"The Auden Group": Poetry of the 1930s

Ref: C3742998

1930s poetry was characterised by its engagement with the political challenge to liberal democracy in the run-up to WW2. The course explores, through discussion and analysis, a small selection of work by Auden, Spender, MacNeice and Day Lewis, known collectively as The Auden Group, who wrote in the hope that poetry could effect change.

Course aim

A brief introduction to the work of the main poets of the 1930s, including Auden, Spender, MacNeice and Day Lewis. We will also consider their contexts and influences and develop an understanding of their poetic techniques.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

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

  • Read and discuss a selection of 1930s poetry with deeper understanding and appreciation
  • Explain how the poets' techniques and poetic choices contribute to meaning
  • Describe some of the 1930s poets' contexts and influences
  • Evaluate the 1930s poets' importance in literary history

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

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
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions

What else do I need to know?

  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)
  • Course text: Poetry of the Thirties, ed. Robin Skelton, Penguin Modern Classics 2000

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider

Download full course information sheet

"The Auden Group": Poetry of the 1930s


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  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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