Reading, Writing and Doing Poetry

The details
Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Undergraduate: Level 6
Thursday 03 October 2024
Friday 27 June 2025
03 March 2023


Requisites for this module



Key module for


Module description

In this module we will work in depth on the practice of writing poetry. We will examine distinct elements of poetic forms through selected examples from canonical and contemporary poetry in the English language.

We will look at examples of work considering how styles in form have lasted, whilst also considering the social and structural conditions of the cannon. The module is intended to make the students better at the craft, as well as more appreciative of its history, variety and innovations.

Module aims

  • Undergoing this module (engaging with the essential reading, reading further and participating in workshops) will enable students to gain new skills, talents and knowledge around poetry.

  • Specialist knowledge of poetics traditions, its way of critiquing and understanding the world, and as a unique mode of communication, will also be acquired.

  • Through exploring and discussing the current ways poetry connects to culture and creative industries, students will also be equipped to participate in contemporary debates surrounding the practice of poetry and its related careers.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to be able to:

  1. Demonstrate new and enhanced skills in composing and understanding poetry.

  2. Show an ability to analyse and reflect on their work using technical vocabulary in reference to histories of poetic forms.

  3. Translate their reading of poetry into practice.

  4. Demonstrate their knowledge of historical and contemporary poets; engage with poetic forms and the possibility of meaning in poetry.

  5. Apply enhanced communication skills in offering and receiving peer feedback.

  6. Participate in current debates surrounding the practice of poetry in contemporary culture.

Module information

First Term topics will include:

  • Nervous lines and performative breaks

  • Rhyme and cadence

  • Metaphor and concept

  • The lyric and the fragment

Second Term topics will include:

  • Poetry Prizes and Award Culture

  • Publishing

  • Anthologies

  • Reviews and Criticism

  • Poetry and Protest

Learning and teaching methods

Weekly 2-hour classes including collaborative study of a poem, independent writing, and peer reflection


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Portfolio of 5 poems and an essay (1,500 words) about a particular poet     37.5% 
Coursework   A portfolio of 5 well-crafted poems and an essay about form and invention (total 2,000 words), or a review of a contemporary poetry collection (2,200 words), or a review of a poetry event such as a reading or an award ceremony (2,200 words)    57.5% 
Coursework   Participation    5% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Prof Philip Terry, email:
Dr Holly Pester
LiFTS General Office - email Telephone 01206 872626



External examiner

Dr Eleanor Perry
University of Kent
Lecturer in Creative Writing (Poetry)
Available via Moodle
Of 35 hours, 35 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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