Poets' Workshop


If you respond to life by writing poems, whether for publication or just for pleasure, this workshop is for you. In a supportive but rigorous group, we shall explore and develop techniques and encourage you to push your own work further

This will be your workshop and you will have a great deal of autonomy; the tutor will guide, but not dictate. During each session you will be given a prompt for a fresh poem, then workshops focus in detail on your own work.

Information about poetry-related matters, including local and international poetry events, and weekly guides to useful reading of earlier and contemporary poems, will enrich the workshop. Please bring a poem to the first session.

Programme details

Course starts: 26 Sep 2023

Week 1: Introductory Workshop  and Discussion

Week 2: Technical Workshop 1

Week 3: Open Workshop

Week 4: Technical Workshop 2

Week 5: Open Workshop

Week 6: Open Workshop

Week 7: Technical Workshop 3

Week 8: Open Workshop

Week 9: Open Workshop

Week 10: Christmas Workshop


Second term begins: 23 Jan 2024

Week 11: Open Workshop

Week 12: Technical Workshop 4

Week 13: Open Workshop

Week 14: Open Workshop

Week 15: Technical Workshop 5

Week 16: Open Workshop

Week 17: Open Workshop

Week 18: Technical Workshop 6

Week 19: Open Workshop

Week 20: Open Workshop


Students who register for CATS points will receive a Record of CATS points on successful completion of their course assessment.

To earn credit (CATS points) you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee per course. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online.

Coursework is an integral part of all weekly classes and everyone enrolled will be expected to do coursework in order to benefit fully from the course. Only those who have registered for credit will be awarded CATS points for completing work at the required standard.

Students who do not register for CATS points during the enrolment process can either register for CATS points prior to the start of their course or retrospectively from the January 1st after the current full academic year has been completed. If you are enrolled on the Certificate of Higher Education you need to indicate this on the enrolment form but there is no additional registration fee.


Description Costs
Course Fee £461.00
Take this course for CATS points £10.00


If you are in receipt of a UK state benefit, you are a full-time student in the UK or a student on a low income, you may be eligible for a reduction of 50% of tuition fees. Please see the below link for full details:

Concessionary fees for short courses


Dr Edward Clarke

Edward Clarke's latest collection of poems, Cherubims, was published by Kelsay Books at the end of 2022. A Book of Psalms was published by Paraclete Press in 2020. He is also the author of two works of criticism: The Vagabond Spirit of Poetry (Iff Books, 2014) and The Later Affluence of W.B. Yeats and Wallace Stevens (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012). He teaches English literature and art history at numerous colleges in Oxford.

Course aims

To develop the skills, themes, autonomy and critical abilities of poetry writers in supportive and informal surroundings by rigorous examination of the students' own work, encouragement of their own initiatives, and the detailed exploration of useful ideas and techniques.

Course objectives:

  • To create a cohesive, mutually supportive, but rigorous group in which students' own work can be developed and evaluated.
  • To develop a variety of workshop protocols that encourage initiative and autonomy, as well as allowing the students' own work to be discussed in detail.
  • To explore and debate technique and poetry-related ideas in order to participate, and improve good practice in current poetry writing.

Teaching methods

Teaching and Learning will take place mainly in group discussions and sometimes small group work followed by plenary sessions. During each class students will be introduced briefly to the work of contemporary and earlier poets as a means of exploring different styles of poetic practice and forms, and to help provide prompts for the writing of their own poems, but the students’ own work will be the main focus each week in the workshops. 

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course students will be expected to:

  • write and redraft poems to final draft stage, and control techniques developed and adapted to their own writing;
  • demonstrate an understanding of the ideas, themes, and concerns of contemporary and earlier poets as related to their own practice and those of their peers; 
  • have developed considerable autonomy in their own writing and be able to give sound, in-depth judgements of the writing of others.

Assessment methods

Formative assessment each week in workshop - peer review and tutor advice, specific and general.

Termly assessment, Option A: folder of four poems from each student to be assessed at the end of each term.

Students must submit a completed Declaration of Authorship form at the end of term when submitting your final piece of work. CATS points cannot be awarded without the aforementioned form - Declaration of Authorship form


To earn credit (CATS points) for your course you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee per course. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online.

Please use the 'Book' or 'Apply' button on this page. Alternatively, please complete an enrolment form (Word) or enrolment form (Pdf).

Level and demands

Most of the Department's weekly classes have 10 or 20 CATS points assigned to them. 10 CATS points at FHEQ Level 4 usually consist of ten 2-hour sessions. 20 CATS points at FHEQ Level 4 usually consist of twenty 2-hour sessions. It is expected that, for every 2 hours of tuition you are given, you will engage in eight hours of private study.

Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS)