Ways into poetry
Time: 17:30 - 19:30
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
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What is the course about?
Do you want to learn how to write poetry? This supportive and engaging course will help you to find your feet. Practical writing exercises will teach you to experiment with a variety of styles and techniques, form and content will be explored through group discussion, and you will learn from examination and analysis of the work of published poets. A range of different topics will be explored each term.
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.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
- Practical writing excercises will teach you to write in a variety of styles and forms
- Group discussions will illuminate particular issues related to craft, including rhythm, tone and structure
- Analysis of published poets will teach you how and why their work succeeds
- Constructive feedback will encourage you to continue to write and improve your work.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Respond to and assess pieces of writing with sensitivity
- Participate constructively in a workshop setting
- Read and write with an increased understanding of the key elements of a poem.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is an introductory course. A good level of spoken and written English is needed. Beginners are very welcome in this class. Complete beginners who are unsure about studying alongside poets with a little experience in the craft might want to try one of our gentle pace courses first.
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. There will be an optional homework exercise set 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?
You will need a notebook and pen or pencil (or the digital equivalent).
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
After completing a term of 'Ways into poetry', you may wish to complete another term of the course with a different tutor to further develop your craft. Alternatively, you may wish to move on to 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.
Lawrence Bradby is a writer and teacher. He has worked as a Writing Tutor with the Centre for Continuing Education (University of East Anglia), as Learning Programme Manager for the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Art, and as a Programme Coordinator for mental well-being charity Inside Out. He has published three poetry pamphlets with Sideline Publications and has had poems in magazines including Smith’s Knoll, The Rialto, PN Review and the Forward Book of Poetry. His poem ‘If Your Faith In Me Should Fail’ was included in the Poetry International biennial festival at the Southbank Centre at an event offering fifty love poems from the last fifty years. With his partner, artist Anna Townley, Lawrence has documented the emotional intensity of family life. This was published as an artists’ book with co-writers Judith Stewart and Frances Williams: An Endless Round of Repetitive Tasks with Operatic Anger and Comic Turns (2014, Sideline Publications). A follow-up, How To Play With MK (2020, MK Gallery publications), turns a two-year family residency with MK Gallery (Milton Keynes) into a series of fictional encounters with a location which is both magical and threatening.
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.