Have you been writing poems for a while or are you still trying to put pen to paper? Perhaps you simply prefer to read and appreciate the work of others. Whatever your interest in poetry, we have packed the Summer School Literature and Creative Writing section with some great courses this year.
1. The Poetry of Sylvia Plath with Fleur Lloyd
The tragedy of Plath's suicide and the power of her last poems have divided opinion about who was the real persona underneath the perfect image of bob, sweaters, skirts and loafers. Her famed troubled marriage to Ted Hughes has also been the source of much controversy especially among friends who knew them both well. With focus on the Ariel collection and selected verse from Winter Trees and Crossing the Water, as well as her novel, The Bell Jar, you will discover more about the life and work of this brilliant young woman.
2. Creative Writing: Who Do You Think You Are? with Geraldine Gent
Using the poetry of William Butler Yeats and Seamus Heaney as a springboard for discussion, you will explore your own life through a mix of poetry and prose. William Butler Yeats has written of a magical land full of myth and legend while at the same time exploring his identity, his country and his relationships. Seamus Heaney digs into the past to explore his history and growing up during a troubled time in Ireland. Whatever your country of origin, this course will enable you to consider your personal identity; who you are and where you might belong.
3. Creative Writing: Poetry with Fleur Lloyd
For complete beginners to those who have been writing poems all their life, this course aims to help you enjoy creating your own poetry. As well as writing poetry, you will be reading and analysing many well-known and more obscure examples of great poems, both in order to recognise form and take inspiration from the masters. You will try different forms such as haikus, odes, sonnets, limericks and free verse, from which you will develop skills in drafting and editing and will enjoy presenting and sharing your work, creating a varied portfolio at the end of the week. 'Twill be fun.
4. Waterloo in History and Literature with John Byrom
The Battle of Waterloo in 1815 was widely regarded as the grand finale of the Napoleonic wars and a moment of great significance. During this course, you will discuss the importance of the event and just why it attracted great Romantic poets like Scott, Byron and Wordsworth - three very contrasting figures - like moths to a lamp. How did Napoleon unintentionally contribute to making these writers European literary figures almost as famous as himself?
5. Poetry Appreciation: Fourteen Centuries of Verse with Julia Pritchard
Poems often have multiple interpretations and mean different things to different people. On this relaxed course, you can enjoy sharing your own suggestions about the poems contained in the anthology, The Map and the Clock. Chosen by Poet Laureate, Carol-Ann Duffy, and Gillian Clarke there is something for everybody in this wonderful anthology, whether you are experienced or completely new to poetry.