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Creative Writing 2: Poetry – Form & Experience

Course Level: 2 (HE5) | HE Credits: 60 | Approx. Duration: 15 months at 10hrs/week


Poetry Form and Experience looks at a wide range of poetic forms, from the short lyric poem to the epic narrative poem, as well as providing a short history of poetry and encouraging students to practice writing in a variety of forms. Students choose to build up a folio of writing which has undergone critical appraisal and revision. Students may choose to pursue a personal writing goal – anything from writing a sonnet to completing a sequence of poems. OCA tutor and poet Joanna Ezekiel talks about OCA’s level 2 poetry course, and about creating structured and free form poetry:


The course aims to:

  • A1 explore the historical context, development, form and structure of a broad range of poetry traditions
  • A2 lay the foundations of a solid writing technique based on disciplined drafting and revision of work
  • A3 widen your horizons and develop your ability to write with imagination and originality
  • A4 develop a critical awareness of the wide range of poetry resources available, including online resources


On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

  • LO1 Produce creative outputs which demonstrate awareness of form, structure, historical context, limitations, and specific strengths/problems of a range of poetic forms (A1)
  • LO2 Draft and edit self-generated texts learning discrimination and choice in the deployment of these skills in relation to form, language, creativity and technique. (A2)
  • LO3 Reflect on and shape the direction and design of your own learning experience (A3)
  • LO4 Critically review a contemporary work/movement or a poet (A4)

Course content

  • A short history of British poetry from Celtic/Viking times to the present day.
  • A survey of modern and contemporary poetry and the development of free verse.
  • Poetic structure: the diversity of classical poetic forms (the sonnet; terza rima, villanelles and terzanelles; ballads, ballades and odes; blank verse, syllabics and long poems) and ways in which poets have modified these forms to create particular poetic effects.

This course also includes a key text, included in the cost of the course:Emergency Kit Edited by Jo Shapcott & Matthew Sweeney