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

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Stephen Winfield
    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
  2. An introduction to poetry: Blake and Keats
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 23 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Jenny Baynes
    Come and join an introduction and exploration of the poetry of William Blake and John Keats. We will read, discuss and enjoy a selection of their poetry and consider how the poets shape our responses.



    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 £29.00 Senior fee £23.00 Concession £18.00
  3. Exploring literature: an introduction to poetry
    Last Few Places
    Course start date:  Tue 1 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Jenny Baynes
    We will read and discuss poetry from across four centuries including poems by Shakespeare, John Donne, Blake, Wordsworth, Keats, Emily Dickenson, Wilfred Owen, TS Eliot, WH Auden, Larkin, Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath, Seamus Heaney, Carol Ann Duffy, Jackie Kay, Maya Angelou and many more. There will be a weekly spot where students can share their own particular favourites.



    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 £159.00 Senior fee £127.00 Concession £97.00
  4. 'Overturning the Home': a study of Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 26 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Tobin Brothers
    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
  5. Dante's Divine Comedy: an introduction
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 12 Mar 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Francesco Bucciol
    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
  6. Contemporary Poetry by Writers of Colour
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 12 Mar 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Nina Reece
    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
  7. Literature taster
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 8 Jan 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Patricia Sweeney
    Do you want to find out how to go about understanding a poem or how to do a close reading of a work of fiction? Come and find out what makes a literature class at City Lit so special. The course also presents an overview of our literature offering for term two (January - April 2022).



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £0.00 Senior fee £0.00 Concession £0.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  8. Dark Women: Daphne du Maurier, Patricia Highsmith and Elizabeth Bowen
    Course start date:  Tue 26 Apr 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Julian Birkett
    Three women occupy a special place in the story of pre and post war British fiction: the Irish writer Elizabeth Bowen, mistress of horror Daphne Du Maurier and Patricia Highsmith, whose dark thrillers have been made into classic films. All three combined a profound sense of dread with dazzling skill in story telling.



    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 £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £60.00
  9. Contemporary British and International Fiction
    Course start date:  Wed 27 Apr 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Aamer Hussein
    A brief and careful selection of some outstanding contemporary novels from Britain and abroad include Ruth Padel’s Daughters of the Labyrinth, an exploration of the fate of Crete’s Jewish community through the eyes of a contemporary British painter; Mayflies, Andrew O’Hagan’s story of a long friendship; Waterline, Ross Raisin’s moving Glasgow-based chronicle of a long marriage, and two outstanding Booker-shortlisted works from South Africa and Sri Lanka respectively - Karen Jenning’s An Island and Anuk Arudpragasam’s A Passage North.



    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 £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £134.00
  10. The American West in Literature
    Course start date:  Wed 27 Apr 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Richard Niland
    This class examines the literary history of the American West, delving into its iconic representation in literature from the 19th century to the present day. By looking at an exciting range of texts, the class explores literature’s longstanding and ongoing fascination with the culture, politics, and art of the American West.



    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 £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £79.00
  11. 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

    Tutors:  Peter Brennan
    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
  12. Contemporary Scottish Fictions: Ali Smith, Jenni Fagan and Douglas Stuart
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 28 Apr 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Stephen Winfield
    We will explore three of the most powerful voices in Scottish writing today, focusing on critically-acclaimed novels from 2020 and 2021 by Ali Smith, Jenni Fagan and Douglas Stuart. Their originality and narrative power is matched by a passionate moral commitment and willingness to engage – as Scottish literature has always done - with the most challenging issues faced by their society and ours.



    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 £127.00 Concession £97.00
  13. 'Animals in 20th and 21st century fiction
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 4 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  David Barnes
    Animals leap, crawl, hop, and gallop across the pages of modern fiction. Why do authors write about animals? What effect does it have on us as readers when we encounter animals in novels and short stories? From Beatrix Potter and Black Beauty to the contemporary novel, this course explores the role of the animal in modern literature. Themes that we will think about together include: animal suffering, animals in depictions of childhood, and animal transformations and dehumanisation. Includes 'Happiness' (2018) by Aminatta Forna and writings by J.M. Coewtzee and John Berger.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £103.00 Concession £79.00
  14. 19th Century French and Russian Literature
    Course start date:  Thu 5 May 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Richard Niland
    This class explores classic texts of 19th century French and Russian literature, discussing literary style, themes, and contexts as a way of developing and sharing responses to celebrated European writing. From history and memory to madness and death, the class tackles some of the finest works ever written. Among the French writers examined will be Balzac, Flaubert, and Baudelaire, with our Russians including Gogol, Tolstoy and Chekhov.



    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 £159.00 Senior fee £127.00 Concession £97.00
  15. Poetic Moments
    Course start date:  Thu 5 May 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Jenny Baynes
    This 6 week course will give you an opportunity to read and discuss a range of poetry from the19th century right up to contemporary women writers. We will discuss their concerns and styles and how they achieve their poetic effects. There will be a chance for students to share their own poetic favourites.



    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 £129.00 Senior fee £103.00 Concession £79.00

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