and may still have ambivalent feelings about going out and returning. We will look at how poetry can help us in this situation by seeing how some fine poets have written about the experience of staying and returning home, often alone.



    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
  5. Shelley: 'The Trumpet of a Prophecy!'
    Last Few Places, ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 19 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Shelley’s visionary poetry has been much misunderstood and misrepresented. We shall study a wide selection of his narrative poems, odes and lyrics in order to clarify his transcendent aspirations – and his very considerable contemporary significance.



    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 £36.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  6. Philip Larkin & His Contemporaries
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 23 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    ‘The shit in the shuttered château / Who does his five hundred words / Then parts out the rest of the day / Between bathing and booze and birds / Is far off as ever, but so / Is that spectacled schoolteaching sod…,” wrote Larkin in his poem, ‘The Life with a Hole in it.’ Who is the real Philip Larkin? Our course slices the bard of Coventry, Larkin loved and Larkin reviled, into four periods during the second half of the twentieth century to set him in context, with a view to unravelling some of his guises and understanding how he came to have such a hold on the British reading public.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £79.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £48.00
  7. Byron’s Don Juan: 'The grand Napoleon of the realms of rhyme
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 27 Apr 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Don Juan is Byron’s crowning achievement – a picaresque mock epic intended to be ‘a little quietly facetious upon everything’. The poem, however, is more complex and engaging - a vision of life predicated on paradox: witty and melancholy, sarcastic and sentimental, romantic and classical, resigned and defiant. This course will illuminate the many facets of Byron’s unprecedented masterpiece.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £121.00
  8. In my end is my beginning: the meaning & potential of growing old
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 21 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    This innovatory course will present a wide range of poetic explorations of the experience and significance of growing old and the approach of death. While acknowledging the inevitable difficulties and challenges of the last phase of life, the emphasis will be on illuminating the scope and potential of old age while reflecting on the interdependence of life and death.



    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 £36.00
  9. Poetry of the 30s
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 21 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Wedged between the two wars, the poets of the 1930s were drawn to forces larger than themselves. For poets such as W.H. Auden and Louis MacNeice, war, revolution and the allure of communism dwarfed mere personal anxieties. Others – such as William Empson, Kathleen Raine and Dylan Thomas – found a seam of spiritualism in other, more mystical, even Romantic antecedents. Our course traces these discrepant paths through the decade.



    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 £36.00
  10. Robert Frost: a life in poetry
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 9 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    With a career spanning nearly fifty years, Robert Frost is one of America’s best-loved poets. His poetry is often written in simple meters with regular rhyme schemes, and most of us will probably be familiar with at least one of his poems, either ‘The Road not Taken’ or ‘Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening’. Both poems are set in the woodlands of New England, but is there more to Robert Frost than being a traditional poet who loved nature?



    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 £79.00 Concession £60.00

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