Reading and Writing Poetry

The details
Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Undergraduate: Level 6
Thursday 03 October 2019
Friday 26 June 2020
15 April 2019


Requisites for this module



Key module for


Module description

This module is an introduction to the practice of writing poetry. It will examine the distinct elements of form in verse through selected examples from canonical poetry in the English language. We will concentrate on historical examples (poets born between 1300 and 1940) considering how these experiments and repetitions in form have lasted in poetry, 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

The aims of the module are for students:

1. To gain practical skills in composing poetry with attention to traditional forms and techniques.
2. To gain insight into the relationship between the form and content, the style and the meaning, of a poem.
3. To learn how to apply interpretation and reading of a poem from history to one’s own writing craft.

Module learning outcomes

After successful completion of this module, students should be able to:

1. engage with a poem through personal intuitive reading and developed critical capacity with which to articulate a poem’s facets through close reading and contextual analysis
2. translate understanding of poetic forms and histories into practical writing methods and techniques
3. develop a personal writing style that learns specifically from a poet from history
4. comment and feedback on peers' work, as well as to read as an editor, fan and student of poetry.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

Weekly 2-hour seminar


  • Bulfinch, Thomas; Martin, Charles. (2006) Bulfinch's Mythology, New York: Barnes & Noble. vol. Barnes & Nobles classics
  • Hughes, Ted; Heaney, Seamus. (2005, c1982) The rattle bag, London: Faber.

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework Essay 1 (3,000 - 3,500 words) 09/12/2019 37.5%
Coursework Essay 2 (3,000 - 3,500 words) 21/04/2020 57.5%
Practical Participation marks 5%

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


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



External examiner

Dr James Michael Miller
Kingston University
Senior Lecturer in English Literature and Creative Writing
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

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