Where Do Poems Come From? Process, Manuscripts, Text

This course will be attractive to anyone interested in the creative process and how we can respond to it. The course aims to teach you to think in a radically new way about texts by looking at how they come into being, and studying the process of creativity through draft and manuscript materials from famous Romantic writers (Wordsworth, Blake, Keats, Byron, Mary Shelley). The published text will never look the same again!

We will explore the processes of composition in major Romantic and Victorian writers from the earliest stages to the production of the published text and its first reception. As well as thinking about the habits, anxieties and strategies of individual writers (male and female) we will also be looking at the problems such issues create for later readers and editors. At a textual level the course will engage with a number of different forms: contemporary journals, letters, diaries and review articles, considering how to make best use of these forms. The course will trace the changes made to a text through different draft versions and will draw upon manuscript (transcription) material in order to teach you how to respond to such material.