The Many Voices of Poetry

The Many Voices of Poetry

Examine poetry’s many different voices to see how your own can shift, change and fluctuate for different effects.

The first voice is the voice of the poet talking to himself – or to nobody. The second is the voice of the poet addressing an audience, whether large or small. The third is the voice of the poet when he attempts to create a dramatic character speaking in verse. – T. S. Eliot, ‘The Three Voices of Poetry’ (1957)

How many voices can a poem speak in? Is the poem one person speaking? Two people in conversation? A chorus? A crowd? How might your poems change depending on the audience you imagine listening to you? This course will introduce students to different kinds of poetic voices and genres, from lyric to dramatic to epic, from spoken word to lyric and ballad traditions that move close to song. We will imagine various kinds of audiences and speakers and see how the voices of our poems might shift and change in response.

5 fortnightly sessions on Thursdays 6.45–8.45pm, starts 21 May.

All classes will be in our offices at 1 Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, Canada Water, SE16 2XU. The venue is a 2-minute walk from Canada Water Station. Take the ‘Lower Road’ exit from the station onto Surrey Quays Road, then walk straight ahead, crossing over Deal Porters Way, and the Dock Offices come up on the left. The door for the school is at the far end of the building.

More information about how all our face-to-face courses work can be found on the Face-to-Face 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 [email protected] for further information.
Image Credit:  Oleg Laptev

About Becky Varley-Winter View Profile

Becky Varley-Winter‘s debut pamphlet collection is HEROINES: On the Blue Peninsula (V. Press, 2019). She grew up on the Isle of Wight, lives in London, and works as a teacher of English Literature and Creative Writing for various universities. Her poetry has been widely published, most recently in Magma, Finished Creatures, Rising, No, Robot, No (Sidekick Books, 2018), Tentacular, Lighthouse Literary Journal, and Poems In Which, won the T. R. Henn & Brewer Hall Prizes, and was commended in the Foyle Young Poets of the Year competition. Her book Reading Fragments and Fragmentation in Modernist Literature (Sussex Academic Press, 2018) explores the poetry of Mallarmé, Mina Loy, T. S. Eliot, Apollinaire, and Hope Mirrlees alongside Walter Benjamin, Félix Fénéon, Virginia Woolf, and James Joyce.

‘I wish to express my thanks, admiration and appreciation for the course with Becky Varley-Winter. Becky is a brilliant facilitator, teacher and group leader. She is friendly, very knowledgeable and gives insightful and helpful feedback. Her handouts and comments thereon were varied, fascinating and inspiring. Altogether an inspired choice of teacher and inspiring course.’

– Autumn 2019 survey response

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