The Poetic Launch & Ending: A Masterclass

The Poetic Launch & Ending: A Masterclass

Explore strategies for launching your poems and learn how to prepare them for successful landings.

How does your poem begin on the page? What is the first thing the reader encounters? How consciously do you vary the way your poems begin? What sorts of implicit promises do you make? What kinds of withholding lend momentum to the lines that follow? And how many ways can that withholding be resolved? 

How do your poems conclude? What is the last thing you leave with your reader? How can an ending confer new resonance on a title or a launch? What kinds of satisfaction (to the poet, to the reader) can an ending provide? Are there times when it’s preferable to “stop short”? 

Your own work will constitute the primary object of our attention on this course, but we will also discuss and take inspiration from sample poems that suggest varied strategies for beginning and ending lyric poems, alongside completing some in-class writing to get started on new drafts. 

5 fortnightly sessions on Thursdays, 6.45–8.45pm, starts 26 May 2022. Sessions for this course will take place at Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 1LA.  

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. More information about how our In-Person Courses work can be found on the In-Person Courses page. If you have any questions or wish to be added to the waiting list of a sold-out course, please email [email protected] 

Image credit: Stephanie Klepacki 

About Linda Gregerson View Profile

Linda Gregerson is the author of seven books of poetry, most recently Canopy (Ecco/HarperCollins 2022). She has also published two critical monographs and numerous essays on early modern English and contemporary American poetry. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, London Review of Books, Poetry Review, and a host of other literary journals. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and former Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, Gregerson is the Caroline Walker Bynum Distinguished University Professor at the University of Michigan, where she directs the Helen Zell Writers’ Program. She divides her time between Ann Arbor, Michigan, and London.

'Poetry school acknowledges you, without question, as a poet. Nothing, feels recreational but a serious pursuit of committed writing.'

- Summer 2022 Survey Response

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