Freedom to Choose: Experiments in Poetry

Freedom to Choose: Experiments in Poetry

Invent forms, break the rules, play, and experiment to create surprising, innovative work.

People often think a poem is one set thing; that it has to mean one thing, sound one way, look one way. But a poem is a many-splendored thing and can do so much more than we imagine!

Poems don’t need to follow set rules to work and can play with real freedom on the page, within and around their words and lines. Surprise and play are the most exciting parts of being a poet and this is a course for those who are willing to step outside the boxes we often put ourselves in as writers; for those who want to shake up their writing and try something new.

We will read poems that are experimental in form, format, and placement on the page; white space is a field of exploration and in poetry, experimenting is your friend! We will invent forms, and we will break forms to claim them as our own. We will also read poems by poets who resist the page, who break the rules, and who strange their writing. We will read poems by contemporary poets and poets of the past that challenge norms, that break traditions, and that are inventive and unique. We will read work by poets including Khadijah Queen, Matthea Harvey, Omotara James, Rachel Zucker, Tiana Clark, Morgan Parker, Hala Alyan, Rachel McKibbens, and more.

5 fortnightly sessions over 10 weeks. No live chats. Suitable for UK & International students.

To apply for a concession 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 or wish to be added to the waiting list of a sold-out course, please email [email protected]

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

Image credit: Michael Schiffer

About Leah Umansky View Profile

Leah Umansky is the author of two full length collections, The Barbarous Century (2018), and Domestic Uncertainties (2013), among others. She earned her MFA in Poetry at Sarah Lawrence College and is the curator and host of The COUPLET Reading Series in NYC. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in such places as POETRY, Guernica, Bennington Review, The Academy of American Poets’ Poem-A-Day, Poetry International, The New York Times, Rhino, Pleiades, and the anthologies, The Eloquent Poem (Persea Books) and Misrepresented Peoples (NYQ Books). She is #teamstark, #teamelliot, & #teambernard and can be found at @Lady_bronte and

‘Poetry School has created a broad sense of community for me as a poet. It amazes me to see just how many talented poets are out there, either to tutor us or to be our fellow students.’

– Spring 2021 Survey Response

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