Introducing Modern Poetry

Ref: C2337984

The course will start by asking the question, when did modern poetry begin and what makes it different to what had gone before? It will use A Choice of Poets edited by David Edwards, and a variety of other poetical works that the tutor and members of the class have encountered in their lives.

Course aim

To provide an introduction to modern poetry, starting with T.S. Eliot and covering major writers such as Sylvia Plath,Ted Hughes and Seamus Heaney

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • This course is for people who enjoy reading aloud and discussing the poetry of the Twentieth Century

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

  • Know who the major poets of the 20th Century are considered to be
  • Have experience of reading aloud and discussing a range of poems
  • Learn biographical details of some of the major poets such as Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes
  • Learn how poets might make or break rules in the form and style of their work
  • Share an interest in poetry in a lively and supportive adult group

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning

What else do I need to know?

  • You will need a copy of A Choice of Poets (1999) edited by Dr David Edwards (Oxford University Press)

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • Any interest in, and any experience you have of, modern poetry will be useful

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • The course will lead in to a further course on modern poetry which will include some reference to performance poetry and the work of Nobel Prize Winner, Derek Walcott

Download full Course information sheet

Introducing Modern Poetry


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  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
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  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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