Advanced Poetry (Online)

Advanced | Poetry
A dedicated, involved six-month course for the committed aspiring poet.
This course is selective, so you`ll need to apply. For more information, click here.

The application deadline is
20th September 2020

From Eliot to Plath to Walcott to Heaney, Faber has been at the heart of the poetic world for ninety years. Where better to take your writing to the next level? Combining the rigour and camaraderie of Faber Academy's London courses with the flexibility of the online space, the course represents a new and exciting expansion of how aspiring poets can develop their grasp of poetic craft.

This brand new six-month poetry course is for the serious, committed poet working towards a first pamphlet or collection. A counterpart to our renowned course Writing a Novel – a practical alternative to a creative writing MA – Advanced Poetry is designed to take you deep into the craft of contemporary poetry, and to push your writing to new levels of inquiry, depth and execution.

Poetry may come from the heart and from the mind – but to find its shape as poetry requires a practical knowledge and application of craft. Craft makes the difference between subject matter and art. You will be taught the key techniques and encouraged to apply them to whatever material you want to address. You will gain new insights about the classic forms such as the sonnet and sestina alongside new forms such as the Golden Shovel, the ghazal or the duplex. You will discover the rules and be encouraged to find new ways to break those rules.

Regular workshops, guest tutors, reading lists and intensive one-to-one sessions with the tutors will deepen the sophistication and variety of your poems, and structured feedback on other students’ work will ensure you develop an editorial sense you can bring back to your own work. We believe the support of a community and the motivation it affords is energising and helps with making rapid progress as a poet.

Good writing is dependent on good reading and participation in the wider community of the poetry. To this extent, you will discover the very best poetry being written in the English language during the period of the course. Alongside new work, you will discover a range of contemporary poets whose work inspires us to critically consider gender, race, status and ableism. In addition, you will be encouraged to attend poetry events as they occur, to discover poetry online and to make that all important step of seeking publication in magazines, attending floor spots events to read your own work.

There is no generic form of poetry but many different schools of poetry, and many poetic ways to imagine the world. You will play with traditional page poetry, the avant garde, social media poetry and performance poetry. You will be inspired to create your own poetic excellence in each of these forms as they engage with their respective mediums. Overall though, you will be encouraged to write strong poems for the page that will shape your first manuscript.

5th October 2020 - 21st March 2021

Availability: In stock

15 Places

Please note: There is a Christmas break between sessions 11 and 12

Session 1—Monday 5 October: What’s New: an introduction to the latest poetry

Session 2—12 October: Narrative Poems How to tell a narrative through lyric methods and experimental modes.

Session 3—19 October: Genre poems: Is there such a thing as a genre poem? Should there be? What can we take from the themes and genres of novels and how they can expand the things we write about and the way we write them.

Authors: Katherine Kilalea, Luke Kennard

Session 4—26 October: GUEST SLOT

Session 5—2 November: Being Weird: How weirdness is created in verse, for what effect and how can elements of weirdness be deployed to help energise a poem.

Session 6—9 November: History of experimentation

Thinking about experimental histories in poetry – who writes them, why, and why they are necessary – to bring us to a contemporary definition of what is experimental, and what it means to ‘experiment’.

Authors: Hope Mirrlees, Denise Riley, Geraldine Monk, Haryette Mullen, Will Alexander, Verity Spott.

Session 7—16 November: Imbrication: How we weave the edges of one thought into the succeeding ones so the fabric of the sentence is seamless and adequate for the copious vision.

Session 8—23 November: GUEST SLOT

Session 9—30 November: Ecological thinking: The current climate of contemporary ecopoetics. Animal-human relationships and ecological thinking.

Authors: Isabel Galleymore, Rebecca Tamas, John Kinsella, Elizabeth Jane-Burnett

Session 10—7 December: Mastering the Breath: how to control the breath within and down the line through grammar and rhythm

Session 11—14 December: Funny Bones: how to create serious humour through the philosophy of laughter

—Christmas Break—

Session 12—4 January: Free verse: The history behind the go-to form in contemporary poetry. A look at what it means to follow natural rhythms and speech and how to better understand the mode in which poets largely write now.

Authors: Veronica Forrest Thomson, Hannah Sullivan.

Session 13—11 January: Syllabic verse: How this neglected form can inspire your imagination and create compression in the poem.

Session 14—18 January: Gender, sexuality and Poetics: Recent movements in queer and gender non-conforming poetics

Authors: Richard Scott, C.A.Conrad, Eileen Myles, Danez Smith.

Session 15—25 January: GUEST SLOT

Session 16—1 February: Rhythm Fun: methods to create basic and advanced rhythms in verse so we have maximum control of the subject and the reader’s breath.

Session 17—8 February: Prose poems: A look at a history of the prose poem, and the blurry line between flash and short fiction and prose poem. How can the strengths of prose be utilised to make the most out of poems.

Authors: Russell Edson, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, Cathy Park Hong, Lydia Davis.

Session 18—15 February: Mood & Consciousness: What is the science behind the significance of creating a mood, and how is this ‘qualia’ significant for the poet when creating exciting new work.

Session 19—22 February: GUEST SLOT

Session 20—1 March: Writing in Sequence: Thinking about how writing sequentially can push our poetry to breach limits we impose on it. How can our ideas be expanded when we work through them in sequences? How can a poem still stand alone and live as part of a longer work?

Authors: A.R. Ammons, Claudia Rankine, Sophie Collins, Ben Lerner, Sylvia Legris.

Session 21—8 March: The art of performance: ways to control breath, the reading voice and find the best method for reciting your own verse

Session 22—15 March: Grand Finale: students perform their own poems to the group and invited guests

Click here for more information +


Rachael Allen’s first collection of poems, KINGDOMLAND, is published by Faber & Faber. She is the co-author of a number of collaborative ar...


Daljit Nagra has published four poetry collections with Faber & Faber. He has won the Forward Prize for Best Individual Poem and Best Fir...

"There's no point staring at a blank page waiting for inspiration to strike - to get your creative muscles working you need to start writing, reviewing and sharing your work."

Helen Shipman