Writing poetry: experiments in chance and choice

Course Dates: 13/07/24
Time: 10:00 - 17:00
Location: Online
Explore interesting, off-beat and diverse approaches to generating verse on this one-day course. Try out cut-ups, found lines, experiments in meter and rhyme, and much more.
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

Writing poetry: experiments in chance and choice
  • Course Code: HW120
  • Dates: 13/07/24 - 13/07/24
  • Time: 10:00 - 17:00
  • Taught: Sat, Daytime
  • Duration: 1 session
  • Location: Online
  • Tutor: Mariah Whelan

Course Code: HW120

Sat, day, 13 Jul - 13 Jul '24

Duration: 1 session

Any questions? writing@citylit.ac.uk
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?

The course will look at ways to generate raw material and ideas for new and existing poems through exercises, employing chance/experimental methods and choice –from flow-writing, cut-ups and found lines to syllabic meter and imagery. How do we choose what to do with raw material? What are some methods we can use to shape our experimental writing into poems?

Please note - this course includes a 2-hour lunch break.

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?

Experiments and the act of discovery: we will explore how to allow words onto the page by chance and what methods we can choose to create new poems or revise or re-envision existing poems using these new ideas.

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

- Express an understanding of some new techniques for starting and revising a poem.
- Begin to work on a new or existing poem using exercises and techniques introduced in the class.
- Begin to assess poems provided in class, based on discussions and your own reading and opinions.
- Discuss the individual texts.

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

A basic working knowledge of poetry is necessary; for example, familiarity with some poetic techniques, such as rhyme, meter and imagery. You will need an enthusiasm for poetry and a willingness to take part in discussions, reading, creative exercises and writing poetry.

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

Teaching will be through writing exercises, small and large group discussion and tutor input.

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 loose paper, a writing notebook, pens and pencils, a folder, highlighters, newspapers and magazines of interest to you, scissors and gluesticks and/or sellotape.

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

City Lit has a range of poetry and creative writing courses on offer. You may be interested in 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.

Mariah Whelan

Mariah is a poet, interdisciplinary researcher and teacher. Her debut collection, a novel in sonnets called 'the love i do to you', was shortlisted for the Melita Hume Prize, won The AM Heath Prize and was selected as an Oxford Poetry Library book of the month. Mariah teaches poetry at The University of Cambridge and University College London as well as working with community groups and schools.

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.