The poem as quest: writing narrative poetry

Course Dates: 01/06/24 - 02/06/24
Time: 10:30 - 13:00
Location: Online
From ballads to myths, learn the techniques and styles needed to write narrative poetry.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
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Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £35.00

The poem as quest: writing narrative poetry
  • Course Code: HW627
  • Dates: 01/06/24 - 02/06/24
  • Time: 10:30 - 13:00
  • Taught: Sat-Sun, Daytime
  • Duration: 2 sessions
  • Location: Online
  • Tutor: Ellen Cranitch

Course Code: HW627

Sat-Sun, day, 01 Jun - 02 Jun '24

Duration: 2 sessions

Any questions?
or call 020 4582 0415

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Centre for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

Poetry and story-telling are not strangers. Since the early days of the ballad, plot-twists and character, jeopardy and tension have found a place in the poem. In recent years we have seen the emergence of book-length narratives such as Ilya Kaminsky’s Deaf Republic. If you are interested in the story and the poem, if you are interested in the story within the poem, this course is for you.

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

Drawing on a wide range of poetry, and in-class writing exercises, we will explore the range of narrative techniques in poetry. We’ll look at the ballad and at myth, we’ll explore autobiography, persona narratives and poems that tell stories through a hybrid discourse of poetry and prose. We’ll work out what techniques make the narrative poem most memorable and compelling.

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

By the end of the course you will have improved your understanding of how to write narrative poems. You will have developed insight into narrative techniques in poetry. And you will have explored key poets’ approaches to telling a story.

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

This course is open to poets of all levels and abilities.

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

Tutor-led discussion, small-group discussion, participating in writing exercises in-class, workshop readings, tutor feedback and class discussion.

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.

City Lit Writing endeavours to create a safe and welcoming space for all and we strongly support the use of content notes in our classes. This means that learners are encouraged to make their tutor and classmates aware in advance if any writing they wish to share contains material that may be deemed sensitive. If you are unsure about what might constitute sensitive content, please ask your tutor for further clarification and read our expectations for participating in writing courses at City Lit.

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

Writing materials.

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

City Lit has a range of poetry and creative writing courses on offer. Beginners might consider our introductory 'Ways into poetry' course, while more experienced writers may prefer our intermediate and advanced classes, including 'Developing your poetry' and our 'Advanced poetry workshop'.

All students are invited to join us at Late Lines, our regular performance night for City Lit writers. Students are also encouraged to submit their work to Between the Lines, our annual anthology of creative writing. For the latest news, courses and events, stay in touch with the Department on Facebook and Twitter.

Ellen Cranitch

Ellen Cranitch is a prize-winning poet. Her first collection The Immortalist was shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Award for Best First Collection 2018. Ellen’s poetry is published by Bloodaxe, Templar and Carcanet Press. She has taught at The University of St Andrews, City University and UCL and lives in London where she’s a reviewer for Poetry Review. Recent teaching appointments include Associate Lecturer at Bath Spa University and Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Hull where she ran the poetry modules.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.