Module code: ELI2049

Module Overview

This module explores elements of poetic craft, discourse, and techniques for writing poetry through the close analysis of lyric, narrative, dramatic, and hybrid modes in contemporary poetry written for the page and / or performance and exhibition. The module introduces students to contemporary and innovative discussions including topics such as formal and free poetic structures, sound effect and rhythm, poetic voice and persona, writing communities, poetic intent and play. The module asks students to engage with the development of their own writing alongside of reading and listening to contemporary poetry, essays, and manifestos by chosen 'companion poets' they will encounter in the module.

Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader

BAHS Liz (Lit & Langs)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 90

Seminar Hours: 22

Guided Learning: 24

Captured Content: 14

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content that may be studied on this module includes:

  • foundations of poetic craft, technique, modes, and forms of poetry

  • conventions and expansions of the lyric mode including: sound effect, rhythm, line break and movement, time and temporal spaciousness, questioning the lyric 'I' / persona / voice

  • structures and possibilities of the narrative mode of poetry including: pacing and syntax, the reader and the poem, dialogue, poetic worlds

  • contemporary dramatic and spoken word poetry including: open mic readings, slam & spoken word events, adaptations (live literature), poetry communities

  • attendance at a live poetry event in the local area / on campus

  • mixed genre and poetic hybrids

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Portfolio of poetry or hybrid writing (60 lines of poetry / 2,000 words prose) and a Self-Reflective Critical Commentary 85
Coursework 'Companion Poet' Analysis (700 words) 15

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate achievement of the module learning outcomes.

Seminar discussion with ongoing tutor feedback is designed to assess professional/practical skills in communicating ideas orally and transferable skills in working individually and as part of a group. It also assesses subject knowledge relating to formal, contextual, and critical approaches to poetry and creative theory.

Summative assessment

* The Portfolio of poetry or hybrid writing (equivalent to 60 lines of poetry / 2,000 words prose) and Self-Reflective Critical Commentary (500 words) (85%)
will allow students to demonstrate creative approaches to the techniques covered in the module and professional/practical skills in writing. The portfolio also assesses transferable skills, namely the ability to present writing in a polished and methodical manner based on the mode(s) of poetry that students choose.

* The Companion Poet Analysis (700 words) (15%)
will focus on works of 1-2 poets that students will read during the module. This should be a poet who has informed or influenced their writing in some way. The analysis paper will require students to critically assess a poetic text and examine the relevant relationship between it and their own work.

Formative assessment and feedback
Formative 'feed forward' is provided through seminar discussions where students will have the opportunity to workshop their poetry and through additional tutor feedback in seminars.
Formative 'feed forward' will be provided in seminars as responses to class discussions and to writing brought for workshop weeks.

Module aims

  • This module aims to: develop an understanding of contemporary poetry and the forms and techniques available for students' own writing
  • provide deeper knowledge of the craft of writing poetry derived from close reading and analysis of current poetry publications
  • increase knowledge and awareness of how poetry engages with social and cultural issues, such as global and cultural and sustainability matters
  • further students¿ skills in terms of digital competency, written communication and oral presentations
  • develop skills in a poetry workshop environment
  • provide workshop submission deadlines for students to work towards in the editing of new writing
  • strengthen students' ability to undertake independent research, including using digital and online materials for research

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 On successful completion of this module, students will be able to: demonstrate in-depth knowledge and critical understanding of concepts and techniques in contemporary poetry K
002 Analyse how contemporary poetry engages with social and cultural issues C
003 Understand how poetry can be contextualised in a contemporary framework KC
004 Use a good level of oral presentation and written communication skills PT
005 Undertake self-reflective comparative based writing on contemporary poetry P
006 Work independently in conducting research P
007 Demonstrate skills in independent research, including time management, and competency in using digital tools and materials for writing and research PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy of this module is designed to deliver subject knowledge, to develop cognitive/ analytical skills, and in-depth transferable, practical, and professional skills. Specifically, the delivery of the module through two-hour lecture-seminars places an emphasis on student-led learning and the development of resourcefulness and resilience as students analyse and apply weekly content within the context of in-depth discussion and the presentation of topics.

The 'companion poet' analysis that students will undertake throughout the module, including the summative assessment on this topic, fosters digital capability by asking students to engage with professional global networks and poetry communities both online and in their local areas. Students will have the opportunity to attend a live spoken word or poetry performance event in the local area as part of their work on the Companion Poet Analysis summative assessment. Weekly content supporting this trip will focus on employability and engagement with next steps in career planning towards the student¿s placement year, final year, and after completion of the degree.

The learning and teaching methods include a combination of lecture materials, seminars and writing workshops, captured content, guided learning and independent learning.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: ELI2049

Other information

This module is intended to embody and reflect three of the key educational pillars of a degree at the University of Surrey. It is designed to help build Resilience and Resourcefulness: By encouraging students to share their work in class for verbal and written feedback from peers and the tutor, and to then build experience responding in productive ways to feedback. This is both a transferrable skill and a vital professional one for writers (and many other careers). Through the analysis of poetry techniques and elements of craft on this module, you will face decisions about your own creative projects, and the module will provide contextual points that allow you to identify and articulate approaches to poetry that relate to your individual practice. By doing so, you will practice resilience and resourcefulness when making decisions about editing and polishing your writing.

Global and Cultural Capability: This module is designed to offer students a wide range of forms, styles, and approaches to poetry by engaging with authors and texts from different cultural, ethnic, and national backgrounds and experiences. The 'companion poet' analysis that you will undertake throughout the module, building towards the summative assessment on this topic, will ask you to engage with professional local, national, and global networks of writers and poetry communities (both online and in your local areas). The broad range of authors and texts will allow for an exploration of poetry and poets that you may not have encountered before.

Employability: This module is designed to provide you with the knowledge and skills to write at a professional level in a variety of poetic forms. It is also designed to help you develop an ability to express yourself clearly and precisely and respond in a focused and thoughtful way to the writing and ideas of others -- both verbally and on the page. These are skills which employers on the PTY programme have consistently praised in our students and explicitly linked to the programme in PTY placement visits. This module is also designed to allow you to engage with careers in writing and the practical steps to building a portfolio of writing either for completion of your dissertation, postgraduate study, or for future job searches.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
English Literature BA (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
English Literature with Creative Writing BA (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2023/4 academic year.