EAS2032 - Creative Writing: Making a Poem

2021/2 Module description

StaffProfessor Andy Brown - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level5
Co-requisitesStudents taking this module are NOT eligible to take the other Level 2 Creative Writing module ‘Building A Story’.
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks;

Module description

The module develops a toolbox of writing techniques and approaches for writing contemporary poetry. It will prepare you for the contemporary poetry world by focusing on the kinds of 'page poetry' that are being written and published at the present time, while examining the production of literary texts within their traditions and lineages. Through practical exercises and seminar discussions, you will explore a variety of textual form and content.

The course comprises lectures on key aspects of poetry writing technique, as well as material on the set texts; seminars that help you develop the techniques introduced in the lectures, and workshops to receive and give detailed criticism and feedback on works in progress. These approaches are designed to enhance the understanding of the practice, as well as the historical, social and critical contexts that produce poetry and poets.

Students taking this module are NOT eligible to take the other Level 2 Creative Writing module ‘Building A Story’.

Module aims

You will develop a substantial body of your own poetry in a Writer’s 'Project Book', developing a project based on your own reading, research and practice. This will develop your processes and techniques of research, writing, drafting, revising, editing, and techniques of poem development. Your participation and commentary is integral to seminars. There will be an emphasis on introducing key concepts in the fortnightly lectures; developing these concepts and techniques in lively weekly seminar writing workshops; group work, and informal individual presentations in seminars.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Demonstrate an appreciation of formal techniques and imaginative expression in writing poetry
  • 2. Demonstrate an ability to produce pieces of poetry, in agreement with specified forms and techniques taught on the module
  • 3. Present written and oral arguments concerning their own poetry and that of other authors, both peers and published authors

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Demonstrate a range of creative writing styles and approaches
  • 5. Analyse a range of English poetry
  • 6. Articulate a knowledge and understanding of creative writing texts, concepts, and methodologies
  • 7. Demonstrate rhetorical skills of effective communication and argument, both written and oral, with a broad range of vocabulary and an appropriate critical and professional terminology

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 8. Through seminar work demonstrate communication skills, and an ability to work individually and in online groups
  • 9. Demonstrate appropriate research and bibliographic skills, a capacity to construct a coherent, substantiated argument, skills of creative expression and a capacity to write clear and correct prose
  • 10. Demonstrate proficiency in time-management, organisational skills and use of online platforms

Syllabus plan

The module is delivered in a combination of fortnightly one-hour lectures, followed by a weekly two-hour seminar.  In addition, fortnightly workshops will be dedicated to discussion of reading, journal-production and the development of coherent writing projects in a ‘Writer’s Project Workbook’, with unassessed presentations to peers.

The syllabus is focused on the techniques of writing poetry and, through various examples drawn from contemporary poetry, will include lectures on phrasing, line and stanzas; figurative language; voice; rhythm and measure; the music of a poem; poems written in sequence; narrative poetry; and building a body of work.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching1111 x 1 hour lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching2211 x 2 hour seminars
Scheduled Learning and Teaching7Writer's 'Project Book' seminars
Guided Independent Study33Study group preparation and meetings
Guided Independent Study70Seminar preparation (individual)
Guided Independent Study157Reading, research and journal preparation

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Continuous work on the writer's project bookContinuous (60 pages absolute minimum)1-10Tutorial and seminar feedback/ discussion.

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Writer's Project Book (submitted at the end of term)45Continuous (50 pages absolute minimum)1-7, 9-10Feedback sheet with opportunity for tutorial follow-up
Finished portfolio of poetry developed from the Project Book (submitted exams week)4510 finished poems (140-175 lines)1-2, 4, 7, 10Feedback sheet with opportunity for tutorial follow-up
Module Participation10Continuous8Tutorial feedback and follow-up

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Writer's Project BookWriter's Project Book (50 pages absolute minimum)1-7, 9-10Referral/Deferral period
Finished sample of poetry developed from the Writer’s Project Book10 finished poems (140-175 lines)1-2,4,7,10Referral/Deferral period
Module participation Repeat study or mitigation8Referral/deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Set text:

  • STAYING ALIVE ed. Neil Astley (Bloodaxe Books)
  • You must develop YOUR OWN reading list for this module, based on your personal interests relevant to the project you are developing in your Writer’s Project Book. This should come from a range of modern poetry by individual authors of your own choosing. You are expected to keep a detailed record of this in your assessed Project Book and to report on it in seminars.
  • Individual seminar tutors will set their own set texts for their seminar groups. This information will be made available to you prior to the course. In addition, some material for lectures will be made available on ELE, including:
  • Dalton, Amanda. ‘Room of Leaves’ in How to Disappear (Bloodaxe, 1999)
  • Kennard, Luke. ‘The Murderer’ in The Harbour Beyond the Movie (Salt, 2007)

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

  • Students should also regularly read magazines in the library that publish contemporary poetry, such as:
  • Agenda, Granta, London Review of Books, Paris Review, Poetry (Chicago), Poetry Review, Stand, Times Literary Supplement, Wasafiri, and others.

Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date


Key words search

English, Creative Writing

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