20 weekly sessions (weekday evenings)
Autumn: October – December 2019
Spring: January – April 2020
The Writers’ Place, 9 Jew Street, Brighton BN1 1UT
Dr Mark Slater
Dr John McCullough
This course will look at a range of poetic techniques such as compression, imagery, texture, line breaks, traditional forms, rhyme and metre. As well as considering practical aspects of writing technique, you will be encouraged to bring in your own poetry (up to 100 lines) for constructive feedback from your tutor and fellow writers. The work will be emailed around the class beforehand so we can spend our time usefully, discussing the strengths of each piece and places where the writing could be tightened. This will allow you to receive constructive and detailed feedback and a range of critical and supportive comments on your work from other members of the writing group and your tutor. You will be expected to hand in poetry of up to 100 lines twice in the first ten weeks. Work will be read by the tutor, annotated and returned with comments. In addition, each week we will study and learn writing strategies by looking at both twentieth century and contemporary poets including Frank O’Hara, Elizabeth Bishop, Seamus Heaney and Sylvia Plath.
The theoretical text for the course is Writing Poetry and Getting Publishedby Matthew Sweeney and John Hartley Williams, a guidebook for those new to writing poetry. The book considers both free verse and more formal poetry that uses rhyme and metre. Throughout the course we will be looking at both these types of poetry. Writers on this course will be assumed to be writing with a mind to eventual publication and the importance of analysing and catering to different markets will be discussed.
John McCullough, Spacecraft (2016, Penned in the Margins)
Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones (1986, Shambhala)
Matthew Sweeney and John Hartley Williams, Writing Poetry and Getting Published (1997, Hodder & Stoughton)
Location: The Writers’ Place, 9 Jew Street, Brighton BN1 1UT
1 October 2019 - 1 April 2020