Poetry Salon

Advanced | Poetry
At the heart of this lively and energetic course – taught by two of Britain’s leading poets – is the writing and sharing of new work. In weekly 2-hour sessions, you’ll be creatively challenged to break free of your comfort zones. The course will feature four guest tutors, Poet Laureate Simon Armitage and three more to be confirmed.

You will be expected to write new poems each week with the expectation that you will broaden your techniques, deepen your knowledge and intensify your poetic ambitions. Through the close reading and discussion of key texts, you’ll also be pushed towards a more rewarding way of reading and engaging with classic modern poetry.

What's more, as well as Richard and Maurice, who'll lead the bulk of your classes, you'll also hear from a wide range of the best working poets in the country, drawn from Faber & Faber's storied list. It's a superb opportunity to work with lots of different poets, to stretch your practice and try new things.

During workshop sessions, you’ll also be pitching your work to the group, and hearing each other’s poems, bringing out the areas you want to concentrate on and the areas which need work.

This is an advanced poetry course, which will work best for students who have already studied writing poetry, have had some success with magazine or pamphlet publication, or who work professionally in another writing field and are looking to turn their hand to poetry. If you're just starting out, try How To Write A Poem.

23rd January 2020 - 9th April 2020

Availability: Out of stock

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The course consists of 12 two-hour salon sessions, taking place each Thursday, 7pm–9pm, here at Bloomsbury House. There will also be a schedule of one-to-one sessions. Each student will have two opportunities over the course to workshop up to three pages' worth of poems with a tutor – one session each with Maurice and Richard. This schedule will be determined at the first class.

Session 1 (23 January): Rapidity and Concision with Maurice Riordan

Strategies, and imperatives, for using language on a higher plane than prose, thereby achieving a vigorous lyric style.

Session 2: Anti-biography with Richard Scott

Can we write confessional poetry anymore? What even is post-confessional poetry?

Session 3: Guest Tutor — Mimi Khalvati

Session 4: Guest Tutor — Simon Armitage

Session 5: Liquid Engineering with Maurice Riordan

Using syntax and lineation to give the poem impetus.

Session 6: Drafting with Richard Scott

Is a poem ever finished? And how do we know when it's ready? By examining our own first and last drafts together, we will explore our own process and tap into the possibilities hidden within our work.

Session 7: Guest Tutor — Crispin Best

Session 8: Guest Tutor — Matthew Caley

Session 9: Disrupting the Narrative with Richard Scott

How might we warp and confuse the narrative of poetry and to what effect? Is the narrative poem dead? How might be revivify it?

Session 10: Contemporary Edge with Maurice Riordan

Stretch your technique using such devices as collage, fragmentation, pastiche.

Saturday 4th April: One-to-one tutorials with Richard and Maurice

Session 11: Who Writes Sonnets Anymore? With Richard Scott

Exactly what is a sonnet and why is it still relevant? How has the sonnet been manipulated and exploded over time?

Session 12: Radiant Form with Maurice Riordan

Giving a poem claritas, a sense of inevitability and completeness.

Please note that the Faber Academy alumni discount does not apply to poetry courses.

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Maurice Riordan was born in 1953 in Lisgoold, Co. Cork. His first collection, A Word from the Loki (1995) was nominated for the T. S. Eliot ...


Richard Scott was born in London in 1981. His poems have appeared widely in magazines and anthologies including Poetry Review, Poetry Lon...



Come to one of the world's great literary cities and study creative writing at Faber Academy's home in historic Bloomsbury. Our London courses take place at Faber and Faber's offices.

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