Twisted Love

Twisted Love

What makes a great love poem?

An unexpected plot development
A garnish of lemon in a drink
An entwined, divided object, like a rope
A quarrel or division
To get one’s knickers in a knot
To break apart
A rock ‘n’ roll dance

This course will seek new plots, agitations, and delights within this popular genre, covering subjects such as desire and transgression – how can transgression succeed (or fail) in a love poem? What power dynamics are involved in writing desire? We will also explore love letters as a poetic form and investigate the power of ordinary passions, considering how the love poem might move beyond romance (asking what would it mean to write a love poem to family, friends, or yourself? To an object, colour, or place?). Reading will include Andrew Marvell, John Donne, John Keats, and Emily Dickinson, alongside contemporary work by Mina Loy, Elizabeth Bishop, Gwendolyn Brooks, Frank O’Hara, Hera Lindsay Bird, Mark Waldron, Liz Berry, and Shivanee Ramlochan, amongst many others.

5 fortnightly sessions on Thursdays 6.45–8.45pm. 3 October, 17 October, 31 October, 14 November, 28 November.

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 for further information.
Image Credit: Sharon Pazner

About Becky Varley-Winter View Profile

Becky Varley-Winter’s debut pamphlet is Heroines: On the Blue Peninsula (V. Press, 2019). Her poetry has won the T. R. Henn Prize and the Brewer Hall Prize, been long-listed in the Eric Gregory and Foyle Young Poets of the Year awards, and published in No, Robot, No (Sidekick Books), Finished Creatures, Lighthouse Literary Journal, and Poems in Which, amongst others. She is an award-winning teacher of English Literature and Creative Writing for various universities.

‘I’d have to say the biggest thing for me is collaborating with poets around the world. It’s amazing to hear the different voices and work together with people on creating beautiful poetry.’

– Autumn 2018 survey response

Related Courses