Poetry: Nobel Prize Winners

Ref: C3527715

Since 1901, the Nobel Prize has been one of the most coveted—and controversial—awards. This course examines some poets who have won the literature prize. Includes writers from many nations: Kipling, Yeats, Eliot, Neruda, Milosz, Walcott, Heaney and Lessing.

Additional information about this course

NB There is no session on 02 June

Course aim

To explore the links between poetry, history and the individual. We will read a text closely; be it poem, criticism, film or painting. We will then examine that text in its literary and historical context.

Who is the course for?

Must be able to read English.

What topics will this course cover

1. Introduction. 2. Rudyard Kipling (1907). 3. W.B. Yeats (1923). 4. T.S. Eliot (1948). 5. Pablo Neruda (1971). 6. Czeslaw Milosz (1980). 7. Derek Walcott (1992). 8. The Long Poem. 9. Seamus Heaney (1995). 10. Doris Lessing (2007). 11. Conclusion.

What will it be like?

WEA classes are friendly and supportive. You will be encouraged to work together with your fellow students and tutor. You will be asked to share your ideas and views in the class and work with the group to give and accept feedback in a supportive environment. The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you to be actively involved in your learning. You may be asked to undertake work to support your course outside of your class.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

1. Describe the first English-language writer to receive the Nobel Prize for literature. 2. Say which laureate proposed marriage to a mother and her daughter 3. Define the laureate who said (in 1933) that he found “any large number of free-thinking Jews undesirable”. 4. Say which laureate was divorced three times and accused of sexual harassment. 5. Name the laureate who was once described as a “papist propagandist”.

How will I know I'm making progress?

People will be expected to keep up with the reading and to contribute in class discussions (if they wish to do so). Informal feedback; there will be no formal tests or exams.

What else do I need to know, do or bring?

All materials will be supplied.

Reading and information sources

None required.

What could the course lead to?

There will be a "Poetry Adventure" course by the same tutor in the following term.

Download full course outline

Poetry: Nobel Prize Winners Course Outline


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2016
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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