How to use this course

I’ve divided this course up into five different sections, and my thinking behind that is that if you feel so inclined, you can take this course over five weeks, spending a week on each section. But you don’t have to. Maybe you have taken a week out from your normal life to focus on your poetry and would like to do this course over a few days. There’s nothing stopping you from doing that. What is important, though, is that you give yourself time to ‘percolate’ the different ideas that we work through in this course. This means giving yourself permission to do nothing, and to take breaks from this course, to walk away from it and let it rest and settle a bit in your mind. Not doing anything is a luxury few of us are afforded, but if you have already given yourself permission to spend at least a small fraction of your time doing this course, then I invite you to also give yourself permission to do nothing for a little while. If your life is such that can’t sit around staring out of a window without people, animals or housework demanding your attention, then I suggest allocating a good twenty minutes to half an hour of your allotted poetry course time to doing nothing. Have the course open on your screen if it helps people to leave you alone, and then spend some time engaging with nothing at all. I find it is when I am looking the other way that the best ideas deposit and form themselves in my head, and I’m guessing that you might too. If you do have a bit more flexibility with how your do nothing, I can also recommend taking baths, walking or spending some time outside, knitting, doodling, gardening and staring out of a window. 

Although I would like you to take this course at your own pace, I would recommend, in the first instance at least, following the course in a linear fashion, starting at section one and making your way in succession through sections two, three, four and five, doing the reading and exercises in the order suggested for each section. This is because the course builds on itself as it goes. If there is a part of the course you find particularly exciting or mystifying, there’s no reason you can’t spend longer on it or indeed go back to it, but try not to jump forward if you can help yourself... 


  • How to use this course
  • Introduction 

Part 1: Poetry as connection

  • Part 1a: reading for connection
  • Part 1b: writing for connection
  • Section 1 further reading/listening

Part 2: poetry as feeling

  • Part 2a: reading with feeling
  • Part 2b: writing with feeling

Part 3: poetry as language

  • Part 3a: reading language
  • Part 3b: writing language

Part 4: poetry as form

  • Part 4a: reading into form
  • Part 4b: writing into form

Part 5: poetry as thought

  • Part 5a: reading as thinking
  • Part 5b: writing as thinking


  • Thank you

Complete and continue