How To Make A Poem

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

  • 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 secondsYou 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 secondsTaught 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 secondsOver 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 secondsSo if you're interested in developing your creative writing, we'd love you to join us, and we look forward to working with you.

What topics will you cover?

On this course we will be asking questions such as:

  • What is poetry and what is a poet?
  • What choices go into writing a poem?
  • What is the difference between craft and technique?

We will also be considering different poetic forms such as found poetry, the cento, sonnets, free verse, ghazal, as well as things to help you make formal choices such as line breaks, metre, rhyme, and rhythm. As well a developing your writing skills we will think about developing your inner editor and how to support others in writing their work in a poetry workshop.

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

Add to Wishlist to be emailed when new dates are announced

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?

Michael Symmons Roberts

Michael Symmons Roberts

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.

Helen Mort

Helen Mort

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.

Martin Kratz

Martin Kratz

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.

Get a taste of this course

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