Writing poetry: experiments in chance and choice

Course Dates: 14/07/18
Time: 10:30 - 16:30
Location: KS - Keeley Street
Tutor: Barbara Marsh

Explore interesting, off-beat and diverse approaches to generating verse on this one-day course. Try out cut-ups, found lines, experiments in meter and rhyme, and much more.

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Writing poetry: experiments in chance and choice


What is the course about?

The course will look at ways to generate raw material and ideas for new and existing poems through exercises, employing chance/experimental methods and choice –from flow-writing, cut-ups and found lines to syllabic meter and imagery. How do we choose what to do with raw material? What are some methods we can use to shape our experimental writing into poems?

The Tutor
Barbara Marsh is a London-based American writer, musician and teacher, and winner of the 2015 Troubadour International Poetry Prize. Her poetry has appeared in various magazines and pamphlets and been widely anthologised in the UK. She was formerly half of The Dear Janes and currently plays with Vachement Bath. She has an Mphil in Creative Writing from the University of Glamorgan.

Build reserves the right to change course tutors from those advertised in this outline. In line with our refund policy we are unable to grant a refund on the grounds of a change of tutor.

What will we cover?

Experiments and the act of discovery: we will explore how to allow words onto the page by chance and what methods we can choose to create new poems or revise or re-envision existing poems using these new ideas.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

• Express an understanding of some new techniques for starting and revising a poem
• Begin to work on a new or existing poem using exercises and techniques introduced in the class
• Begin to assess poems provided in class, based on discussions and your own reading and opinions
• Discuss the individual texts.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

A basic working knowledge of poetry is necessary; for example, familiarity with some poetic techniques, such as rhyme, meter and imagery. You will need an enthusiasm for poetry and a willingness to take part in discussions, reading, creative exercises and writing poetry. A minimum Level 2 English is also required.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Teaching will be through writing exercises, small and large group discussion and tutor input.

All writing courses at Build will involve an element of workshop. This means that students will produce work which will be discussed in an open and constructive environment with the tutor and other students. The college operates a policy of constructive criticism, and all feedback on another student’s work by the tutor and other students should be delivered in that spirit.

For classes longer than one day regular reading and writing exercises will be set for completion at home to set deadlines.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Please bring loose paper, a writing notebook, pens and pencils, a folder, highlighters, newspapers and magazines of interest to you, scissors and gluesticks and/or sellotape.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Visit Writing > Poetry on our website to browse our full range of beginners', intermediate and advanced poetry writing classes.

All students are invited to join us at Late Lines, our regular performance night for Build writers. Students are also encouraged to submit their work to Between the Lines, our annual anthology of creative writing. For the latest news, courses and events, stay in touch with the Department on and Twitter.

General information and advice on courses at Build is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details


This course has now finished

Course Code: HW120

Finished Sat, day, 14 Jul - 14 Jul '18

Duration: 1 session

Full fee: £59.00
Senior fee: £59.00
Concession: £24.00
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Please note: Different fees may apply for international students. Read full guidance.