How to write a poem with Clare Pollard

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Great poets, like Keats and Tennyson, learned through modelling, imitating, even stealing. In this online course How to Write poet Clare Pollard teaches you to read the classics in order to learn what you can take from them.

Over six video-based lessons, Clare explores the style, structure and history of classic poetic forms like ballads, sonnets and dramatic monologues. Each lesson will cover the basic rules of the form and you’ll read iconic examples from Shakespeare, Ovid, Lear and Keats. You’ll learn about iambic pentameter, neologisms, narrative and rhyme — and how to apply those ideas to your own poetry. This course equips you with all the necessary tools and techniques to start writing your own poetry.

Clare not only teaches you how to write poems, but also how to get them out there, offering practical tips on applications, competitions, poetry magazines and publishers.

Poetry, like any craft, needs practice so there will be exercises and homework in each lesson and you can share your poems in the course forum for Clare and other students to comment on.

Clare’s course is a great primer on the history of poetry, as well as an excellent starting point for aspiring poets.

What you get in How to Write with Clare Pollard

Six video lessons

Extensive downloadable notes

Forum: post your poems here and pose questions to your fellow students and tutor

How to Write Course Outline

Introduction – 3.25 mins

Lesson One: What is Poetry? – 36.46 mins

Lesson Two: Learning from Nonsense – 19.08 mins

Lesson Three: Learning from Sonnets – 24.59 mins

Lesson Four: Learning from Ballads – 23.10 mins

Lesson Five: Learning from Dramatic Monologues – 22.03 mins

Lesson Six: Ways Forward in Poetry – 21.23 mins

About the tutor

Clare Pollard was born in Bolton in 1978 and lives in London. She has published five collections of poetry including The Heavy-Petting Zoo, which she wrote while still at school, and her latest Incarnation. Her first play The Weather premièred at the Royal Court Theatre and her documentary for radio, My Male Muse, was a Radio 4 Pick of the Year.  Her new translation of Ovid’s Heroines has recently toured as a one-woman show. Visit her website here.