Literature

Literature Courses in London

Explore our exciting range of Literature courses, from Literary History, to specialist courses in Fiction, Poetry and Drama. We offer introductory and in-depth courses to suit all levels of interest and experience, where you can revisit classic texts and discover new writers.

Courses available both in-person and online

We offer a range of courses allowing you to choose between online and in-person learning. All our courses are live, interactive, and taught by expert tutors. No matter how you prefer to learn, you’ll receive the same great City Lit experience. See our guide to online learning for more information about accessing our live online courses.

Study in-person or online from the comfort of home, with classes that allow you to participate in discussions with fellow adult students and share your passion for literature as part of a learning community. We offer daytime, evening and weekend courses, both short and long.

Our tutors are experts in their fields and experienced educators; many also teach in universities or share their expertise in the media. Tutors share their knowledge and passion for fiction, poetry and drama through presentations, readings, interactive discussion, analysis, and other activities.

Many students return to take more courses, telling us they enjoy being part of our City Lit literary community; others are inspired to progress onto university study.

Our popular courses often sell out quickly, so we invite you to browse and book your place now.

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  1. American Gothic: the darker side of fiction
    Course start date:  Tue 20 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Julian Birkett
    Explore and discuss the work of great 19th and 20th century writers such as Hawthorne. Melville, Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson and Flannery O’Connor – and learn about the dark streak that runs through so much of the best American literature.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £142.00
    Rating:
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  2. Writing from Life: from Maggie O'Farrell to Ocean Vuong
    Course start date:  Tue 27 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Kate Wilkinson
    What do we want and expect from ‘life stories’? How does this change when we read memoirs and novels? This course reads a selection of fascinating books and extracts, which experiment to combine memoir, personal experience and invention in different ways. As well as memoirs we’ll study ‘autofiction’ – a relatively new description for the work of novelists whose material is, explicitly, their own life – and consider ideas about this tricky and at times controversial category of writing. We’ll think too about some of the ethical and cultural questions that ‘writing from life’ raises, including privacy, a right of reply, and factors that may affect a work’s critical reception.
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £139.00 Concession £90.00
  3. Ulysses: the Odyssey
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 11 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Tobin Brothers
    To meet the challenge of reading Joyce, this study will offer strategies and engage the first 10 chapters of Ulysses to inspire both the new reader of Joyce and those revisiting his passionate experimentation.



    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
  4. Ulysses: Nostos - the Homecoming
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 10 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Tobin Brothers
    To meet the challenge of reading Joyce, this online literature course will offer strategies and engage the second half of Ulysses to inspire both the new reader of Joyce and those revisiting his passionate experimentation.



    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
  5. Paper Secrets: letters in novels from Julian Barnes to Tayari Jones
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 10 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Kate Wilkinson
    Would you ever open other people’s letters? This contemporary fiction course invites you to read intimate correspondence over characters’ shoulders, to piece together the stories of long-forgotten letters, and to watch stolen letters set comic and catastrophic events in motion. We’ll study four absorbing novels in detail, exploring ideas about memory, time and communication, and discovering how letters are tangled up in them all. Includes



    Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending (2011), Claire Fuller, Swimming Lessons (2017), Denis Thériault, The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman (2017) and Tayari Jones, An American Marriage (2018).
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £139.00 Concession £90.00
  6. Families, feuds and fictions
    Course start date:  Tue 10 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Julian Birkett
    “When a writer is born into a family, the family is finished.” - Polish Nobel laureate Czeslaw Milosz; “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” - Leo Tolstoy







    Unsurprisingly, novelists have always gravitated towards the dramatic potential of dysfunctional families, , and some of the finest novels of modern times have explored the tensions, disappointments (even occasional joys) of family life.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £142.00
  7. 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
  8. Exploring literature: Irish Poetry in the 20th Century
    Course start date:  Tue 31 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Niall Culligan
    In this introductory course, we will read and discuss Irish poetry from across the twentieth century, examining how poets responded to cultural and political issues, such as Irish Independence, religion, and the Troubles. Poets will include: W.B. Yeats, James Joyce, Seamus Heaney, Eavan Boland, Louis MacNeice, Patrick Kavanagh, Derek Mahon, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, and many others.
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £111.00 Concession £90.00
  9. Writing Modern Britain: 1990-2020
    Course start date:  Tue 25 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Julian Birkett
    British society is changing in profound, exciting, and sometimes unsettling ways - and a new generation of writers have been exploring, dramatizing and reflecting on it, focusing on shifts in power, money, race, sex and the coming of globalisation. We’ll be reading novels and stories by some of the best of these writers, including Hanif Kureishi, Kamila Shamsie and others.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £142.00

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