Online Course

Writing Poetry: Next Steps with Helen Ivory

Friday 31 January
Online
24 weeks
£900

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This course is not currently open to new students. To join the waiting list please email learning@nationalcentreforwriting.org.uk.

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

UEA University of East Anglia

This is a next level course designed for people keen to push themselves and see how far they can take their poetry. Through experimentation, challenge and feedback, you will produce new work and have a better sense of how to assess your poetry objectively. Over twenty-four weeks, you will be guided through the landscape of contemporary poetry. If you are keen to experiment and develop your poetic voice, then this course is for you.

“Excellent and constructive feedback from Helen Ivory. Enjoyed the high standard of poems posted by participants.”
Level 2 poetry student

  • Develop your poetic voice
  • Challenge yourself to write your best work yet through experimentation and feedback
  • Understand the editing process and learn how to objectively judge your own work
  • Think about the reader and how to help them engage with your poetry
  • Receive constructive and supportive feedback on six poems
  • Develop an understanding of the scope of contemporary poetry
  • Explore avenues for where next to take your poetry
  • Engage with a group of fellow poets keen to take their work to the next level

Committing to a 24-week course is a big decision for any writer. If you have any questions at all please do get in touch at learning@nationalcentreforwriting.org.uk.

Applying to the course

This course is not currently open to new students. To join the waiting list please email learning@nationalcentreforwriting.org.uk.

This is an intermediate course and we ask that you submit samples of you work during application. The criteria is as follows:

  • 3-5 poems that you would like to share with the tutor, and a one-page letter of introduction to yourself and your writing

How it works

The course will run for twenty four weeks and there will be 12 modules. Each module will consider an aspect of poetry and participants will work through some writing exercises. At the end of each module, the tutor will set an assignment.  You will receive written feedback from your tutor for all 12 modules with hints and tips on how to strengthen your poem.

Module One – Making Strange

In the 1970s, Christopher Reid and Craig Raine became associated with ‘The Martian School of Poetry’ which was essentially a way of looking at our world afresh – through a Martian’s eyes.  In this module we will look at some ‘Martian’ poems and then try to write some of our own.  The focus is on making the familiar strange, which will involve a fresh look at the world.

Module Two – Narrative

In this module we will consider development and movement within short free verse poems.  We will think about ways of structuring a poem in order to keep the reader engaged and following its thread.

Module Three – First Person, Third Person

This module will look at the use of the first person ‘I’ and the third person ‘she’ or ‘he’.  We will look at the power and effects of using both forms of narrator and consider the possible effects of this on the writer and the reader.

Module Four – Autobiography, Facts and Metaphorical Truth

Sometimes the most difficult thing to write poems about is your own life because you are too close to it.  In this module we will consider metaphorical truth and look at ways in to writing about personal material.

Module Five – Finding Your Voice

Your poetic voice comes from everything you’ve ever read, seen, heard or experienced which had spoken to your heart.  It’s comes from where you come from, which needn’t be where you were born.  This module explores notions of voice with a view to helping you to tap into your own.

Module Six – The Sonnet

The ‘Sonnet’ or ‘little song’ originated in Italy in the 13th Century and has undergone many developments since then. In this module we will look at the Shakespearian sonnet to see how it’s made and we will explore contemporary versions of the traditional form, poems that borrow elements of ‘sonnet-ness’ to their own ends.

Module Seven – Using Fairytale and Myth

Poets have long found inspiration in archetypal stories, which play an important role in the way mankind has attempted to understand life, death, and indeed, where we live after death. In this module we will look at poems which borrow from existing stories and then write our own.

Module Eight – The Prose Poem

The Prose Poem originated in 19th Century France as a reaction against complicated verse forms.  There are many definitions of the prose poem and this module we will consider some of them, read some prose poems and explore what it feels like to write one.

Module Nine – Experimental Poetry

This module will focus on play and press at the boundaries of what a poems is.  We will look at found poems, visual poems and collage poems.  We will translate a poem from another language by sound and suggestion alone.

Module Ten – Ekphrasis

Ekphrasis is the Greek word for using one medium to talk about another such as the film of the book, or the poem that makes a sculpture re-manifest from words. In this module we will look at the way that visual art can be the stimulus for writing a poem which may have been already been waiting in your head.

Module Eleven – Sequences

Sometimes you cannot explore a subject fully inside of one poem and sequences can be a liberating way of meditating on your subject.  In this module we will look at ways the sequence can be deployed and how it can work for you.

Module Twelve – Editing

This module will offer general tips about editing poems now that the course is coming to a close.  Feedback from other writers is always helpful, but it’s very useful to be self-sufficient especially with early edits.  At the end of this module there will be an opportunity for you to gain feedback from your tutor of up to six edited poems you have already submitted for this course.


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 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.

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January 31, 2020 12:00 am January 31, 2020 12:00 am Europe/London Writing Poetry: Next Steps with Helen Ivory Writers' Centre Norwich –

<< Browse all online courses This course is not currently open to new students. To join the waiting list please email learning@nationalcentreforwriting.org.uk. Designed by the University of East Anglia and the National Centre for Writing This is a next level course designed for people keen to push themselves and see how far they can take […]

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