Contemporary Poetry: Tradition and Innovation - EN674

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
(version 2)
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5 30 (15) MISS E Perry




Not available as wild



This module will expose students to a wide range of contemporary English language poetries, which use traditional prosodies as their organising principles. Techniques and writing strategies covered will include the wide range of verse forms and will include the sonnet, the quatrain, the couplet as well measures such as the iambic pentameter amongst others. One of these forms for writing poetry (and others as appropriate) will be the starting point for discussion each week. These discussions will be supported with writing exercises week by week. Each teaching session will incorporate a writing workshop.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

Total contact hours: 30
Private study hours: 270
Total study hours: 300

Method of assessment

100% coursework:

Essay (1,500 words) (25%)
Final Portfolio (120 lines of poetry) (65%)
Seminar/ workshop participation (10%)

Indicative reading

Attridge, D. (1995) Poetic Rhythm: an introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Bugeja, M. (1994) The Art and Craft of Poetry, Writer's Digest.
Greene, R. & Cushman, S. (2012) The Princeton Encylopedia of Poetry and Poetics, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.
Hollander, J (2001) Rhyme's Reason: a guide to English Verses, London: Yale University Press.
Lehman, D. (2003) Great American Prose Poems. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Muldoon, P. Sinclair, I. & Silva, H. (2012) Tom Chivers (ed.), Adventures in Form: A Compendium of Poetic Forms, Rules and Constraints London: Penned in the Margins.
Sansom, P. (1993) Writing Poems Northumberland: Bloodaxe Books.
Strand, M (2001) The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms New York: W.W. Norton.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Read and respond to a range of modernist and post-modernist poetries as technical exemplars of the craft of writing poetry.
2. Identify and evaluate the technical and stylistic choices made by the writer of contemporary poetry.
3. Understand how these choices can be applied to their own writing.
4. Develop their capacities for close reading and editorial scrutiny.
5. Apply these developed skills to the reading of poetry produced by their classmates and by themselves.
6. Begin to identify their own formal, stylistic and thematic approaches.
7. Reflect on the range of narrative, stylistic and technical choices open to the contemporary writer.
8. Apply sophisticated writing techniques to their own creative work.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Develop their capacities for close reading and editorial analysis.
2. Develop their creative writing skills to an advanced level.
3. Develop their communication skills, particularly in responding to others' work in the context of the workshop.

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