We use cookies on this site. By browsing our site you agree to our use of cookies. Close this message Find out more

More in this section ReadingLists

CW3030 Poetry 2

Summer Reading List 2017-18

Course Tutor: Prue Chamberlain

CW3030 Image

Brigid McLeer, Deixis (‘absence of what qualifies the surface?’) (1998)


The course is taken by all third-year Creative Writing students who are specialising in Poetry for their Final Project.  In one sense the ‘final project’ is equivalent to the ‘dissertation’ undertaken by English students: a test, amongst other things, of the student’s ability to work independently in order to produce a substantial piece of creative work.


Aims and Objectives

This course aims to provide Creative Writing students with a supervised environment in which they can work upon a substantial piece of creative writing in poetic form.  Students will work individually, supervised by a member of the teaching staff.  A lecture series on professional practice and how to develop long-term projects will run during Term 1.  In addition, small student-run/organised workshopping groups as well as the Moodle site will provide a forum for students to comment upon one another’s ideas and works in progress.


Learning Outcomes

After taking this course students will:

  • Have produced a collection of poetry.
  • Have written a critical self-commentary upon their project that brings critical and theoretical approaches to writing to bear on their own practice.
  • Have developed the skills of self-reliance and independent research necessary for any professional writer.
  • Have developed awareness of generic requirements.
  • Have demonstrated the ability to evaluate their own work and engage in useful and relevant editing.
  • Have learned how the ability to present work in a professional format.


Setting up a Digital Platform

During the summer months, please familiarise yourself with one of the following blog platforms.  In doing so, set up a blog for yourself that you will use for CW3030 next year.

This blog will be shared with other students and with your supervisor.  If you wish, the blog can be open to those outside of the course as well.  You are expected to upload such things as:

  • Project Proposal
  • Relevant links relating to your research.
  • Book reviews of relevant poetry collections.
  • Reviews of any relevant poetry readings, gallery exhibitions, theatrical productions, etc. that you attend.
  • Images, video, music etc. relating to your project.
  • Work-in-progress.
  • Anything else you consider relevant to the project.


Summer Reading & Related Activities

As this is a self-directed project, your specific reading for the course will be decided by you in consultation with your supervisor.  In order to focus your reading and your writing, please complete the following activities over the summer.

N.B. Please upload all of these materials to your project blog before the start of term.


Write a Project Proposal

In preparation for the work that you will do over the course of your project, please write a project proposal. This proposal may change as things progress, but this will be a starting point for your poetic investigation and should include:

  • Questions (3-5 questions that underlie and drive your project.)
  • Aims / Objectives (What are your aims for the project?  How will these aims be realised?)
  • Context (What is the context for your project and its reception?  Make specific reference to contemporary practitioners that you situate yourself in relation to.)
  • Methodology (What methods will you work with to undertake your creative writing as well as your critical writing?  Why are you working with these methods?)
  • Outcomes (What will you produce by the end of the project?)
  • Selected Bibliography (Include practitioners, critics and theorists.)


Write Book Reviews

Find at least three full collections of poetry that relate to your project, whether in terms of your poetics, your subject matter, you preferred context, etc.  Do a book review of each of these (750 words).


Attend a Poetry Venue / Reading Event

Please take a number of excursions into the thriving world of UK poetry at

some point over this summer. Here are some listings:

The Poetry Library at The Southbank Centre

The Poetry Café (including numerous reading series & events)

Poetry Readings in London

Cambridge Poetry Readings

Brighton Poetry Readings

Manchester Poetry Readings

Liverpool Poetry Readings

Plymouth Poetry Readings


Experiment with your Writing

Try out different forms, styles, structures and genres – just as an experiment over the summer. So, work with the unit of the line, the sentence, the paragraph; write a lyric essay or a manifesto or a piece of poet’s theatre; imitate Sappho or Woolf or O’Hara or Linton Kwesi Johnson; try some of these:



Suggested General Reading

The specific reading that you do will relate to your project proposal, and should include including poetry as well as any relevant critical and theoretical materials along with any further materials relating to your project’s specific investigation (e.g. experiments in quantum physics, a site study of Battersea power station, a book on bird song, etc.).

In addition to your project-specific reading, please find here list of general reading that you might undertake over the courseof the summer:

  • Julia Bell, ed. The Creative Writing Coursebook: Forty authors share advice and exercises for fiction and poetry. Pan, 2001.
  • Dorothea Brande. Becoming a Writer. Introduced by Malcolm Bradbury. Pan, 1996.
  • Julia Casterton. Creative Writing: A Practical Guide. Palgrave, 1998.
  • John Fairfax and John Moat. The Way to Write: A complete Guide to the basic skills of good writing. Introduced by Ted Hughes. Revised edition. Penguin, 1998.
  • Mary Kinzie. A Poet's Guide To Poetry. Chicago: U of Chicago Press, 1999.
  • Paul Mills. The Routledge Creative Writing Course Book. London: Routledge, 2006.
  • Denise Riley. Poets on Writing: Britain 1970-1991. London: Macmillan, 1992.
  • John  Singleton and Mary Luckhurst, eds. The Creative Writing Handbook. Second edition, Palgrave, 1999.
  • John Singleton. The Creative Writing Workbook. Palgrave, 2001.
  • Hazel Smith. The Writing Experiment: Strategies for Innovative Creative Writing. Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 2005.


Comment on this page

Did you find the information you were looking for? Is there a broken link or content that needs updating? Let us know so we can improve the page.

Note: If you need further information or have a question that cannot be satisfied by this page, please call our switchboard on +44 (0)1784 434455.

This window will close when you submit your comment.

Add Your Feedback