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Poetry Essentials: Writing Free Verse

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Course Information


Term 1 (Tuesday, 7-9pm)

Please note: if you select the staff or student price option, you must use an online store account that has been set up with your University email address and fill out your University staff or student ID number when prompted as part of the questionnaire data section.

Unfortunately, you can only select the staff or student price option if you are a full time/ part time student of the University or staff member. This discount is not available if you have taken a Lifelong Learning evening course before.

Course Code


Course Dates

17th October 2017 – 21st November 2017

Places Available

Course Leader

Alice Stinetorf
Course Description

Course overview

In this six-week course, you will explore the craft of poetry. You will build a foundation of core skills, such as differentiating between the abstract and concrete, creating impact through line breaks, navigating sound devices, and employing figurative language. The course will conclude with strategies for getting published in literary journals.


Classes will be based around the close study of sample poems, with discussion highlighting the techniques authors use to create certain impacts; exercises tailored to hone the strength of your writing through the application of key craft elements; and workshops, in which you’ll share in-progress poems with the group. The aim is for you to produce a short portfolio of revised poems.


Prior creative writing experience is not required—the class is open to fledgling and seasoned writers, alike.


Aims and learning outcomes

  • To outline the key skills required for successful poetry
  • To practice a range of techniques central to poetic craft, such as rendering the abstract in concrete terms; navigating figurative language; experimenting with persona, tone, and narrative; and creating impact via structure and line breaks
  • To develop revision acumen through student workshops
  • To learn standard procedures of submitting creative work to literary journals
  • To produce a brief portfolio of free verse poems

Summary of teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include:


  • A weekly two-hour class incorporating seminar and workshop
  • Lecturer-led examination and discussion of writing


Learning activities include:


  • Participation in group and class discussion
  • Participation in writing exercises and fulfilment of prompts
  • Optional reading of your own work
  • Optional preparatory reading before each seminar

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