Learn how to 'make' your own poetry by exploring different poetic techniques and styles.

29,911 enrolled on this course

Image showing ink handwriting and fountain pen
  • Duration

    3 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours

Discover the power of poetry, and learn to write your own

This course explores what inspires poetry, how we write poems and how to tell when your poem is finished.

Whether you’ve never written a poem before, or you‘ve been secretly writing away for some years, this course provides a positive environment in which to begin writing and to share your work with others.

The course follows the story of a poem from start to end, guiding you through the process of writing your own work step by step.

To help us, we will be hearing from poets across world and throughout history, learning from the advice they have given others.

Download video: standard or HD

Skip to 0 minutes and 8 seconds You can find poetry in your everyday life, in your memory, in what people say on the bus, in the news, especially what you discover in your heart.

Skip to 0 minutes and 27 seconds Taught by award-winning poets from the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University, how to make a poem is just that. The opportunity to learn the skills and techniques needed to write poetry. So the course explores what inspires poetry, how we write poems, and crucially, how to tell when your poem is finished. So whether you’ve never written a poem before or you’ve been secretly writing for years, the course provides a positive environment in which to start writing and sharing your work with others. So we’ll follow the story of a poem from start to end, and we’ll guide you through the process of writing, step by step.

Skip to 1 minute and 2 seconds Over the three weeks, you’ll be provided with the chance to explore all elements of making a poem, but also to explore how others, both past and present poets and those just learning, write poetry. During week one you’ll look at the origins of a poem. Then in week two, with a full understanding of what might inspire a poem and where to begin, you’ll focus on getting something down on paper. Then by week three we’ll look at shaping your work and sharing it with others, including poetry tutors and student poets from the Manchester Writing School, one of the most successful literary centres in the UK. They’ll support and advise you with personal insights, writing exercises, and examples from their own work, too.

Skip to 1 minute and 45 seconds So if you’re interested in developing your creative writing, we’d love you to join us, and we look forward to working with you.


  • Week 1

    Discovering Poetry

    • Introduction

      Carol Ann Duffy and Adam O’Riordan introduce the course and you get the opportunity to meet your fellow poets. Photo ©@andyharrison.com

    • Working with poetry

      In which we ask why the course is titled how to 'make' a poem, rather than how to 'write' a poem. Photo by Trust "Tru" Katsande on Unsplash

    • Finding a poem

      In which learners receive feedback on their own poems and reflect on the feedback they received. Photo by Pexels on pixabay

    • Reflection on Week 1

      In which lead educators summarise week 1 and look forward to week 2 in which we will discuss 'what kinds of poems are possible'. Photo by congerdesign on pixabay

  • Week 2

    Writing Poetry

    • Crafting

      In which we explore the kind of choices that are available to poets when writing. Photo by Pexels on pixabay

    • The poet’s toolkit

      In which we identify different poetic forms. Photo by moritz320 on pixabay

    • The line

      In which we explore the potential of the poetic line. Photo by rawpixel on pixabay

    • The stanza

      In which we extend our exploration of the line to the stanza. Photo by Matt Botsford on Unsplash

  • Week 3

    Editing Poetry

    • Introduction

      In which we reflect on our work so far and looks ahead to the final week. Photo by jeonghwaryu0 on pixabay

    • Drafting

      In which we explore ways to look at our poems afresh and learn different editing techniques. Photo by steve_a_johnson on pixabay

    • Workshopping

      In which we prepare how to share our work with others. Photo ©@andyharrison.com

    • What next?

      In which we look beyond our poem and consider next possible steps. Photo by Matthew LeJune on Unsplash

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Experiment with different techniques and new exercises to help generate new work
  • Develop your own ‘voice’ in your poems
  • Discuss how to read poetry for new ideas
  • Investigate what poets from the past and present say about how we write poetry
  • Collaborate on each other’s work and reflect on how to give positive and encouraging comments

Who is the course for?

This course is for anyone who wants to write poetry, you don’t need any past experience.

Who will you learn with?

I'm Professor of Poetry at Manchester Metropolitan. My poetry has won the Forward Prize, Costa Prize and Whitbread Award. I'm also a librettist and a regular broadcaster. www.symmonsroberts.com

I am a Lecturer in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan. I write stories, plays and poems and I'm working on my first novel. My poetry was shortlisted for the T.S.Eliot Prize.

I am the poetry project manager at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. I am lucky enough to work with amazing poets and poetry everyday. I believe poetry has something to offer everyone.

Who developed the course?

Manchester Metropolitan University

Manchester Met University has a driving ambition to discover and disseminate knowledge and make higher education as accessible and beneficial to all those with the passion and ability to succeed.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

Learner reviews

Learner reviews cannot be loaded due to your cookie settings. Please and refresh the page to view this content.

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join:

Do you know someone who'd love this course? Tell them about it...

You can use the hashtag #FLmakeapoem to talk about this course on social media.