Super Sestina Studio

Super Sestina Studio

Learn the skills, tricks, and turns needed to truly master the sestina!

The sestina – or sixer – a 39-line form, consisting of six stanzas of six lines, an envoi of three lines and a famously complicated end word system that can drive you batty, can be as versatile as it can be constraining. Testing your powers to the limits it can at once be beautifully frustrating and satisfying to write. Over the weeks, following a pathway through the sestina as narrative, argument, and experiment, we’ll look at super sestinas by poets such as Togara Muzanenhamo, Sonya Huber and even collaborative efforts by the likes of John Ashbery and Ron Padgett.  

By the end of the course you’ll have made a number of decisions about how to use the form. You might decide to highlight its complexity, in order to celebrate the art of poetry. On the other hand, you might decide to camouflage the form, letting its mechanisms work in subtle ways. Or you might even decide to react against its rules in order to explore new adventures in form and content. Whichever direction you decide to turn, no matter what solutions you make, you will find that writing a sestina is an incredibly rewarding pursuit. 

Studios are 4 week intensive courses. Reading material will be distributed before the course begins. There are no live chats so they are suitable for both UK & International students. 

For more information visit our Online Courses page.

Image credit: Benjamin Lizardo

About James Davies View Profile

James Davies is the author stack (Carcanet) and Plants (Reality Street) as well as a number of other poetry collections and pamphlets. His latest book of poems is Forty-Four Poems and a Volta published by Red Ceilings. He has also published two novels — The Wood Pigeons (Dostoevsky Wannabe) & the psychedelic adventure When Two Are in Love or As I Came To Behind Frank’s Transporter (published by Crater and written in collaboration with Philip Terry). The short story The Ten Superstrata of Stockport J. Middleton, a rewrite of the first page of Philip K. Dick’s The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, came out recently from Ma Bibliothèque. Find out more at 

‘The Poetry School has helped me to believe in myself. Although I only started writing poetry seriously in my eighties, I have felt warmly included in a community of poets.’

– Summer 2020 survey response

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