Why study for an MA in writing poetry?
You have been writing poetry for long enough to know that it is as vital part of your life. You need expert guidance and feedback in order to develop further. One-off workshops and short courses are not enough, and you need to work in a group that is of a consistently high level, and which offers rigorous feedback and intensive support. You are also committed to offering this in return.
You want a chance to put poetry at the forefront of your life, to be absorbed in writing and reading, and to discover more about your imaginative, artistic and intellectual capabilities.
You want to do this in an academic context because you want to learn more about poetry across time and place, about form and technique, concept and theory, cause and effect. You want to read the kinds of poetry you’ve never come across and discover things about its potential that you’ve never known.
Your aim is to write poetry of a publishable standard and with this in mind you want to learn more about publishing procedures and opportunities, readings, awards, etc.
You want to benefit from the ways in which the study of poetry enhances analytical, conceptual and verbal skills as well as refining your powers of precision, argument and logic.
What are we looking for?
We are not looking for a particular kind of poet nor do we have a house style. The students we choose come from all kinds of backgrounds and write in very different ways. What we look for is an emerging poetic self, the beginnings of a voice unlike any other, a deep engagement with all poetry, an understanding of how a poem might work, and the analytical and imaginative capacity to bring a poem to fruition.
What do we offer?
A year of intensive reading, writing, exploration and risk-taking during which our students develop a body of work close in length to a first collection. We aim to create a supportive but rigorous environment in which students feel encouraged to test, extend and refine their poetic technique – an experience that is often exciting and sometimes uncomfortable but always rewarding.
How is the course structured?
The core element of the course is the weekly three-hour workshop in a group of around 12 students. The workshop structure varies but generally consists of looking at the work of three students plus a session on some aspect of poetry. Work is circulated a week in advance and annotated in detail before being returned to its author. The tutor may also circulate texts for discussion.
In addition to the weekly workshop, the MA includes a course on Poetics, Writing, Language and a number of options ranging from publishing to translation. Students receive regular individual tutorials and extensive written feedback on their coursework.
There is no workshop in the summer semester (May to June), during which time you have one-to-one sessions with your dissertation tutor.
In July and August you work independently although students usually continue with the workshop in some form.
How is the course assessed?
There are two coursework submissions of 12 poems each in January and May.
The dissertation consists of 15 poems plus a commentary and is submitted in September.
Who are the course tutors?
The two main tutors for this course are Professor Tiffany Atkinson and Dr Sophie Robinson, both of whom are published poets with extensive experience in their field.
What else do we offer?
Students also have the opportunity to meet some of the UK’s leading poets and poetry editors, and to benefit from their insight and expertise.
The annual anthology is professionally published and distributed to a key list of poetry houses and other contacts.
The UEA literary festival attracts some of our leading poets (this year Carol Ann Duffy, Don Paterson, Simon Armitage and Robin Robertson) who not only give readings but usually agree to spend time in conversation with the MA writing students as well. UEA is also part of a thriving network of regional poetry activity which offers plenty of opportunity to gain performance experience and to get involved in publication.
This school offers programs in:
Last updated December 17, 2015