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. Film of the Book
    Last Few Places, Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 25 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Peter Cherry
    We will read works of fiction and view their cinematic transformations, developing an understanding of plot,



    characterisation and narrative in a film making context. Each session includes analysis and discussion of the literary



    text and an opportunity to view and consider the film.



    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 £129.00 Concession £79.00
    Rating:
    96% of 100
  2. America in the 70s: culture and society
    Last Few Places, Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 25 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Mark Malcomson, Mick McAloon, Dale Mineshima-Lowe, Trish Shaw, Patricia Sweeney, Ian Tucknott
    Journey through the history, literature, film, music and art of the 70s, an era of economic struggle and cultural change. While America continued to reflect aspects of 60s social upheaval, a more energised 'New Right' was emerging in defense of political conservatism and the traditional family, schisms that still exist today. We investigate the cross currents across the many facets of the 70s through a 'taster' of each subject area.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £149.00 Senior fee £149.00 Concession £91.00
  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. The Complete Ishiguro 2000-2021
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 2 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Lewis Ward
    Explore the world of Nobel laureate Kazuo Ishiguro as we focus on the second twenty years of his writing career. Books include When We Were Orphans, Never Let Me Go, The Buried Giant and Klara and the Sun. We also take a look at his ventures into song lyrics and film screenplays.



    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
  5. Contemporary Scottish Women's Fiction
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 9 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Fiona McCulloch
    Explore and discuss a selection of contemporary fictional texts by Scottish women writers, including Jenni Fagan’s The Panopticon and Ali Smith’s Hotel World. We will think about key themes and issues, such as nationhood, women’s contribution to remapping the nation through its fictional imagining and relationship beyond its borders, social class, gender, sexuality, and journeys.



    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
  6. Philip Larkin & His Contemporaries
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 23 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Phoebe Braithwaite
    ‘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. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. America in the 80s: culture and society
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 3 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Mark Malcomson, Mick McAloon, Dale Mineshima-Lowe, Trish Shaw, Patricia Sweeney, Ian Tucknott
    Journey through the history, literature, film, music and art of the 80s as we investigate the cross currents across the many facets of the decade through a 'taster' of each subject area. Includes "Reganomics", the Democratic unwinding, the age of new technology, Top Gun to Blue Velvet, pop to hip hop, and the eclectic movements in art and literature.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £149.00 Senior fee £149.00 Concession £91.00
  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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