Creative Writing

The following modules are available to incoming Study Abroad students interested in Creative Writing.

Alternatively you may return to the complete list of Study Abroad Subject Areas.

CREW103: Introduction to Creative Writing

  • Terms Taught: Full Year Course. Michaelmas Term only, Lent / Summer Terms only Options Available NOTE: If you are studying with us for a Full Academic Year and you select a course that has full year and part year variants, you will not be allowed to take only part of the course.
  • Also Available:
    • Michaelmas Term only.
    • Lent / Summer Terms only.
    • NOTE:  If you are studying with us for a Full Academic Year and you select a course that has full year and part year variants, you will not be allowed to take only part of the course.
  • US Credits:
    • Full Year course - 10 Semester Credits.
    • Michaelmas Term only - 5 Semester Credits.
    • Lent / Summer Terms only - 5 Semester Credits.
  • ECTS Credits:
    • Full Year course- 20 ECTS Credits.
    • Michaelmas Term only - 10 ECTS Credits.
    • Lent / Summer Terms only - 10 ECTS Credits.
       

Course Description

You are taught through a series of lectures and workshops to develop key skills alongside detailed critical engagement with your own and other writers’ work. Workshops include short writing exercises and critical reflection on student-produced and published work. Assessment is by portfolio of creative and critical work (10,000 words). To determine level of entry, applicants should send a small selection of their writing eg ten poems, or 3,000 words of prose, showing their current range of skills and interests.

Educational Aims

This course seeks to enable your development as a writer through the discussion of core issues in Creative Writing combined with detailed critical engagement with your own and others' work. Throughout the course, a series of lectures will offer insight into issues such as plot construction, character development, and the use of poetic form.  These lectures are combined with workshops in which new work is developed and refined through a number of different strategies.  Workshops are two hours long; they accommodate a number of subject-specific exercises alongside the development of students' independent creative work.  Although the content of workshops is outlined here, this should be seen as a guide: whilst ensuring coverage of the syllabus, tutors will tailor their workshops to the nature and interests of the group. In Lent term, one or more workshops will be given over to individual tutorials in which students will receive feedback on their vacation assignments.  Between them, the strands of the course will equip the successful student with a range of skills and knowledge which are essential to a writer's development, necessary for the study of Creative Writing at Part II, and transferable to other academic study and to the professional world beyond.

Outline Syllabus

The course will aim to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence of apprentice writers and their command and enjoyment of the craft.  It will approach literature as something made by an individual out of their experience, imagination and knowledge, rather than as a finished artefact encountered as a commodity.  Students will be encouraged to experiment with different forms and approaches, towards the discovery of their individual strengths as writers, whether of poetry, prose or drama.

Lectures are structured to provide insight into a syllabus of key skills, techniques and approaches to writing poetry, prose fiction and drama.  Workshop exercises are tailored to reflect on the content of the weekly lectures and put these skills, techniques and approaches into practice.  In the workshop, writers discuss in detail each others' works-in-progress, developing critical and editorial skills and insight into the writing process.  These skills and insight are then applied to their own, as well as peers' work. 

The 'Reading for Technique' element of the course focuses student reading on key aspects of writing.  It develops the necessary skills to read as a writer, rather than as a critic or general reader.

The course concentrates on fiction, poetry and drama.  Students wishing to write non-fiction should pursue this interest through Independent Studies.

Quota and method of allocation of places in the event of over-subscription:

Priority is given to students from within the department of English Literature and Creative Writing, and the Department of English Language.  Students from elsewhere within the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences follow, and students from elsewhere within the university are allocated remaining places, if necessary by ballot.  Occasionally, applicants may be asked to provide a portfolio of their work.

Assessment Proportions

  • Coursework: 100%

CREW203: Intermediate Creative Writing Workshop

  • Terms Taught: Full Year Course.
  • Also Available:
    • Michaelmas Term only.
    • Lent / Summer Terms only.
    • NOTE:  If you are studying with us for a Full Academic Year and you select a course that has full year and part year variants, you will not be allowed to take only part of the course.
  • US Credits:
    • Full Year course - 8 Semester Credits.
    • Michaelmas Term only - 4 Semester Credits.
    • Lent / Summer Terms only - 4 Semester Credits.
  • ECTS Credits:
    • Full Year course - 16 ECTS Credits.
    • Michaelmas Term only - 8 ECTS Credits.
    • Lent / Summer Terms only - 8 ECTS Credits.
  • Pre-requisites: We expect students who wish to take this module to have done some form of creative writing previously.

Course Description

Course Outline:

Students will develop the key skills introduced at Part I level with an emphasis on writing as process, exploring creative voice, identifying point of view, the implied author and authorial guises and considering the creative and interactive nature of reading. A proactive workshop environment in the first term will enable the development of specific aesthetic and technical skills through lively participation in constructive criticism relating to fellow students’ work-in-progress. Through this process, you will gain a deeper understanding of many important concepts such as structure, linguistic texture and resonance, point-of-view, form, pace, characterisation, the mediation of tone, and reader awareness. While the learning environment will usually be in the form of workshops, certain weeks will be designated for focussed and practical set tasks. You will be expected to read widely from modern and contemporary creative works and to explore the work of ‘writers on writing’. The aim of the course is to develop a closely edited creative and peer-critiqued body of work that displays your own form of expression alongside skills and insights developed through the course.

Educational Aims

By the end of this course you should have

  • a knowledge of a range of genres and conventions and the ability to put that knowledge into creative and critical practice
  • a growing appreciation of structure, reader awareness and how readers interpret and construct texts
  • the ability to demonstrate and effectively express an appreciation of the power of the imagination within literary creativity. 
  • a well-developed technique for providing annotations and verbal critique of peer work and a knowledge of the critical criteria which underlie successful evaluations
  • the ability to develop well-structured peer critiques in written form with reference to wider reading and technical awareness
  • explored a range of literary forms and become aware of narrative and poetic effects
  • a developing empathy towards the pivotal role of language in the manifestation of meaning together with sensitivity towards the conscious and subconscious energy of language
  • a sensitivity and awareness of the subtleties of authorial viewpoints and their implications
  • a sense of the self-awareness that characterises good writing, and the ability to express yourself reflexively
  • a developing awareness of the structure, demands and interactions of the publishing industry

Outline Syllabus

Relevant authors and literary texts will be recommended by your tutor throughout the year. You will also be expected to read widely and discuss current reading in the workshops. There are no set texts for this course but the following will be suggested in terms of practical guides:

  • Linda Anderson, Creative Writing Coursebook, A Handbook With Readings
  • Paul Mills, The Routledge Creative Writing Coursebook.
  • J. Bell, The Creative Writing Course Book: Forty Authors Share Advice and Exercises for Fiction and Poetry- an excellent, many-voiced source of inspiration for aspiring writers
  • J. Newman, E. Cusick and A. La Tourette, The Writers Workbook, a sound practical guide.
  • Damon Knight, Creating Short Fiction: The Classic Guide to Writing Short Fiction
  • George Green and Lizzy Kremer, Writing a Novel and Getting Published for Dummies
  • Clare Brown  Don Paterson, Dont Ask me What I Mean, Poets in their own Words
  • Barry Turner, The Writers Handbook
  • James M Frey, How to Write a Damn Good Novel.

Assessment Proportions

  • Coursework: 100%

CREW204: Short Fiction: Genre and Practice

  • Terms Taught: Lent / Summer Terms Only.
  • US Credits: 4 Semester Credits.
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS
  • Pre-requisites:   We expect students who wish to take this module to have done some form of creative writing previously.  

Course Description

Course Outline:

The aims of this course are to provide an opportunity for second year students to develop a knowledge of the short story form, and to develop their experience of writing the form. They will gain experience in reading, writing, workshopping and reflecting on short fiction, and will develop a knowledge of the history and development of the form, current theoretical approaches to reading and practice in this form, and an awareness of their own literary context. The course will offer students the opportunity to develop their oral and written communication skills, enhance awareness of their approach to the creative process, and enhance their skills in the critical analysis of texts. This course is then developed by the third year specialization in short fiction.

This module will explore the writing of short stories in a workshop environment through the development of the student’s own work, combined with the directed reading of selected texts. Over the course of ten weeks, you are expected to read and discuss each key text, and to submit your own work for workshopping on a regular basis. Students are also expected to explore some of the books and essays listed as ‘supplementary’ reading: the books are selected to offer different perspectives on the key issues raised. The course should be considered as having a cumulative effect, in that books discussed early on may be drawn upon in later weeks to illustrate different aspects of writing. During the course, you are also expected to keep a journal, in which you reflect upon your writing and reading. The journal will form the basis of the reflective element of your final portfolio.

Educational Aims

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

  • demonstrate knowledge of the different forms that short stories can take and apply that knowledge to some of these forms
  • demonstrate a working knowledge of the narrative strategies adopted by individual writers in their short stories
  • employ a practice-based awareness of the process of drafting and revising their own short stories, maintaing a reflexive journal of that personal writing process
  • demonstrate a developing awareness of what constitutes a writerly reading of texts
  • demonstrate a developing awareness of contemporary writing from a variety of cultures
  • demonstrate awareness of the role of the reader in realizing the authors text
  • an awareness if the importance of all of the above in your development as a writer

Outline Syllabus

Set Texts:

(all available on Moodle)

Cathedral, Raymond Carver, Where I’m Calling From, Harper Collins

How To Talk to Your Mother (Notes), Lorrie Moore, Self-Help, Faber and Faber

Barbie-Q, Sandra Cisneros, Woman Hollaring Creek, Bloomsbury

Testicular Cancer vs The Behemoth, Adam Marek, Instruction Manual For Swallowing, Comma Press

Reunion, John Cheever, The Granta Book of the American Short Story, v.2, ed. Richard Ford, Granta.

The Fly, Katherine Mansfield, The Collected Short Stories of Katherine Mansfield, Penguin, 2001.

The Ant of the Self, Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, ZZ Packer, Canongate, 2005.

Assessment Proportions

  • Coursework: 100%
  • 1 x portfolio comprising up to 3 short stories, totaling no more than 4,000 words (if you wish to deviate from this, please consult your tutor) and one reflective essay based upon your writer’s journal (1,000 words)

CREW205: Poetry: Genre and Practice

  • Terms Taught: Michaelmas only.
  • US Credits: 4 Semester Credits.
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS Credits.
  • Pre-requisites:   We expect students who wish to take this module to have done some form of creative writing previously.  

Course Description

Course Outline:

The emphasis in this module is on reading as well as writing poetry. There is a decent collection of verse in the Library and students will be expected and encouraged to seek out work as a result of seminar and discussion. The writing of poetry is largely dependent on your abilities and adventurousness as a reader. However, technical aspects should not be neglected, and it is strongly recommended that every student buys or borrows a copy of Rhyme’s Reason by John Hollander and The Poet’s Manual and Rhyming Dictionary by Frances Stillman (more for the use of this book’s former element than its latter!) You are expected to keep a journal throughout the course, the contents of which will be used to create your reflective piece for your portfolio.

Educational Aims

By the end of this course you should have:

  • A good working knowledge of how structure in poetry can be adapted to create a variety of effects
  • A well-developed technique for providing critique of peer work and a knowledge of the critical criteria which underlie successful evaluations
  • A sense of the circulatory nature of reading, writing and critical reflection, where poetry is concerned  
  • An increased awareness of readers and the variations in reader responses
  • Experience in presenting your work orally to others in the group / in a semi-public forum on campus.
  • Developed your skills of written and oral communication

Outline Syllabus

Key Texts:

John Hollander, Rhyme’s Reason (Yale University Press, 2001)

Shira Wolosky, The Art of Poetry (Oxford University Press, 2001)

Michael Donaghy, The Shape of the Dance (Picador, 2009)

Frances Stillman, The Poet’s Manual and Rhyming Dictionary (Thames and Hudson, 1972)

Recommended Texts:

Ruth Padel, 52 Ways of Looking at a Poem (Chatto and Windus, 2002)

John Redmond, How to Write a Poem (Blackwell, 2005)

Eavan Boland and Mark Strand, The Making of a Poem (Norton, 2001)

Recommended Reading:

Roddy Lumsden (ed.), Identity Parade: New British & Irish Poets

Jo Shapcott and Matthew Sweeney (eds.), Emergency Kit

Neil Astley (ed.), Staying Alive

Neil Astley (ed.), Being Alive

Don Paterson and Charles Simic (eds.), New British Poetry

Deryn Rees-Jones (ed.), Making for Planet Alice

Assessment Proportions

  • Coursework: 100%
  • 1 x portfolio consisting of poems (3,000 words equivalent*) and a reflective essay based on your writer’s journal (1,000 words).

CREW206: Creative Non-Fiction: Genre and Practice

  • Terms Taught:  Michaelmas Term Only.
  • US Credits: 4 Semester Credits.
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS Credits.
  • Pre-requisites:   We expect students who wish to take this module to have done some form of creative writing previously.  

Course Description

Course Outline:

This module will explore the writing of creative non-fiction (mainly, though by no means exclusively, in the areas of memoir and biography) through the development, in a workshop environment, of the student’s own work, combined with the directed reading of a selection of contemporary work and secondary texts. Over the course of ten weeks, you are expected to read and discuss each key text, and to submit your own work for workshopping on a regular basis. Students are also expected to familiarise themselves with books listed as ‘supplementary’ and ‘background’ reading: the books are selected to offer different perspectives on the key issues raised. The course should be considered to have a cumulative effect, in that the books discussed early on may be drawn upon in later weeks to illustrate different aspects of writing. During the course you are also expected to keep a journal, in which you reflect upon your writing and reading. This journal will form the basis of the reflective element of your final portfolio, and it will be discussed in an end-of-term personal tutorial with your tutor. 

 

Outline Syllabus

Essential reading for workshops: 

Sandra Cisneros, The House on Mango Street

Gay Talese, Frank Sinatra has a Cold

Laurent Binet, HHhH

Christopher Isherwood, Goodbye to Berlin

Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried

Supplementary Texts:

Tom Wolfe, The New Journalism (essay available online)

Geoff Dyer Out of Sheer Rage

Penelope Lively, Making It Up

Truman Capote, In Cold Blood

Hunter S Thompson Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (or any other Thompson text)

David Sedaris, Me Talk Pretty Some Day (or any other Sedaris text)

Lorna Sage. Bad Blood

Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking

For further reading, see the course Moodle site.

Assessment Proportions

  • Coursework: 100%
  • 1 x portfolio, consisting of a 4,000-word piece of creative non-fiction and a reflective essay. (1,000 words).

CREW208: Writing place and landscape

  • Terms Taught: Lent/Summer Terms only
  • US Credits: 4 Semester Credits
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS
  • Pre-requisites: We expect students who wish to take this module to have done some form of creative writing previously.

Course Description

Course Outline:

This module is designed for those students interested in writing imaginatively about places and/or landscapes, providing a grounding for writers of poetry, prose fiction and non-fiction in the broad field of nature, environmental and place writing (which has been undergoing something of a renaissance in recent years). Students will study key texts that engage with different kinds of place and landscape – from fields and forests to rivers and urban edgelands – and explore their own emergent interests in place writing. Students will be encouraged to consider their own work as part of a larger, ongoing literary conversation about place, and to explore those places and landscapes that interest and excite them. The course also contains an element of fieldwork, linking the act of physically walking through a landscape to the practice of reading and writing about it. 

Educational Aims

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

  • Understand the contexts and range of place writing, and how landscape is a mutable and constructed term with a deep history.
  • Situate their own creative work within its wider literary context, developing their skills as a reflective reader and writer of literature.
  • Develop their own interests in landscape and place, both as critical readers and active practitioners.
  • Critically analyse a range of texts (prose and poetry) and situate them in the larger intertextual frameworks of literature, travel writing, place writing and genre-defying hybrid texts
  • Create their own work that explore the boundaries and limits of place writing

Outline Syllabus

Key Texts:

Granta 102: The New Nature Writing

Forests, Robert Pogue Harrison

Four Fields, Tim Dee

Edgelands, Paul Farley, Michael Symmons Roberts

The Unofficial Countryside, Richard Mabey

Museum Without Walls, Jonathan Meades

Strands, Jean Sprackland

Mountains of the Mind, Robert Macfarlane

The Prelude Book VI, William Wordsworth

Waterlog, Roger Deakin

To the River, Olivia Laing

River, Ted Hughes

Caught by the River, ed. Barrett, Turner, Walsh

 Secondary Texts:

The Rings of Saturn W G Sebald

Field Notes from a Hidden City Esther Woolfson

Parallel Lines Ian Marchant

On Roads Joe Moran

Deep Country Neil Ansell

The Living Mountain Nan Shepherd

Silt Road Charles Rangeley-Wilson

The Wild Places Robert Macfarlane

Findings Kathleen Jamie

Sightlines Kathleen Jamie

Wildwood Roger Deakin

Walking Home Simon Armitage

Assessment Proportions

Coursework: 100%

1 x portfolio consisting of 3,000 words (or poetry equivalent*) and a reflective essay based on your writer’s journal (1,000 words).

*We are looking for work that engages with and reflects a fairly intense 10-week seminar series. This could conceivably be anything from a long haiku sequence to a short epic, but 12 pages of poems, each between sonnet and sestina length, is a reasonable benchmark.

CREW210: Writing for the stage

  • Terms Taught: Michaelmas Term only
  • US Credits: 4 semester credits
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS
  • Pre-requisites: We expect students who wish to take this module to have done some form of creative writing previously.

Course Description

Course Outline:

The module aims to enable students to write for the theatre and develop their awareness of the processes by which a written script makes its way to performance. Students will be taught through weekly seminars/creative writing workshops in which they will explore the effects that different staging approaches and performance strategies have on their scripts. There will be a performance showcase in which students will be actively involved; the showcase will allow students to reflect upon their work in the light of audience feedback. Over the course of the module, they will develop their own writing styles and gain an awareness of the professional requirements of playwriting.

Educational Aims

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

  • Show understanding of dramatic structure, language and staging approaches, and apply this knowledge to their own playwriting.
  • Show understanding of the transformative processes that occur in the development of written work for performance on stage, and will be able to analyse their own work in this context.
  • To create their own scripts for performance.

Outline Syllabus

Key Texts

Ayckbourn, A., 2002. The Crafty Art of Playmaking. London: Faber and Faber.

Grace, F. and Bayley, C., 2016. Playwriting: A Writers’ and Artists’ Companion. London: Bloomsbury

Johnstone, K., 1979. Impro: Improvisation and the theatre. London: Faber and Faber.

Sierz, A., 2011. Rewriting the Nation: British Theatre Today. London: Methuen Drama.

Recommended texts

Brook, P., 1968. The Empty Stage. London: Penguin.

Yorke, J., 2013. Into the Woods: How Stories Work and Why We Tell Them. London: Penguin.

Recommended plays

Ahmed, N., 2012. Mustafa. London: Nick Hern Books.

Agbaje, B., 2007. Gone Too Far! London: Methuen Drama.

Beckett, S., 1956. Waiting for Godot. London: Faber and Faber.

Churchill, C., 2006. Drunk Enough to Say I Love You? London: Methuen Drama.

Kane, S., 2011. Blasted. London: Methuen Drama.

Khan-Din, A., 1997. East is East. London: Nick Hern Books.

Keatley, C., 1988. My mother said I never should. London: Methuen Drama

Kushner, T., 2013. Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes. New York: Theatre Communications Group

Washburn, A., 2014. Mr Burns, a post-electric play. London: Oberon Books.

Wertenbaker, T., 1990. Our Country’s Good. London: Methuen Drama.

Assessment Proportions

  • Coursework: 100%

Students will write a 3500 word play script (approximately 20 pages) and a 1500 word essay reflecting on the writing, rehearsal and performance process.

CREW303: Advanced Creative Writing Workshop

  • Terms Taught: Full Year Course.
  • Also Available:
    • Michaelmas Term only.
    • This module is not recommended for those studying in Lent / Summer Terms only.
    • NOTE:  If you are studying with us for a Full Academic Year and you select a course that has full year and part year variants, you will not be allowed to take only part of the course.
  • US Credits:
    • Full Year course - 8 Semester Credits.
    • Michaelmas Term only - 4 Semester Credits.
  • ECTS Credits:
    • Full Year course - 16 ECTS Credits.
    • Michaelmas Term only - 8 ECTS Credits.
  • Pre-requisites: We expect students who wish to take this module to have done some form of creative writing previously.

Course Description

Course Outline:

Students will develop the key skills introduced at Part I level and in the first year of Part II with an emphasis on writing as process, exploring creative voice, identifying point of view, the implied author and authorial guises and considering the creative and interactive nature of reading. A proactive workshop environment will enable the development of specific aesthetic and technical skills through lively participation in constructive criticism relating to fellow students’ work-in-progress. Through this process, you will gain a deeper understanding of many important concepts such as structure, linguistic texture and resonance, point-of-view, form, pace, characterisation, the mediation of tone, and reader awareness. While the learning environment will usually be in the form of workshops, certain weeks will be designated for focussed and practical set tasks. You will be expected to read widely from modern and contemporary creative works and to explore the work of ‘writers on writing’. The aim of the course is to develop a closely edited creative and peer-critiqued body of work that displays your own form of expression alongside skills and insights developed through the course.

Educational Aims

Students will develop key skills with an emphasis upon writing as process, exploring creative voice, identifying point of view, the implied author and authorial guises, and considering the creative and interactive nature of reading. A proactive workshop environment will enable the development of specific aesthetic and technical skills through lively participation in constructive criticism relating to fellow students' work-in-progress. You will gain a deeper understanding of many important concepts such as structure, linguistic texture and resonance, point-of-view, form, pace, characterization, the mediation of tone and reader awareness.While the learning environment will usually be in the form of workshops, certain weeks may be designated for focused and practical set tasks. You will be expected to read widely from modern and contemporary creative works and to explore the work of 'writers on writing'.

The aim of this course is to develop a portfolio of closely edited creative work and peer critique work that displays your own forms of expression alongside skills and insights developed through the course.  Students can expect to make fortnightly submissions and to receive oral feedback from their tutor and peers throughout the year. Students must attend workshops with each week's copies of LUVLE submissions and be prepared to contribute orally to the discussion.

Outline Syllabus

Relevant authors and literary texts will be recommended by your tutor throughout the year. You will also be expected to read widely and discuss current reading in the workshops. There are no set texts for this course but the following will be suggested in terms of practical guides:

  • Linda Anderson, Creative Writing Coursebook, A Handbook With Readings
  • Paul Mills, The Routledge Creative Writing Coursebook.
  • J. Bell, The Creative Writing Course Book: Forty Authors Share Advice and Exercises for Fiction and Poetry- an excellent, many-voiced source of inspiration for aspiring writers
  • J. Newman, E. Cusick and A. La Tourette, The Writers Workbook, a sound practical guide.
  • Damon Knight, Creating Short Fiction: The Classic Guide to Writing Short Fiction
  • Clare Brown and Don Paterson, Dont Ask me What I Mean, Poets in their own Words
  • Barry Turner, The Writers Handbook
  • James M Frey, How to Write a Damn Good Novel.

Assessment Proportions

  • Coursework: 100%

1 x 8,000-word portfolio of your own creative work or equivalent (16-20 poems of between sonnet and sestina length) plus a reflective self-critique of no more than 2,000 words. The majority of the work submitted must have been previously discussed at workshops

CREW305: Creative Non-Fiction II

  • Terms Taught: Michaelmas Term Only
  • US Credits: 4 Semester Credits
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS
  • Pre-requisites: We expect students who wish to take this module to have done some form of creative writing previously.

Course Description

Course Outline:

This module will explore the writing of creative non-fiction through the development, in a workshop environment, of the student’s own work, combined with the directed reading of a selection of contemporary work and secondary texts. This module builds both thematically and technically on CREW 206, which was introductory and primarily concerned with biography and memoir; CREW 305 will concentrate on reviews, essays, and cultural reflection. Over the course of ten weeks, you are expected to read and discuss each key text, and to submit your own work for workshopping on a regular basis. Students are also expected to familiarise themselves with the books listed as ‘supplementary’ reading below and ‘background’ reading (available on Moodle): the books are selected to offer different perspectives on the key issues raised. The course should be considered to have a cumulative effect, in that the books discussed earlier in the term (as well as those discussed in CREW 206) may be drawn upon in later weeks to illustrate different aspects of writing. During the course you are also expected to keep a journal, in which you reflect upon your writing and reading, and which will form the basis of the reflective element of your final portfolio. This journal will be discussed in an end-of-term personal tutorial with your tutor.

Educational Aims

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

  • Understand the contexts and range of certain non-fiction forms.
  • Situate their own creative work within its wider literary context, developing their skills as a reflective reader and writer of literature.
  • Critically analyse a range of texts and situate them in larger intertextual frameworks.

Outline Syllabus

Essential reading for workshops: 

Paul Morley, Words and Music

Lester Bangs, Psychotic Reactions and Carburettor Dung

Ian Macdonald, Revolution in the Head

Pauline Kael, I Lost It at the Movies

Anthony Lane, Nobody’s Perfect

Jon Savage, England’s Dreaming

Julian Cope, Head On

Tracey Thorn, Bedsit Disco Queen

 

Supplementary Reading

John Gross ed, The Oxford Book of Essays

Simon Reynolds, Rip It Up and Start Again

Pauline Kael, The Age of Movies

David Thomson, Moment That Made the Movies

Janet Malcolm, Forty-One False Starts

Geoff Dyer, But Beautiful

Greil Marcus, The Dustbin of History

Curtis White, The Middle Mind

Assessment Proportions

  • Coursework: 100%
  • 1 x portfolio, consisting of a 4,000-word piece of creative non-fiction and a reflective essay based on your writer’s journal (1,000 words).

CREW309: Poetry and Experiment

  • Terms Taught: Michaelmas Term only
  • US Credits: 4 Semester Credits
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS
  • Pre-requisites: We expect students who wish to take this module to have done some form of creative writing previously.

Course Description

Course Outline:

This course aims to challenge the received structures of language in the students' own poetry through a close reading of poets who opened up new frontiers of 20th/21st century literature through their experimental approaches to language.  Every seminar will be split in two halves; the first hour will be devoted to a close reading of experimental work by a published poet, from Alice Oswald to Ezra Pound, looking at how they stretch or break the lyric formula; the second hour will a workshop based on critiquing the students' own poetic experiments.  In week two, students will receive a basic introduction to Wittgenstein's theory of language games, with each subsequent poet examined in the light of how they try to break the rules of the game. The students' own experiments are encouraged as either continuations of the radical departures first implemented by the poets in question, or the students' own attempts to break from comfortable notions of confessional or lyric poetry. 

Educational Aims

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

  • understand the contexts and techniques through which poets of the 20th and 21st centuries have tried to challenge the recieved literary and linguistic frameworks of their genre.
  • situate their own creative work within its wider literary context, developing their skills as a reflective reader and writer of literature.
  • develop their own poetry towards the experimental thresholds of the genre as a tool of research into the limits of what might be said.
  • create their own texts that question the received frameworks of text-production.

Outline Syllabus

Essential reading for workshops: 

 

Ciaran Carson, The Ballad of HMS Belfast. London: Picador, 1999.

E E Cummings, Selected Poems. London: Faber & Faber, 1977.

Miroslav Holub, Poems Before and After. London: Bloodaxe Books Ltd, 2006.

Medbh McGuckian, Selected Poems. Dublin: The Gallery Press, 1997. 

Hollie McNish, Papers. London: Greenwich Exchange Ltd, 2012.

Les Murray, Translations from the Natural World. Oxford: Carcanet Poetry, 2012.

Alice Oswald. Dart. London: Faber & Faber, 2002.

Ezra Pound, Selected Poems and Translations of Ezra Pound 1908-1969. London: Faber & Faber, 2011

Supplementary  Texts:

Linda Anderson, Creative Writing, a workbook with readings. Oxford: Routledge, 2003.

Roland Barthes, “La mort de l’auteur.”  Le Bruissement de la langue.  Paris: Editions in Seuil, 1984.  pp. 61-7.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Major Works.  Oxford: Oxford UP, 1985.

Jacques Derrida, Writing and Difference. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978.

Seamus Heaney, Finders Keepers: Selected Prose, 1971-2001.  London, Faber and Faber Ltd., 2002.

W N Herbert and Matthew Hollis, editors.  Strong Words: Modern Poets on Modern Poetry.  Bloodaxe Books: Wiltshire, 2004.

Gerard Manley Hopkins, A Critical Edition of the Major Works.  Edited by Catherine Phillips. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1986. 

Ted Hughes, Poetry in the Making.  Faber and Faber: London, 1967

Roman Ingarden. The Cognition of the Literary Work of Art. Evanston Ill.: Northwestern University Press, 1973.

Wallace Stevens, Harmonium.  Faber and Faber: London, 2001.

Ludwig Wittgenstein,  Philosophical Investigations. 3rd ed. Trans. by G E M Anscombe.  New York: The Macmilliam Co., 1958.

Assessment Proportions

  • Coursework:  100%

Assessment: 10 pages of poetry; 1,000 word critical / reflective / contextualising essay