Undergraduate Course: Creative Writing Part I: Poetry (ENLI10114)
|School||School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||This course introduces students to the practice of writing poems. You will be asked to compose your own work and to share it in workshops (on a weekly rota). In workshop, you will be invited to give and receive feedback, and to discuss one another's works in progress in a constructive fashion. You will then be encouraged to keep developing your work in light of this feedback. In this way, you will gain experience in the skills of drafting, revising and editing your work. With a mostly practical focus on craft, workshops will be complemented by a weekly focus on key components and techniques - outlined below. Students will be given a selection of poems to read each week, from which we can discuss how these formal elements and techniques work in practice, while also thinking about how we might use them to further craft and improve our own poems. Emphasis will be placed on the personal development of each individual, but the course relies upon peer-to-peer interaction and group participation. While the fundamental focus is on practice-based craft, the course's development of compositional skills should complement more general English Lit studies.
You will be asked to produce poems consistently throughout the duration of the course. This will be complemented by a focus on:
Sound & Rhythm
Diction and Idiom
Repetition & Rhyme
Line, Stanza & Shape
Making Strange and Being Clear
The Political Poem
Students will be set 12-15 poems to read each week as their primary text, available online. This will be supplemented by essays on the theory and practice of poetic craft, mostly from sources below.
For assessment students will submit a folio of their own original poetry, and also a self-reflective essay on their craft.
Information for Visiting Students
|Pre-requisites||A MINIMUM of 4 college/university level literature courses at grade B or above (should include no more than one introductory level literature course). Related courses such as cross disciplinary, "Freshman Seminars", civilisation or creative writing classes are not considered for admission to this course.
Applicants should also note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission. In making admissions decisions preference will be given to students who achieve above the minimum requirement with the typical visiting student admitted to this course
having four or more literature classes at grade A.
** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course **
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2022/23, Not available to visiting students (SS1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20,
Other Study Hours 10,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Additional Information (Learning and Teaching)
one hour autonomous learning group
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||Mid-semester assignment: alternative coursework assessment - original poems plus critically reflective essay (40%);
+ Portfolio of creative work (60%) submitted at end of semester / in exam period
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Identify, conceptualise and define formal elements of craft in within poems
- Remain open to criticism and respond effectively and creatively to feedback on their own creative work
- Work from initial conception through multiple drafts to the final version of a poem
- Analyse poems with a focus on craft effectiveness and articulate strengths and weaknesses in a piece of writing in a constructive manner
- Transfer editorial skills and creative abilities from one context to another
Students will be encouraged to read modern and contemporary poetry regularly, and as widely as possible. The following anthologies are recommended:
Allen, Donald (ed.). The New American Poetry. Rev ed. University of California, 1999.
Alvarez, Al (ed.). The Faber Book of Modern European Poetry. Faber, 1992.
Astley, Neil (ed.). Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Times. Bloodaxe, 2002.
_____ (ed.). Being Alive. Bloodaxe, 2004.
_____ (ed.). Being Human. Bloodaxe, 2011.
Hamilton, Neil (ed.). Dear World and Everyone in It: New Poetry in the UK. Bloodaxe, 2013.
Kay, Jackie, et al (eds.). Out of Bounds: British Black & Asian Poets. Bloodaxe, 2012.
Longley, Edna (ed.), The Bloodaxe Book of 20th Century Poetry. Bloodaxe, 2000.
Lumsen, Roddy (ed.), Identity Parade: New British and Irish Poets Bloodaxe, 2010.
Ramazani, Jahan, Richard Ellmann, and Robert O'Clair (eds.), The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry. (3rd ed). New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2003.
Rees-Jones, Deryn (ed.), Modern Women Poets. Bloodaxe, 2005.
Writings on Poetry
Cook, Jon (ed.). Poetry in Theory: An Anthology 1900-2000. Blackwell, 2004.
Hass, Robert. A Little Book on Form: An Exploration into the Formal Imagination of Poetry. Ecco, 2017.
Herbert, W. N., and Matthew Hollis (eds.). Strong Words: Modern Poets on Modern Poetry (Bloodaxe, 2000).
Kinzie, Mary. A Poet's Guide to Poetry. University of Chicago Press, 1999.
Koch, Kenneth. Making Your Own Days: The Pleasures of Reading and Writing Poetry. Touchstone, 1999.
Lennard, John. The Poetry Handbook. 2nd ed. Oxford UP, 2005.
Maxwell, Glyn. On Poetry. Oberon Books, 2012.
Nims, John Frederick and David Mason. Western Wind: An Introduction to Poetry. 4th ed. McGraw Hill, 2000.
Paterson, Don. The Poem: Lyric, Sign, Metre. (Faber, 2019).
Preminger, Alex and T.V.F. Brogan, (eds.). The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics. 3rd ed. Princeton UP, 1993.
Redmond, John. How to Write a Poem. Blackwell, 2006.
Strand, Mark, and Eavan Boland (eds.). The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms. Norton, 2000.
Vendler, Helen. Poems, Poets, Poetry: An Introduction and Anthology. Bedford Books, 1997.
Wainright, Jeffrey. Poetry: The Basics. Routledge, 2004.
Wallace, Robert and Michelle Boisseau. Writing Poems, 5th ed. Longman, 2000.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||Numbers are limited and students taking degrees not involving English or Scottish literature need the written approval of the head of English Literature
|Additional Class Delivery Information
||2-hour Seminar once a week for 10 weeks; plus 1 hour a week for 10 weeks attendance at Autonomous Learning Group - times to be arranged
|Course organiser||Dr Alan Gillis
Tel: (0131 6)50 3050
|Course secretary||Miss Hope Hamilton
Tel: (0131 6)50 4167