Craft: The Making of Poetry (Masterclass)

Craft: The Making of Poetry (Masterclass)

Unpack the meaning of the poet's 'craft'

Poets often use the word ‘craft’ to describe what they do, but what does that term really mean? Does this suggest the poem is an object made out of words, something wrought by hand and eye, as surely as a fence or chair? Where does ‘craft’, meaning art or skill, meet ‘craeft, meaning ‘to have the wisdom of one’s surroundings, understanding nature and the seasons’? In this course, we will explore the notion of craft as a special kind of work that establishes a particular relationship between human beings and the world as it is found and as it is continually re-made. We will think about the place of craft in modern societies, which are now almost exclusively characterised by mass production, and in which automization is an increasingly important factor. We will consider how philosophers of craft, from Aristotle to Richard Sennett, via John Dewey and Hannah Arendt, have tried to find in the work of craftspeople a model for living in and experiencing our environment. We will also engage with the work of modern poets who have eulogised disappearing and forgotten skills, or who explore the relationship between the skilled work of others and their own making of poetry. Together we will write poems that test the boundaries between art and craft and explore the meaning of craft for our own writing practice.

Masterclasses are an expanded version of our Interactive and International courses, with a much deeper consideration of technical craft and critical theory. These 12 week courses (maximum 10 places) are for advanced students only, and fluency with poetic language and ideas will be assumed. There are no regular live chats and they are suitable for UK and International students.

More information about how all our online courses work can be found on the Online Courses page.

A 10% discount is available to residents local to the Poetry School (anyone currently living in Rotherhithe, Riverside, Surrey Docks, South Bermondsey, Grange or Livesey).
Please contact for further information.
Image Credit: Denish C

About David Clarke View Profile

David Clarke was born in Lincolnshire. His first pamphlet, Gaud, won the Michael Marks award in 2013. His first collection, Arc, was published by Nine Arches Press in 2015 and was longlisted for the Polarai Prize. Another pamphlet, Scare Stories, was published by V Press in 2017 and was named a Poetry School ‘Book of the Year’. His poems have appear in magazines including Magma, Tears in the Fence, Long Poem Magazine and The Interpreter’s House.

‘The Poetry School has transformed me from feeling like someone skirting the suburbs of poetry to being someone living right in its vibrant metropolis.’

– Spring 2019 survey response

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