Online Course

Start Writing Poetry with Helen Ivory

Monday 21 January
Online
12 weeks
£450

UEA University of East Anglia

Commences on Monday 21 January for 12 weeks.

Where do poems begin? How can we make language sing? Whether you’re new to writing poems or have dabbled in the past, join Helen Ivory on a journey into the transformative world of poetry. You’ll read inspiring poets, explore how poems take shape, and begin to create and share your own work with a friendly supportive group.

This course is for those who have never written poetry before, or who have done some writing but not in a sustained way. It is also for those who may have written poetry, but who have had little or no feedback and would like to improve.

“I thought it was all a brilliant experience and has changed my writing for the better. Helen was absolutely wonderful.”
Previous poetry student

You will learn to:

  • Consider different sources for poems
  • Use the imagination and memory
  • Observe and listen
  • Study poetic form
  • Explore examples of imagery and metaphor
  • Examine contemporary poetry
  • Play with language

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • Feel confident to write poetry
  • Explore the power of language and use it more confidently, skillfully and appropriately
  • Begin to develop your own voice
  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of poetic form
  • Keep a notebook/writing journal

Designed by the University of East Anglia and the National Centre for Writing.


Course content

The course is divided into six modules, each of which introduces an aspect of the craft of writing poetry. At the end of each module, the tutor will set an assignment. You will receive written feedback from your tutor for all six modules, with hints and tips on how to strengthen your poem.

The modules are posted fortnightly. It is suggested that you stick to this schedule, but you may work through the course at your own speed, providing you complete the course within the three-month duration of the course.

Click here to find out more about how our courses work and whether they’re right for you!

Module One – What is Poetry Anyway?

We will think about what poetry is, and how it is different from prose. We will look at some poems about poetry and some quotations about poetry to help us with our thinking. We will consider where poems come from and generate some writing exercises that will help take us there.

Module Two – The Image

We will look at ways you can make images with words with as few brush strokes as possible. We will consider the simile and how to make words work really hard in order to create original and exciting images.

Module Three – The Metaphor

One of the ways you can create imagery in poems is by building metaphors. We will explore just what a metaphor is and consider what happens when you extend one over the whole of a poem.

Module Four – White Space

The most obvious way in which poems separate themselves from prose is the way they use the white space of the page.  We will look at line breaks and stanza breaks and think about when to use them and what effect they have on your poem.

Module Five – Who’s Talking?

We will consider the speaker of your poem. The narrative ‘I’ of your poem does not have to be you, which can be liberating. We will think about what mirrors might say if they could talk and how sloth might sound.

Module Six – Musicality

Poetry comes from song, and in this module we will look at some poems that use repetition as a device and focus on the way the sound of a poem is as important as the images it makes.


About the tutor

Helen Ivory is a poet and visual artist. Her fourth Bloodaxe Books collection is the semi-autobiographical Waiting for Bluebeard (May 2013). She edits the webzine Ink Sweat and Tears. She has over 15 years of teaching experience at all levels and as well as teaching for UEA/NCW also teaches for The Poetry School, The Arvon Foundation and The Poetry Society. Fool’s World, a collaborative Tarot with artist Tom de Freston (Gatehouse Press) won the 2016 Saboteur Best Collaborative Work award. A book of collage/ mixed media poems, Hear What the Moon Told Me, has just been published by KFS. The Anatomical Venus is forthcoming from Bloodaxe. Website

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January 21, 2019 9:00 am January 21, 2019 9:00 am Europe/London Start Writing Poetry with Helen Ivory Writers' Centre Norwich –

Commences on Monday 21 January for 12 weeks. Where do poems begin? How can we make language sing? Whether you’re new to writing poems or have dabbled in the past, join Helen Ivory on a journey into the transformative world of poetry. You’ll read inspiring poets, explore how poems take shape, and begin to create […]

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