Live on Zoom. Group size: 8 max
Course Outline: On this course we will read and discuss a variety of contemporary poems and find the inspiration to write eight new pieces of our own. It’s ideal for people who want to develop their craft, be part of an inspiring, dedicated group and receive feedback on their work.
All the poems under discussion can be found in this book so please buy a copy before the start of the course.
Starts: Mon 6th Sept (7.30-8.30pm)
or Tues 7th Sept (7.30-8.30pm)
Ends: Mon 8th/Tues 9th of November 2021
Cost – £60
(Special Offer – £50 if you book before July 6th).
If you need my bank details in order to use online banking, text me on 07943 068033 and I’ll send them over to you. You can bring cash or post me a cheque.
Alternatively, you can pay via paypal using this link.
Members of 2020 Poetry Course
Week One – What’s different about 21st Century Poetry?
First, I will welcome everyone to the course and we’ll all briefly introduce ourselves.
Then we’ll discuss the difference and similarities between Wordsworth’s ‘Daffodils’ and ‘The Same Inside’ by Anna Swir. (p. 57 of Staying Human).
Homework – Write a 21st century style poem inspired by either ‘Daffodils’ or ‘The Same Inside’.
Week Two – Choosing a form and structure
Compare and contrast the structure of ‘The Same Inside’ by Anna Swir (p. 57) and ‘Blind Man’ by David Friedman (p. 35) Discuss layout, rhythm, punctuation and enjambment (run on lines).
Homework – Write a poem about meeting a stranger on the street in a similar style to either ‘The Same Inside’ and/or ‘The Blind Man’.
Week Three – Poetic Voice
Compare and contrast the poetic voice of ‘Delivery Room’ by Mona Arshi (p. 129) and ‘Night Watch’ by Niall Campbell. (p. 137).
Homework – Write a poem about a parent or child using an informal, intimate voice.
Week Four – Theme and Subject
Discuss common themes in ‘Staying Human’. Talk about how you can use your real-life experience and poems you have read to inspire new work.
Poems under discussion – ‘Magdalene Afterwards by Marie Howe’ (p. 63) and ‘Autobiographia Literaria by Frank O’Hara’ (p. 206)
Informal writing exercise based on today’s poems. Brainstorm ideas for homework.
Homework – Write a poem to share with the group or edit an old one to make it seem more modern. Choose a short poem from ‘Staying Human’ to read to the group.
Week Five – (Free Choice Week) Read aloud a poem from the book and also share one of your own.
Week Six – Metaphor and Simile
Discuss metaphor and simile in ‘A Visit’ by Elaine Feinstein (p. 241) and ‘You Were a Bird’ by Katharine Kilalea (p. 220).
Homework – Write a love poem using metaphors and/or similes.
Week Seven – Sensory Imagery
Discuss the imagery in ‘A Healing’ by Leanne O’Sullivan (p. 77) and ‘Marmalade’ by Louis De Paor (p. 93)
Homework – Write a poem linking the senses with memory and feelings.
Week Eight – The Prose Poem
Read ‘Happiness’ by Jack Underwood p. 82 and ‘Fish Out of Water’ by Louis Jenkins p. 255. Discuss why these are regarded as poems, rather than prose. Consider what other forms and structures Underwood and Jenkins could have chosen. Why might they have picked ‘prose poetry’?
Homework – Write a prose poem on the subject of happiness and/or fish.
Week Nine – How to Find an Appreciative Audience for Your Work
Say which is your favourite poem from the course and why. Read out your favourite stanza. We will then discuss where to find other examples of 21st poetry and how to find an appreciative audience for your poetry – for example live readings/open mic, social media, radio, self-publishing, poetry magazines, competitions etc.
Week Ten – Free Choice – Everyone will share a poem from the book or one of their own.
Afterwards, everyone will share something they have learned on the course. There will also be the opportunity to ask the group (and me) any general questions about poetry.
Monthly Writing Café – besides from sharing your pieces on the course, you are invited to share your work with a wider audience at the monthly writing café (first Friday of the month 7.30-8.30pm)
Mai Black – Course Co-ordinator
About me: I am an experienced writing tutor and have won a number of short story and poetry competitions. I have a degree in English Literature and am about to publish my first poetry collection (30 Angry Ghosts – Poems for Performance).
Here is some of the lovely feedback I have received about previous poetry courses.
‘This course has been great fun giving me the experience to return to poetry and fully appreciate it. When I was at school the teacher hated poetry so I never went back to it. I have learnt so much in a relaxed and informative way. Thank you, Mai, for a great experience. I look forward to the next one.’ – Jacqui Martin
‘All I can say is thank goodness for lockdown. Without it I’d never have found this lovely group. Mai is great – I’ve learnt so much in such a short length of time.’ – Sue Dale
‘Brilliant insightful course, rediscovering the beauty of language.’ – Ian Speed
‘It’s such a supportive group and Mai does such a great job in keeping us motivated.’ – Ian Hartley
With Mai’s courses I finally learned to understand and enjoy poetry, and even write my own, delving into aspects of the English language I had never thought about before. Mai made each class a delightful experience, the hour rushed by, and the group members were exceptionally supportive. – Susan Sadler
Suffolk Writers at work and play (2019)