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Offa’s Press Poetry Workshops Spring-Summer 2014

by OffasPress on March 31st, 2014

Poetry from Scratch (First Saturday of the month!)

A series of six poetry writing workshops for those who’ve written some poetry and may have had some work published/ performed but who really want to get to grips with the techniques and the traditions of this life-enhancing medium.

Course leaders: Simon Fletcher, Jane Seabourne, Nick Pearson, Emma Purshouse.

Venue: Blakenhall Community & Healthy Living Centre, Bromley Street, Wolverhampton, WV2 3AS. Tel: 01902 555460

Access: There is ample parking at/ near the centre. Wolverhampton railway station is 1 mile away. Regular bus services from adjacent bus station. Disabled access.

Dates: April 5, May 3, June 7, July 5, August 2 & September 6. Time: 10.30-1pm Refreshments will be provided! Costs: £9/ £7 per session or £45/£35 for all 6.


  1. What is poetry? A look at some definitions and a frank discussion with the group about what they write/ read. Group members will be asked to write a short poem each (10-15 lines) on a common subject for comparison purposes.
  2. Rhyme and Rhythm. Looking at the traditional techniques of poetry and how modern poets use them from Roger McGough to Carol Ann Duffy. A look at five basic types of rhyme and the preponderance of iambic rhythm in English poetry.
  3. Verse Forms. Looking at what contemporary poets do with traditional verse forms. ‘New wine in old bottles’ looking at the ballad form. Plenty of grist to the mill with Yorkshire ballads (e.g. Tony Harrison) compared with Black Country and other ballads.
  4. Imagery/ Beyond form. What modern poets, who don’t use traditional forms, do to create their poems (e.g. Alice Oswald). What holds these poems together? What effect does this kind of poetry have on the reader?
  5. The Music of Poetry/ Markets. How poets achieve musical effects in their work using traditional techniques such as assonance (e.g. Seamus Heaney) and how this affects the reader. Where to send off work (an hour on magazines & small presses) and pitfalls!
  6. Poetry in Performance. A workshop highlighting a few techniques that poets can use to improve their poetry in performance. How does having an audience affect the language you use? Do you need to learn stuff off by heart or not? How do you choose appropriate material?

A selection of poetry written will be published on the Offa’s Press website. To book contact Simon on 01691 831463 or email:


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