The Construction of the Poem (Autumn 2017)

The Construction of the Poem (Autumn 2017)

A rotating line-up of special guest tutors teach you how to construct a poem.

‘On the simplest level, form functions for any poet as a kind of scaffold from which the poem can be
constructed.’ — Michael Donaghy. The Construction of the Poem is a thirty-week course designed to give participants detailed knowledge of all aspects of the history and application of formal techniques in writing poetry. Sessions will be taught by different poets, based on their particular areas of expertise, so expect to be challenged and inspired by a variety of approaches and practices. From language and diction, to rhyme and rhythm, to lineation and verse forms (such as the sonnet and sestina), to more radical forms (such as prose poetry and concrete poetry) The Construction of the Poem will give you the tools of the trade needed to build the perfect poem.

10 weekly sessions on Mondays 6.45pm – 8.45pm, starting 18 September. 

More information about how all our face-to-face courses work can be found on the Face-to-Face courses page.


About Various Tutors View Profile

Week one: (18 Sept)

An introduction to poetic forms in English poetry (Tim Dooley)

Week two: (25 Sept)

Language as building block

Poetic Diction (Judy Brown)

Week three: (2 Oct)

Language as building block

Syntax and sound patterns (Judy Brown)

Week four: (9 Oct)

Language as building block

Alliteration, Assonance and Rhyme (varieties and definitions) (Tim Dooley)

Week five: (16 Oct)

Music and Metre

Stressed Verse, part 1

Scanning the poem

(discussion of metrical feet) (Judy Brown)

Week six: (23 Oct)

Music and Metre

Stressed Verse, part 2

Metrical structures

Iambs, trochees, spondees, etc (Judy Brown)

Week seven: (30 Oct)

Music and Metre

The syllable

Syllabics as an ordering principle (Claire Crowther)

Week eight: (6 Nov)

Workshop (Claire Crowther)

Week nine: (13 Nov)

Iambic pentameter and blank verse (Tim Dooley)

Week ten: (20 Nov)

Workshop (Tim Dooley)


The content and assignments were amazing. I learned a lot that will affect all aspects of my writing. The course far exceeded my expectations, which were already high, having previously done a course with the same tutor. Already had one of the assignments published (Morning Star newspaper), and others that I will be sending out.

– Autumn 2016 survey response

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