How To Write A Poem

Starting out | Poetry
A playful, supportive three-month poetry course for beginners and aspiring amateur poets, with two of the best practitioners and teachers in the country – all at the home of British poetry, Faber & Faber.
You may have been writing poetry for years – squirreling away fragments or working by yourself; or perhaps you’ve always wondered about how to turn your ideas into poems, but don’t know where to begin. Either way, you want to take your craft to the next level – but how?

Over the course of three months, join Faber & Faber poets Maurice Riordan and Richard Scott for weekly supportive classes, where you will share your work with like-minded fellow writers, develop your reading and appreciation of poetry, and develop new skills.

Together, our experienced tutors have put together a course aimed at inspiring beginner writers so that they create new poems, learn to make more discerning judgements about their own work, and are inspired afresh by poetry. The course aims to be positive, supportive and fun, so that by the end of the twelve weeks, each poet will come away invigorated by a desire to write the best work they can, and in possession of new poems to set them on their way.

This course is suitable for writers who are just starting out, and for those who wish to continue developing their work.
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Classes take place on a Tuesday evening between 7pm and 9pm.

Session 1, 2nd October, 7pm–9pm: Improvising the poem

Anaphora: examples by Christopher Smart, Wendy Cope, Kenneth Koch, Kim Moore. With Maurice and Richard.

Session 2: Alibis and Excuses

Using a ‘voice’ and poems that ‘do another job’ – give recipes, instructions, make seductions. With Richard Scott.

Session 3: Self-portraiture and Objects

'No ideas but in things,' said William Carlos Williams; but what things and what ideas? Can an object become the basis for a self-portrait? And can the abstract or the confessional be funnelled through the concrete and the real? With Richard Scott.

Session 4: Drafting

By examining the drafts of various poems, including one of Maurice's, we will explore the importance of drafting and editing; which choices might improve our work? And is a poem ever finished? With Maurice Riordan.

Session 5: Trivial Pursuits

Writing poems on the spot – or seeming to, e.g. Norman MacCaig, ‘Ten Summer Minutes’. With Richard Scott.

Session 6: Time Travel

Manipulating time and memory, as Louis MacNeice, ‘Soap Suds’; Colette Bryce, 'The Full Indian Rope Trick'. With Maurice Riordan.

Session 7: Shame, Trauma, Rejection & Failure

How can we turn supposedly negative emotions and experiences into poems? And should poetry be biographical or anti-biographical? With Richard Scott.

Session 8: Mixing Registers

Using different registers of the language, such as the religious, scientific, legal; or specialized vocabulary, such as dental terms in Paul Farley’s ‘Relic’. With Maurice Riordan.

Session 9: Line breaks.

When and how should we break the line in poetry? And what constitutes a line for that matter anyway? How has the history of poetry treated the line break and what does the future hold? With Richard Scott.

Session 10: Mixing Genres

Prose and Poetry, and some principles of lineation. With Maurice Riordan.

Session 11: The Physical.

Can the physical, the intimate or the sexual make good poetry? Together we explore how just a simple touch, or indeed much much more, might become the basis for a poem. With Richard Scott.

Session 12: Consolidation and next steps

How to approach the future – submissions to magazines; open mics; pamphlet manuscripts etc. Culminating in a group reading! With Maurice and Richard.

2018-10-02
2018-12-18
London
onsite
Poetry
2nd October 2018 - 18th December 2018

Availability: In stock

£480.00
13 Places

Tutor

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 ...

Tutor

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

Location

 

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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