Ways into poetry

Course Dates: 14/01/20 - 24/03/20
Time: 19:40 - 21:40
Location: International House

Relatively new to writing poetry? This inspiring course offers an opportunity to experiment with language and a variety of poetic devices alongside fellow emerging poets. Discover the key elements of a poem in a friendly and interactive class.


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.

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?

Please bring a notebook and pen or pencil with you to class.

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

City Lit has a range of poetry and creative writing courses on offer. 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', 'The poetry lab', 'Poetry in the making' and our 'Advanced poetry workshop'.

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. Students are also encouraged to submit 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.

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 17 item(s)

Write a review

Reviews below are by students who have attended this course, regardless of the course teacher. Please be aware you may not be booking onto a course with the same teacher.

I loved all three terms of this course. The tutor is an inspiring, warm tutor and I have learned a lot and become more confident in my work. I would recommend this course to anyone looking to start writing poetry as it gives an excellent introduction to the different forms and styles of poems as well as constructive workshopping to improve and feed back on your work.
Course Rating
Review by Nancy / (Posted on 05/07/2019)
This is a serious and hard-working poetry workshop class, led by an amazing teacher.
Course Rating
Review by MD / (Posted on 02/07/2019)
The teaching is great, the other students are serious and stimulating, don't miss it!
Course Rating
Review by Philippa Jones / (Posted on 27/06/2019)
Do it! Extremely accessible, lots to learn and lots of fun.
Course Rating
Review by S. / (Posted on 04/04/2019)
Yes I would recommend this course
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 02/04/2019)
Go for it - enjoy and don’t judge yourself!
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 28/03/2019)
This is a great introduction to poetry. The course is geared towards making your own work. It gives you an awareness of poetic form and rhythm and the encouragement to try your hand at doing it. And then there is a brilliant atmosphere of constructive, supportive feedback. A brilliant course.
Course Rating
Review by MD / (Posted on 24/03/2019)
do it!
Course Rating
Review by paul / (Posted on 17/03/2019)
This course really gives you the confidence and safe space you need when you are just starting to write poetry. The teaching is excellent, the class culture is really kind and fun, the workshopping gets you thinking about poetry in new ways and the exercises in and out of class get you writing new work. What more could you ask for?
Course Rating
Review by Mauri / (Posted on 15/03/2019)
Great course, and really has been a good introduction to poetry, in a very supportive environment.
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 15/03/2019)
Participate in discussions, read your work, be open to comments, learn from the teachers they are good!
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 14/03/2019)
This is a great place to start thinking about and writing poetry in a supportive environment. I've thoroughly enjoyed the experience and have already signed up for next term.
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 03/12/2018)
An excellent introduction to poetry and the variety of different poetic genres. Guaranteed to uncover your nascent poetic creativity!
Course Rating
Review by Paul / (Posted on 23/11/2018)
Brilliant course. I liked learning about all the different styles and forms of poetry. The whole thing was well-structured and well-organised. It gave me confidence to continue writing on my own and opened up the world of poetry. Would recommend!
Course Rating
Review by Mike / (Posted on 14/02/2018)
This is a really friendly and supportive class, led by a great tutor. We received shrewd and very useful feedback on our work, always delivered in a sensitive manner. It was also really fun sharing poetry and hearing other students' poems. There was a great group dynamic on this course.
Course Rating
Review by Anon / (Posted on 14/02/2018)
Misleading title.If you want an appreciation class then this fills the description.(although heavily weighed to American poetry)1 st term out of 70 poems given to us, 30 were Americans but only 12 British.it is not a satisfactory creative wing course.eg no small group discussions and no writing exercises in class, both of which are given as the course plan.It became formulaic.1 hour given to reading and criticising given poems and one hour with about 4 people reading their own poems.but always the same format.The teacher was pleasant though and was fair and inclusive.But not very stimulating and not as advertised.
Course Rating
Review by jo / (Posted on 17/04/2015)
The teaching and fellow students are inspiring. The course material is excellent and the suggested exercises have been helpful. I have learned a lot and feel my writing has improved as a result of the course.
Course Rating
Review by Lynn / (Posted on 13/04/2015)

Book your place

Course Code: HW190

Please choose a course date 

Tue, eve, 14 Jan - 24 Mar '20

Duration: 11 sessions (over 11 weeks)

Full fee: £209.00
Senior fee: £209.00
Concession: £84.00

Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

Download form & post

Any questions? writing@citylit.ac.uk
or call 020 7492 2717

Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online Help Center. You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.