Ways into poetry: an introduction
Time: 10:30 - 14:30
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
What is the course about?
This supportive and engaging short course will help you to find your feet when it comes to writing poetry. 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.
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.
- Issues related to craft, including rhythm, tone and structure.
- How to analyse published poets so their work can inform yours.
- How to give and receive constructive feedback.
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 and complete beginners are welcome. A good level of spoken and written English is needed.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Tutor-led discussion, pair and 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.
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?
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 'Ways into poetry', you may be interested in our intermediate and advanced classes, including 'Developing your poetry', 'New narrative poetry', 'Poetry in the making' 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.
Sarah Westcott is an award-winning poet and journalist who has been writing professionally for over 20 years. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from Royal Holloway and has published three books of poetry. Her first collection Slant Light, published by Liverpool University Press (Pavilion Poetry) was Highly Commended in the 2017 Forward Prizes. Her pamphlet Inklings was a Poetry Book Society choice. Her second collection, Bloom, was published in May 2021 with Pavilion Poetry. Sarah's poems have appeared in magazines including Poetry Review, POEM and Magma, on beermats, billboards and the side of buses, and in anthologies including Best British Poetry. She was a writer-in-residence at the Bethnal Green nature reserve in 2016 and had her poems installed in the trees, triggered by footsteps. Recent awards are first prize in the London Magazine poetry prize, the Poets and Players Prize and the Manchester Cathedral poetry prize. Sarah grew up in north Devon, on the edge of Exmoor, and lives in Kent with her family. She is particularly interested in writing about the natural world.
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.