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.

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.

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

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  1. 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
  2. Borderlines of Madness in 19th century fiction
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 23 Jul 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    We will explore various themes related to insanity and altered states of consciousness by examining a number of 19th-century works of fiction. Novelists and poets often had the greatest insights into the workings of the mind, and many Victorian psychiatrists cited works of fiction in their case studies. Among the authors we will cover are Charlotte Bronte, Edgar Allan Poe, Wilkie Collins, Gogol, Herman Melville and Charlotte Perkins Gilman.



    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 £60.00
  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. 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
  5. 'Overturning the Home': a study of Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 26 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Delving into this lyric and haunting text, we will consider Robinson’s vision of the house disrupted and how this releases the energies of constricted identities. Exploring ideas and understanding around the questioning of domestic and traditional constructs and how this impacts female identity, we will study how Robinson creates intimate spaces and relationships to overturn assumptions around parenting, the home and our relationship to the natural world.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £71.00 Concession £54.00
  6. Film of the Book: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 5 Mar 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women is one of America’s most celebrated novels. Published in 1869, it charts the adolescence and young womanhood of the March sisters, growing up in Massachusetts. The novel’s popularity and familiarity with audiences across the world has led there to be several adaptations of the film. In our course, we will look at two versions, one from 1933, and one from 2018, and examine their particular readings of the book.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £71.00 Concession £54.00
  7. Dante's Divine Comedy: an introduction
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 12 Mar 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    The Divine Comedy is an imaginary journey through the three realms of the afterlife. It's a fascinating compendium of life in 14th century Italy, but Dante's ability to depict humanity in all its aspects is timelss and has fascinated readers ever since.



    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
  8. Women Walking in the City
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 26 Mar 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Inspired by Lauren Elkin’s book Flaneuse, and the journey of Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway, this two-day workshop explores literary representations of women exploring the city.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £55.00 Concession £42.00
  9. 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
  10. Rulfo, Borges and Marquez: masters of Latin American storytelling
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 21 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    We explore the main short stories from Borges' 'Labyrinths' (1962), together with Marquez's novella 'No one writes to the Colonel' (1961) and Rulfo's novel 'Pedro Páramo' (1955), investigating their unique approach to storytelling that shows the diverse and complex cultural and social context they originate from.



    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
  11. 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
  12. Ulysses Sampler: the first four chapters
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 13 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    To meet the challenge of reading Joyce, this study will offer strategies and engage the first four 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 £89.00 Senior fee £71.00 Concession £54.00
  13. Beasts and Superbeasts: the short fictions of Saki
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 25 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    We will explore how this gay Edwardian man, writing in the aftermath of the Wilde trials, extended the short story genre to write darkly humorous fictions which are still admired. We will consider the nature of Saki’s satire and whether this is related to his sexuality.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £36.00

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