Contemporary Irish Poetry

Ref: C3670631

This course will look at contemporary Irish poetry, considering how poets have responded to the complex politics and history of the last century. Close readings of poems will generate discussion and inspire new writing.

Additional information about this course


Course aim

This course is to provide an introduction to contemporary Irish poetry, looking at a variety of poets and poems, to inspire new writing.

Who is the course for?

What topics will this course cover

We will look at contemporary Irish poetry, its themes and use of language, to gain a better understanding of the cultural and historical influences. There will be close readings of poems by Patrick Kavanagh, Eavan Boland, Seamus Heaney and Mebdh McGuckian amongst others, and these will inspire new poems.

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:

Enjoy and appreciate the work of some key contemporary Irish poets Have an awareness of the cultural and historical contexts of modern Irish poetry Write new poems inspired by close readings of published poems Learn about the work of at least one new Irish poet

How will I know I'm making progress?

Students will have opportunities to bring their poems to 'workshop' in order to get feedback. There will be group discussion as well as individual/pair/small group work, to review students progress and to raise any issues or concerns.

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

Bring pen and paper.

Reading and information sources

No pre course reading is required

What could the course lead to?

Joining local poetry groups Attending poetry workshops and festivals Sending work to be considered for publication in poetry magazines Sending work to poetry competitions

Download full course outline

Contemporary Irish 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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