Poetry Writing and Contemporary Poetry

Module code: EN7133

Module co-ordinator: Nick Everett

This module will help you, whatever your level of experience (or inexperience), to develop your poetry writing both by nurturing your own distinctive voice and by advancing your knowledge and control of some central poetic skills and techniques. The module’s five teaching sessions will focus on five important aspects of the subject and craft of poetry writing (and how contemporary poets have engaged with them).

For each session, you will read a selection of prose statements by contemporary poets on that week’s subject and write a poem more or less coordinated with the subject. The sessions will then consist of discussion both of the subject generally, in the light of the assigned reading, and of some of the students’ poems. All students’ poetry will be workshopped at least once in the module (and more if possible); and the tutor will provide written feedback on all the poems you submit during the module as well as an individual supervision on a draft of your portfolio.

Topics covered

  • The sources and conclusions of poems
  • Diction, imagery and figurative language
  • Rhythm and metre
  • The relationship between the verse line and the sentence
  • Regular stanzas and received forms


  • 10 hours of seminars/workshops
  • 1 hour one-to-one supervision on portfolio draft
  • 189 hours of guided independent study


  • Portfolio of 4 to 6 poems
  • 2,000-word essay or reflective commentary

Assessment elements will account for the final module mark in one of two ways, depending on whether you write an essay or a reflective commentary. If you submit an essay, assessment will be either poems 80%, essay 20%, or poems 20% essay 80%, whichever yields the higher mark. If you submit a reflective commentary it will be poems 80%, reflective commentary 20%.