Course overview

This five week series of workshops continues Stephen Smith’s popular courses on writing contemporary poetry. These workshops will concentrate on the subject of free-verse and will explore a variety of techniques associated with the genre over the last one hundred years. Each workshop will focus on an important element of free-verse technique and will enable each student to produce the first draft of a poem, which utilises that technique. By the end of the course, each student will have written at least three poems, which they will be encouraged to share with each other in a final session that will explore how to edit and to read.

Course description

Free verse or vers-libre, isn’t quite as free as the absence of rhyme and a strict metre might imply. We will discuss how writers such as Eliot, Pound, and later writers have influenced how lines are written and stressed. On this course we will explore:

How the ghosts of metre and rhyme may exist in free verse, and how to achieve this

How rhythm is generated within free verse through sonic devices.

How rhythms of conversational speech are related to the rhythm of free verse, and how this produces a form of elevated speech.

The course will explore one technique each week and concentrate on workshopping this via the development of a subject during each session. These sessions are built from simple inspiration tasks, discussion and experimentation with ideas and languages, and will enable students to develop writing within each session, along with honing their critical skills as an editor of their poems. Each workshop will be conducted in a mutually supportive atmosphere, in which students will be confident to express their thoughts, imaginations and emotions.

Advice will be given regarding how to edit one’s work and prepare it for submission to magazines or small presses. Come and enjoy writing in a supportive atmosphere.

What financial support is available?

We don't want anything to stand in your way when it comes to bringing Adult learning within reach so if you need anything to support you to achieve your goals then speak to one of our education experts during your enrolment journey. Most of our courses are government funded but if you don't qualify or need alternative financial help to access them then let us know.

What other support is available?

All of our digital content, teaching and learning activities and assessments are designed to be accessible so if you need any additional support you can discuss this with the education experts during your enrolment journey and we will do all we can to make sure you have optimal access.

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