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Unit information: Creative Writing: Poetry in 2015/16

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Unit name Creative Writing: Poetry
Unit code ENGL20051
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Wootten
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of English
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

On this unit, we shall learn and practice the craft of poetry writing by studying and endeavouring to master a range of traditional and modern poetic forms and techniques. We shall attend to such matters as rhyme, repetition, metre, imagery, diction, punctuation, line break, sonnet form, the different types of free verse and the similarities and differences between song lyrics and poems. We shall be examining, and on occasion imitating, a wide range of poetic examples, ancient and modern, from English and other literatures. So while students will be encouraged to develop their own voice as poets, they should also be prepared to attempt a variety of technically demanding exercises and to enter into productive dialogue with poetic tradition. There will be considerable opportunity to discuss and reflect critically upon students’ poetry throughout the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit students will have: (1) a working knowledge of a variety of metres; (2) the ability to employ a variety of traditional and modern verse forms; (3) the ability to employ different types of free verse; (4) a practical understanding of a wide range of poetic tropes and techniques; 5) the ability to examine critically their own and others’ poetic practice.

Teaching Information

1 x 2-hour seminar per week.

Assessment Information

2000 words (40%), of which c. 300 words should be poems composed during the course; the remainder of the submission should be a writing journal. 3000 words (60%), of which 600-900 words should be poems written on the course; the remainder of the submission should be a writing journal.

Reading and References

Evan Boland and Mark Strand, The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms (New York: W.W. Norton and Co, 2001).

Roland Greene et al., The Princeton Encyclopaedia of Poetry and Poetics (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2012).

Glyn Maxwell, On Poetry (London: Oberon Books, 2012).

John Hollander, Rhyme’s Reason (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001).

James Fenton, An Introduction to English Poetry (London: Penguin, 2003).