Finding the Form; Breaking the Mould [Summer 2024]

Finding the Form; Breaking the Mould [Summer 2024]

Hone your craft, explore poetry’s inner workings, and look at techniques to help your poems achieve lift-off.

* This course will take place on the video-conferencing platform ZOOM * 

‘What are the ideals of form for? What are line and breath and music and stanza and every which way you move on the page… and every turn for, except to get you deeper and deeper into a confrontation with the thing you know not. It’s an intercourse with the unknown, which will manifest itself eventually into the subject of your poem.’  – Jorie Graham 

In this practical course for intermediate poets, we will investigate the outer and inner workings of poems through discussion, writing, and wide readings. Taking inspiration from poets past and present, we will explore what we can control and what we need to pay attention to; what we know and what we have to discover in a poem’s writing process.

As you generate new poems and work on existing poems struggling to achieve lift-off, you will be encouraged to hone your critical skills and enquire into your own poetics.

Term 1: Free Verse

Term 2: Traditional Forms

Term 3: Experimenting with form – This term, the focus is on process rather than product, as we experiment with hybridity and innovative ways to generate poems. We will take inspiration from poets including Terrance Hayes, Haryette Mullen, Victoria Chang, Mary Rueffle, Donna Stonecipher and the post-surrealist group OULIPO. 

10 weekly Zoom sessions on Wednesdays, 6.45–8.45pm (GMT), starts 8 May 2024. This is the third of a three-term course and all places are currently reserved for continuing students, who have a 2-week Priority Booking period. Any remaining places will be made available to new students on 11 March.

Concessions & Accessibility

To apply for a concessionary rate, please send relevant documentation showing your eligibility for one of our concessions to [email protected]; conditions of eligibility are detailed here. If you have any questions, wish to be added to the waiting list of a sold-out course, or require any form of adjustment to access our courses, please email [email protected]For more information visit our Video Courses page.

Image credit: Anne Nygård

About Shazea Quraishi View Profile

Shazea Quraishi is a Pakistani-born Canadian poet and translator based in London.  Her poems have appeared in UK and US publications including The Guardian, Poetry Review, Modern Poetry in Translation & The Hudson Review, and anthologised in Poetry: A Writer’s Guide and Anthology, Mapping the Future: the Complete Works Poets, and The Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women Write, among others. Her books include The Glimmer (Bloodaxe Books, 2022), The Taxidermist (Verve Poetry Press, 2020), The Art of Scratching (Bloodaxe Books, 2015) and The Courtesans Reply (flipped eye publishing, 2012).  

Shazea is a trustee on the board of English PEN, and on the committee of the Poetry and Spoken Word Group of the Society of Authors. A Complete Works I alumna, she runs workshops with Poetry Studio, and is a tutor with the Poetry School and RHACC School of Ideas.  She is also an ongoing artist in residence with Living Words, an arts and literature organisation that works with marginalised people impacted by a dementia or ongoing mental health concerns, 

‘The Poetry School has opened my eyes to the numerous possibilities of poetry-related tasks, some involving other complementary arts such as drawing and photography. I have benefited hugely in terms of reading lists, suggestions and simply the space in which to experiment. These courses help to build confidence and are so enjoyable.’

- Autumn 2023 survey response

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