EN2PRW-Poetry: reading, writing, revising

Module Provider: English Literature
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Pre-requisites: EN1CW Introduction to Creative Writing
Non-modular pre-requisites: Pre-requisite Successful completion of EN1CW or, in special cases (including visiting students registered to creative writing programmes in their home universities), you may seek the consent of the convenor.
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2019/0

Module Convenor: Prof Peter Robinson

Email: P.Robinson@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

Creative writing is always an interplay between the act of reading and that of writing, each informing the other. In this module, we will critically engage with a range of poems, consider some of the key debates about the form, and write our own poetry in response, experimenting with the possibilities of the genre. Learning takes place in seminar groups, where analytical reading and practical writing interconnect, and in smaller peer groups, where students support each other’s editing with constructive feedback.


The module has three aims:

  • To enable students to read and analyse a range of poetry, introducing them to literary considerations specific to the form.

  • to introduce students to some of the literary debates around poetry, and to help them engage with these debates.

  • to equip students to write and edit their own poetry.   

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module, it is expected that students will be able to:

  • demonstrate knowledge of poetry produced by a range of poets

  • identify and analyse distinctive literary features of poems

  • engage critically with key debates about poetic form

  • write and edit their own poetry

  • Reflect critically on their own creative writing

Additional outcomes:

Oral and written communication skills will be developed, together with critical, interpretative and analytical abilities. Students will also enhance their IT competence through the use of relevant web resources in a critically informed manner. 

Outline content:

We will be reading poetry from a range of contemporary poets, with each week devoted to a particular style, form, theme, or topic. Primary and secondary reading for each seminar will be provided via the Library Reading List for the Module. We will engage with debates about form, considering matters such as the influence on contemporary poetry of issues related to identity and subjectivity, and look at developments in the genre, such as the rise of spoken word poetry. Students will take this body of knowledge into their own writing, producing poems both in traditional and experimental form. Assessment of the module reflects the balance between writing and reading, with 70% of the final mark given for students’ own creative writing (a set of 12-15 poems) and 30% for a critical essay (2300 words) in which students set their own writing in the wider context of their reading.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The module will be taught in a weekly two-hour seminar for which students are required to do preparatory reading and writing. This seminar will be supplemented by a weekly one-hour autonomous peer group session in which students will consider issues of editing and redrafting set in advance by their seminar leader. Students are also entitled to a half-hour tutorial on their formative written work.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Seminars 0.5
Guided independent study: 179.5
Total hours by term 201
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 30
Portfolio 70

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

The portfolio (containing 12-15 poems and the critical essay of 2300 words) must be submitted at the start of the Spring term. Written feedback will be given on that, with the creative work carrying 50% of the total mark, and the critical essay carrying the remaining 50%.

Formative assessment methods:

Oral feedback will be given in seminars. Students will also receive one piece of formative written feedback on their creative writing, as well as a half-hour tutorial.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:

    A mark of at least 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:

    Re-examination in August. Coursework will be carried forward if it bears a confirmed mark of 40% or more. Otherwise it must be resubmitted by 12 noon of the last Friday of August.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Last updated: 8 April 2019


    Things to do now