EN3MPY-Creative Writing Masterclass: Poetry

Module Provider: English Literature
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites: Pre-requisites: Successful completion of 40 credits’ worth of Creative Writing modules at Part Two, 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: Dr Conor Carville

Email: c.carville@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module will enable students to develop and design a short collection of poems, or a sequence or series of poems, or one longer poem, with a view to submitting a selection or extract to a print or online poetry magazine. Weekly workshops will introduce original exercises to allow students to generate material and hone technique. Attention will be paid to the elaboration of style and voice, as well as the balance between consistency and variety of theme and premise across the collection. Workshops will also facilitate group discussion of student work. Close consideration will be given to issues of address and audience, as well as the nature and scope of the poetry being written and published today, with particular focus on emerging voices and subject-matter.


The module has three aims:

  • To enable students to read and analyse a range of contemporary poetry, deepening their understanding of literary considerations specific to the form.

  • to encourage students to engage with contemporary debates around poetry, and to explore those debate their own creative writing. 

  • to equip students to write, evaluate 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 a wide range of contemporary poetry

  • engage critically with key contemporary debates around poetry.

  • write and edit their own short poetry collection

  • Reflect critically on their own individual poems

  • Reflect critically on their work as a collection of poems

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:

The module will highlight questions of form, craft and technique, with particular attention to the variety of approaches to these issues in contemporary poetry. Discussion may include, but is not limited to: reflection on the differences between narrative and lyric poetry; the relevance of sound, diction, contemporary speech and rhyme; the importance of the relation of the poem to the page; the relationship between poetry and other arts or discourses. We will also address questions of content, which may include, but is not limited to: poetry and identity; poetry and ecology; poetry and the political, poetry and theory; poetry and the spiritual.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The module will be taught in a weekly two-hour seminar for which students are to do preparatory reading and writing. This seminar will be supplemented by a weekly lecture/one-hour 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 10
Seminars 20
Tutorials 0.5
Guided independent study: 169.5
Total hours by term 201
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 30
Portfolio 60
Project output other than dissertation 10

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

60% of the summative mark is awarded for students’ own creative writing (a short collection of eight poems, or a sequence of eight poems, or a longer poem of equivalent length).  30% of the mark will be awarded to a 2000-word reflective essay on the student’s portfolio. The remaining 10% will be awarded to a process journal which tracks the student’s writing practice over the term. All work will be due for final submission on the first day of Spring Term.

Formative assessment methods:

Verbal 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 22nd August 2019.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Last updated: 8 April 2019


    Things to do now