Paths through poetry

Course Dates: 18/01/18 - 22/03/18
Time: 17:30 - 19:30
Location: KS - Keeley Street
Tutor: Christina Dunhill

For those familiar with the basics of poetic form, this intermediate course explores craft and content through reading, writing exercises and constructive feedback. Ideal if you have already attended 'Ways into poetry'.

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Paths through poetry


What is the course about?

This intermediate course is the perfect follow-up to an introductory course such as 'Ways into poetry'. You'll have the opportunity to explore poetic technique in greater detail, to expand the range of your own poetic voice, and to give and use constructive criticism in a supportive workshop environment.

The Tutor
Christina Dunhill is an acclaimed poet and short story writer. Her latest publication is Blackbirds (2012). She taught on the MA in Creative Writing and Personal Development at the University of Sussex.

City Lit reserves the right to change course tutors from those advertised in this outline. In line with our refund policy we are unable to grant a refund on the grounds of a change of tutor.

What will we cover?

- You will explore issues of craftsmanship and poetic content through close reading of published work
- Writing exercises will encourage you to experiment with a variety of poetic forms and styles
- Constructive criticism will pinpoint your individual strengths and weaknesses, and guide you as you edit and improve your own poetry.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Increase your understanding of poetic form
- Write your own poems in fixed form and free verse
- Improve the overall quality of your poetic output.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This is an intermediate course and is recommended for students who have completed a 'Ways into poetry' course.You should have some familiarity with contemporary poetry and the basics of poetic technique.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

There will be a mixture of tutor-led talk, discussion, writing exercises and feedback on your writing, and an optional homework each week.

All writing courses at City Lit will involve an element of workshop. This means that students will produce work which will be discussed in an open and constructive environment with the tutor and other students. The college operates a policy of constructive criticism, and all feedback on another student’s work by the tutor and other students should be delivered in that spirit.

For classes longer than one day regular reading and writing exercises will be set for completion at home to set deadlines.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Please bring paper and a pen. You'll be expected to provide copies of your poems for class feedback.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

The Paths through poetry course may be taken over three terms. When you feel ready to progress to a more advanced level, you may be interested in Poetry in the making or New narrative poetry.

All students are invited to join us at City Lit Talks Back, our monthly performance night for City Lit writers. Everyone is welcome, admission is free and there's no need to book in advance. Visit for more details or if you're interested in reading your work. Students are also encouraged to submit to Between the Lines, our annual anthology. Learn more at For the latest news, courses and events, stay in touch with the Department on Facebook and Twitter.

General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details


Customer Reviews 2 item(s)

Write a review
This course is great for learning about the structure of poetry, its different forms and the effect that they have on your writing as you try to meet them. My poems have always been very freeflowing and I have resisted any move towards a fixed form, but it is absolutely fascinating to go through the process of trying to follow a complicated structure, such as that of the sestina. There is also great feedback from the group on poems we bring in, with suggestions on how to improve them, how they sound etc in a very supportive and critically rigorous environment. The tutor is really knowledgeable and experienced and is constantly inspiring. I have just signed up for the next term, can't wait!
Course Rating
Review by Hbcrowsnest / (Posted on 29/03/2017)
Initially [the tutor's] approach of one hour of discussion about our weekly poetry experiences, poetry current affairs etc and then an hour of work shopping provided a great balance to lessons. As the course progressed and became wholly workshop based I found that my understating of form, use of language, content etc improved dramatically and I was able to express what I wanted to say better and better. As a whole this meant that not only did we learn some poetry history, how to locate resources to broaden our poetic understanding and current poetic debates but we also learnt how to develop our writing skills - this rounded was meant I came out a much better poet than I went in!
Course Rating
Review by Rudi / (Posted on 20/02/2017)

Book your place

Course Code: HW113

Please choose a course date 

Thu, day, 18 Jan - 22 Mar '18

Duration: 10 sessions (over 10 weeks)

Full fee: £189.00
Senior fee: £189.00
Concession: £76.00
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Please note: Different fees may apply for international students. Read full guidance.