Essential Poetry

Ref: C3527940

The course book contains 500 contemporary poems from all over the world. Seize this chance to read a wealth of poems, experience a host of different viewpoints and learn to appreciate the artistry of the writers.

Additional information about this course

No Half Term

Course aim

A study of contemporary poetry to encounter new poets, consider their poetic styles and discuss their varied views of society.

Who is the course for?

What topics will this course cover

We will be reading and learning to analyse poetry. Recognising and identifying poetic skills are ways of appreciating poetry and, from there, being able to share it with others. The choice of anthology will generate discussions about all kinds of world views.

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:

Analyse an unseen poem Justify your decision with examples of poetic technique quoted from the text Evaluate an unseen poem Recommend it to a friend with reasons for the recommendation

How will I know I'm making progress?

There will be guided questions and small group work, with the chance to share answers with the whole group with tutor feedback. There will be student learning record sheets for students to make note of things learned and things to ask about and the opportunity for one to one feedback if the students wish. Large group discussion will also give the chance for peer review. The last session will be a consolidation session of the previous 6 weeks with a final chance to ask questions with reference to individual learner record sheets.

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

Please bring a pen and paper for making notes. The course book is: 'Essential Poems from the Staying Alive Trilogy' edited by Neil Astley (new £7.99)

Reading and information sources

No preparation is necessary. As the course evolves, we will read poems from the anthology that help consolidate the previous week's discussions. This may mean that all the poems to be studied are not known at the beginning of the course.

What could the course lead to?

Read the other 2 books in this trilogy of poetry anthologies Another WEA literature course A level literature course OU courses which are open and free for all Joining a poetry reading group

Download full course outline

Essential Poetry 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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