HOW IN-PERSON COURSES WORKS
Tutor and students sit round a large table for a typical Poetry School course session or workshop and the meetings are friendly and relatively informal.
In each session, you might be given Exercises (specific writing tasks to inspire your own poems or ideas) or Feedback (comments on your work by tutors and / or other students); you might be Reading (close attention to published poems, looking for examples of technique, style, theme or form), Writing (working towards creating new poems throughout the duration of the course or workshop) or a combination of all these. Some courses will include tasks for you to complete at home.
Our in-person courses are designed to suit all levels of experience: some activities are open to all, and others are structured with beginner, intermediate or advanced poets specifically in mind. Similarly, our activities aim to offer a breadth of approach to learning poetry, with some focusing on form and technique, whilst others look to provide inspiration for your writing.
WHAT WILL I LEARN?
Content will vary course to course, but on all our in-person courses you can expect the following:
- reading, writing and thinking about poetry in different ways
- exposure to new writers, voices, forms and styles
- the confidence to write more and devote more time to writing
- generating new work
- discovery of new areas and subjects for research
- better understanding of how to make choices (length, theme, tone, etc)
- enhanced critical skills
- practical advice on further development
Many of our teaching poets are also performers, makers and artists, as well as teachers, and like to teach more than just poetry in their classes. One of the great advantages of face-to-face teaching is that is doesn’t always have to happen in a classroom. From time to time, we also like to run workshops where as well as writing poems, you might be going on a walking tour, exploring a priceless archive, painting pictures, eating exotic foods, making theatre props or even swimming in the wild.
We pride ourselves on the standard of our teaching and the poetry produced on every one of our courses. Many of our students have gone on to successfully submit their course work for publication in magazines and journals, and had success in competitions. But don’t take it from us: read some of our many student testimonials.
Generally speaking we offer 3 main types of in-person course:
LONG COURSES are more than 10 weeks and run over several terms. All our long courses start in the Autumn, but can be joined mid-way (subject to availability). Long courses are quite general and will encompass a large variety of ideas and techniques suitable for particular skill levels.
SHORT COURSES are commonly 10 weeks or less, once a term, with regular sessions running weekly or fortnightly. Short courses tend to focus on a particular subject, theme, form or technical aspect of poetry, often open to all levels.
WORKSHOPS are weekend, one or half day sessions. One day workshops are intensive writing and learning experiences that last 5 hours (with an additional 1 hour lunch break).
If you’re unsure which class, level, or style of course might be best for you, you can contact our administration team on [email protected] for help with any course queries you might have.
The activity I want is fully booked – what can I do?
Contact us and ask to be put on a waiting list - if any places come free, we will let you know.
Lost property will be kept in the office at 1 Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, Canada Water, SE16 2XU. Please call or email us if you believe you have left something in the classrooms.
What should I do if I can’t make a class session?
Contact us on 0207 735 5391 or send an email to [email protected]
and we will inform the tutor.
What is your refunds policy?
If you cannot attend a course a full refund will be made as long as cancellation is received four weeks before the course start date. After this period, we are only able to give you a refund if the course has sold out and we are able to fill your place. Refunds cannot be given if you were unable to attend a course or did not log on to the online chats. Please read our Terms & Conditions for more information.
How do I teach for the Poetry School?
Please send us details of your publication record and teaching experience and the ideas you have for courses and workshops you'd like to teach. If your ideas for the programme are a fit for ours, we will start to make joint plans. Download this 'Teaching for the Poetry School for the First Time' hand out which might be useful.