Writing About Writing: What Am I Doing Here?

Writing About Writing: What Am I Doing Here?

Reveal your hand, show your face, and rise from your poems’ surfaces to ask what you’re doing, and why?

I’ve stumbled and lived every word, was I working just way too hard? – Andre 3000

In this Online Course we will consider writing about writing. We will encounter poets showing their hands, poets declaring what they’re doing, and poets asking why they bother.

Some poems are like swans gliding effortlessly, elegantly along the water, kicking furiously below the surface. The ones in this course won’t be – we will write our own new poems and shout about it. We will study motivations for writing and come up with tools and rules to motivate ourselves. We will roll up our sleeves so the tricks we’ve stuffed in start to show. We will think about process, voice, success, and failure.

We will find inspiration in various artforms and practices, looking at works of poetry, prose, and music, including work by Dorothea Lasky, DJ Kool, Chen Chen, Joe Dunthorne, Jenny Zhang, Veronica Forrest Thomson, and Madvillain, among others. We will draft new poems, manifestos, and write ars poeticas: meditations on the art of poetry, using the forms and techniques of a poem.

Some say that every poem is an ars poetica, but we’ll be the judges of that!


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

To apply for a concessionary 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] For more information visit our Online Courses page. 

Image credit: Юлія Вівчарик 

About Lily Blacksell View Profile

Lily Blacksell is a poet living in London. Her work has appeared in Poetry Review, Boston Review, BOMB Magazine, Bath Magg, Magma, The Scoresand elsewhere. Her pamphlet There’s No Such Thing was published by ignitionpress in 2018. Lily runs a poetry and music night called Canon Fodder. She has an MFA in poetry from Columbia University, where she was a teaching fellow. 

'Simply an outstanding course, all attributable to Lily. An incredibly fine teacher, clearly committed to her craft. The best course I have taken at The Poetry School. Whatever she teaches, and hopefully she will again, I will take her course. Can't speak highly enough of her.'

— Spring 2021 survey

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