The Essentials of Poetry Writing


Online Creative Writing Course: Essentials of Poetry Writing

Great poems often seem to touch the reader's emotions directly. Lines from certain poems can live on in the reader's mind forever.

In this course, you'll learn the hidden techniques that make some poems so powerful. You'll learn to write poems that work on more than one level at the same time, poems that create an intense mood or atmosphere, poems that show your readers new ways of looking at the world.

This 8-week course is taught by e-mail, so you can learn from anywhere, studying when you have time in your schedule.


WHAT YOU'LL LEARN



Week 1: Introduction to Poetry

  • How poems work on more than one level
  • A step-by-step process for writing a poem
  • How to read poetry like a poet

Week 2: Subject Matter

  • What to write about
  • How to write poems that feel fresh and original
  • How to bring your poem to life with sensory words
  • Techniques for writing about abstract topics such as Love and Death

Week 3: Words and Images

  • How to tap into the secret meanings of words
  • How to avoid words that clash with your poem
  • How you can write poems in the voice of another person or character
  • How to use figurative language to create images
  • How to avoid mixed metaphors and clichés

Week 4: Lines and Stanzas

  • How to divide your poem into lines and stanzas
  • How to create different effects with end-stopping, enjambment, and caesuras

Week 5: Meter

  • What meter is
  • How to write metered poetry

Week 6: Rhythm

  • How to use different types of meter for different effects
  • The difference between meter and rhythm
  • How to add texture and meaning by varying your poem's rhythm

Week 7: Rhyme

  • How to use rhymes in your poems
  • Different types of rhymes
  • How to avoid forced rhymes
  • How to follow a rhyme scheme
  • How to write a sonnet

Week 8: Patterns

  • Different types of patterns you can use in your poetry
  • What readers expect from free verse
  • How to design your own rules for a poem


Your teacher
Essentials of Poetry Writing is taught by Nancy Strauss, the Online Courses Director at Creative Writing Now. Nancy has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan, where she has also taught creative and expository writing.

What you get in the course

Essentials of Poetry Writing includes:

  • eight e-mail lessons (one lesson a week for eight weeks. The first lesson will normally be sent to you within an hour after you confirm your course registration.)
  • weekly exercises included in the lessons
  • the chance to e-mail any questions about the lessons to a writing teacher.*
  • the chance to publish your writing on the class blog.
*Please note that feedback on your writing assignments is not included in this course, which has been designed for self-study. While teachers will be available to answer general questions, they will not be able to read or comment on your poetry.

We guarantee the value of this course. If you change your mind any time during the first 20 days, you can ask for a refund.


Feedback on our Courses



"One of my stories, "Bubble", has been published. If I hadn't taken your course I couldn't even imagine that. Many, many thanks for inspiring me."
     - Rasheed

"I have to say that this course has been really inspiring and it's given my writing a new lease on life."
     - Robin Gott

"I saw that my writing had improved 100%."
     - Jill Gairdner

"The writing exercises are intriguing and practically beg you to get started. The lessons themselves are concise and straight-forward, easy to understand and to apply to your own writing.”
     - Sally Derby

"Wow! I loved this first lesson. I loved every minute of writing writing writing. I really look forward to my 2nd lesson."
     - Sarah

“Loving the course.”
     - Wendy

"A great, fun, practical way to get the creative juices flowing and call forth the writer's muse."
     - Man Martin

"I find Lesson 4 very interesting, so much so that all the distractions facing me at the moment of writing were not able to actually distract me."
     - Linda

"Innovative and stimulating."
     - Charles Hartik

“Thanks for this lesson. I used it for one of the characters in my newest WIP and I got a very interesting scene out of it!”
     - Carolyn

“Thanks for this awesome learning opportunity.”
     - Claire

“It's absolutely perfect! I want more!”
     - Amanda

Sign up now

Essentials of Poetry Writing - Includes 8 e-mail lessons, weekly assignments, the chance to publish on the course blog, and the chance to ask a teacher general questions. Feedback on assignments is currently not available for this course.
Total price: $26.95


Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some answers to questions you may have about the course:

Q: How/when will I get my lessons?

A: Your lessons will be sent to you by e-mail, once a week for eight weeks. Here's how it works: when you purchase the course, you will be asked for an e-mail address. After your purchase is complete, you will normally receive the first lesson within one hour.

Q: How much time will I need to complete the assignments?

A: The lessons are specially designed so that you can read and absorb them quickly. And the writing assignments can also be completed fast. But as with most things, what you get out of this course depends on what you put into it. So we suggest making time to revise your weekly assignments and do some additional writing. Ideally, try to schedule a regular time for your writing at least five days a week -- even if it is only ten minutes per day.

Q: Will I have to buy any books or additional materials?

A: There are no additional materials required for the course. The online format will also save you money versus an offline course, where you would have logistical expenses such as transportation, parking, childcare, and so on.

Q: Is the course just for poetry writing, or will it help me write stories, articles, essays, etc.?

A: The course is focused on poetry writing. If you are mainly interested in writing fiction, articles, or another genre, this course may not be right for you.

Q: What if I don't understand something in one of the lessons?

A: No worries. You can e-mail us, and a teacher will answer your questions about the course.

Q: How do I get feedback on my writing assignments?

A: We currently do not offer a teacher feedback option for this course. However, you will have the chance to publish your poetry on the course blog, where other students might leave comments.

Q: How soon do I have to decide?

A: If you're really interested in taking this course, it is safer to sign up now while it's still open.

Q: What if I change my mind after I purchase the course?

A: No problem! If you change your mind, just ask us for a refund. You can send us an e-mail any time during the first 20 days, and just tell us you've changed your mind, then we'll refund 100% of your payment. No hassle; no hard feelings. So you actually have nothing to lose by signing up for the course now.

Q: What if my question was not answered here?

A: Please just send us an e-mail, and we'll be delighted to answer all your questions.


Sign up now

Essentials of Poetry Writing - Includes 8 e-mail lessons, weekly assignments, the chance to publish on the course blog, and the chance to ask a teacher general questions. Feedback on assignments is currently not available for this course.
Total price: $26.95



P.S. Still not sure? Give the course a try and see what you think. You have 20 days to decide if it's for you or ask for a refund.


Questions? Please contact us

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