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Check out these 15 online poetry courses free and paid to learn how to write poetry online. If you want to find poetry classes for beginners, online poetry lessons or poetry school online courses, here are many courses and workshops to write poetry for all levels of writers.
Enroll on to courses run by established and professional distance learning providers, workshops and published authors to start learning how to write poetry, from initial idea through to publication, with guidance from experienced tutors and interaction online with other students.
These 15 online poetry courses include a mix of self-paced, instant access, free poetry writing courses, certification upon completion, and a poetry writing diploma course.
1. What is Poetry? FREE Course – Open University
If you have always wanted to write poems but you’re not sure where to start, this free online poetry course could be a great option for you.
Ideal for beginners wanting to learn poetry online, this poetry course is “designed to illustrate the techniques behind both the traditional forms of poetry and free verse. You will learn how you can use your own experiences to develop ideas and how to harness your imagination”.
In this poetry class for beginners, you will learn:
View course: What is Poetry? – OpenLearn via The Open University
2. Billy Collins Teaches Reading and Writing Poetry – MasterClass
The 20 video lessons cover the pleasure poetry gives us, discovering the subject, writing the poem, the writing process, finding your voice, and much more.
For anyone interested in how to read and write poetry, this online poetry course enables you to find the meaningful in the ordinary and familiar, and how poetry can take you to extraordinary places.
View course: Billy Collins Teaches Reading and Writing Poetry – MasterClass
3. Sharpened Visions: A Poetry Workshop FREE Course – Coursera
If you would like to improve your poetry writing, learn key poetic terms and devices as well as understand how poetic composition tools can be used, this free online writing course from the California Institute of the Arts via Coursera may be the course for you.
This online poetry course is ideal for beginners, only takes about 8 hours of study time, and it is a self-paced course that can be accessed at any time. To access this course for free, click on the “Enroll for Free” box and select the “Full Course, No Certificate” option.
Learner Review: "This was a superb workshop. I enjoyed myself thoroughly and learned a lot that came in my way. Grasping poetry devices taught in such a fun way was really awesome. The mentors were very supportive."
In this poetry class for beginners, you will learn:
View course: Sharpened Visions: A Poetry Workshop – Coursera
4. Various Poetry Workshops – Poetry School
Why not try one of the Poetry School online courses which are available 3 terms a year? The expert tutors provide reading material, writing assignments, and personalized feedback on your poems.
For students anywhere in the world, the Poetry School offers one of the largest online poetry programs available from any e-learning provider, and their courses regularly sell out. See their current poetry workshops available for booking at the website link below.
These online poetry lessons are suitable for all levels of writers, they are structured to take place as regular fortnightly sessions (on average this amounts to 5 assignments over 10 weeks).
Some lessons also include live chats, and chatroom discussion between the tutor and students. And each term the Poetry School offers classes which are a combination of writing new poems, feedback sessions, and reading classes where students learn more about poetry.
View course: Poetry Workshops – Poetry School
5. Writing Poetry (Online) – University of Oxford
An online poetry course which offers “directed readings and tutor-guided, text-based discussions and debate”. There are set start dates for this course, but no “live” sessions, so you can fit the study around your other commitments.
This is a great option to learn poetry online, and it is recommended for students to participate in the online forums, when it’s convenient, as they help to enrich the online learning experience.
Amongst many topics, students will learn rhyme, rhythm, and meter; figurative language; blank verse; syllabic verse and free verse; and lyric poetry.
View course: Writing Poetry (Online) – University of Oxford
6. Online Poetry Course – Creative Writing Ink
This online poetry course “is an ideal way to explore the business of poetry under the guidance of a published poet”.
Whether you’re a beginner poet aspiring to master the craft of writing poems, you’d like help to write a collection of poetry or if you’re a published poet wanting to develop your writing style further, this poetry course could benefit you.
A 6-week course with set start dates, your tutor is published poet Eileen Casey, who is also a journalist and fiction writer, and holds an M.Phil in Creative Writing (Distinction) from The School of English, Trinity College, Dublin.
The online poetry lessons covered in this course include how "found" poetry is identified, understanding that "form choice" ensures the work has definition and structure, writing memoir poems, and examining the relationship between the written word and the world of music, photography, and painting.
View course: Online Poetry Course – Creative Writing Ink
7. The Essentials of Poetry – Creative Writing Now
On this online poetry course you will learn the techniques to ensure your poems are powerful, that they work on more than one level at a time, and how to create intensity and atmosphere.
If you’re looking to write poems that show readers a new way to look at the world, this course may be the one for you.
This is an 8-week course where the content is provided by email, so students can study in their own time from anywhere.
In the online poetry lessons, you will learn:
View course: The Essentials of Poetry – Creative Writing Now
8. Ways into Poetry – City Lit
If you’re new to poetry, this "inspiring course offers an opportunity to experiment with language and a variety of poetic devices alongside fellow emerging poets".
This course is enables students to discover the key elements of a poem in a friendly and interactive class that takes place online in the evening (UK time) with 11 sessions over 11 weeks.
There are set start dates for this online poetry course, and by completion the aim is for students to respond to and assess pieces of writing with sensitivity, participate constructively in a workshop setting, and read and write with an increased understanding of the key elements of a poem.
City Lit offer more poetry courses, including Advanced Poetry Workshop, Developing Your Poetry, Nature Writing in Fiction and Poetry, Masterclass: Poetry, Submitting Your Poetry to Magazines, and more. See the full list here.
View course: Ways into Poetry – City Lit
9. An Introduction to Poetry Course – UK Writers College
This online poetry course is self-paced for up to 6 months, and comprises 15 assignments and 3 modules.
The “Introduction to Poetry Course will take you on a creative journey, from the very first step of putting your thoughts and feelings down on paper to penning a complete and polished poem. If you have already dabbled in poetry, we will help you take the next step: getting your work published”.
This course could be the ideal option if you need help to turn your ideas into finished poetry or if you would like to see your collection of poems published.
Course participants are assigned a tutor who is an established and successful poet, who guides students through the 3 modules, and by the end of the course you will gain writing confidence together with 5 completed poems.
View course: An Introduction to Poetry Course – UK Writers College
10. Online Pause with Poetry – City Academy
This course from City Academy is a “calm, relaxing online course that encourages mindfulness with an actor’s approach to poetry”.
There are regular start dates and the course duration is 6 weeks on this interactive online poetry course.
If you’re interested in mindfulness and introspection while learning how to write poetry with regular prompts, this course could be for you.
View course: Online Pause with Poetry – City Academy
11. Poetry Writing Diploma Course – Centre of Excellence
From the Centre of Excellence, this online poetry course is accredited, students have lifetime access, and comprises 11 modules on learning how to write poetry.
“The Poetry Writing Diploma Course walks you through the components that make stunning poetry and the techniques that you can put into practice, to begin or improve your own work”.
On this online poetry course, you will learn:
To receive accreditation for your study while learning how to write poetry, check out more about this course at the link below.
View course: Poetry Writing Diploma Course – Centre of Excellence
12. Start Writing Poetry – National Centre for Writing
There are set start dates for this online poetry course from the National Centre for Writing, so book early to avoid disappointment. The tutor is Rebecca Goss, who is a published poet whose work has been shortlisted for numerous awards.
The course states “Join us on a journey into the transformative world of poetry. You’ll read inspiring poets, explore how poems take shape, and begin to create and share your own work with a friendly, supportive group”.
As this particular course is aimed for students aged 18 and over, there are also courses for younger writers which you can find via the website link below.
On this online poetry course you will learn to:
View course: Start Writing Poetry – National Centre for Writing
13. Start to Write Poetry – Faber Academy
Undertake this one-day online writing course if you would like to receive instant feedback on your poems, discover how to find inspiration, and learn how to start reading and thinking like a poet. “Start to Write Poetry is the perfect introduction to writing poetry, and an excellent primer for our longer poetry courses, too. If you're thinking about poetry, start here".
Taught by award-winning poet Richard Scott, this introductory course aims to help start your poetry writing journey.
There are set dates for this poetry course as listed below:
View all Faber Acadmeny writing courses here
14. Beginners’ Poetry Workshop – Bishopsgate Institute
By the end of this online poetry course you will discover the key elements when writing a poem, such as concrete language and imagery. Also, participation in a workshop environment is encouraged.
There are set start dates for this interactive course, which takes place on one day via Zoom.
If you are looking to start writing poetry, this course aims to help you “experiment with language and a variety of poetic devices though writing exercises, discussion of published poems, and sharing your own new work”.
Your tutor is Barbara Marsh, who is a London-based American writer, teacher, and musician. She won the 2015 Troubadour International Poetry Prize, and her collections include Mr Ferndean Takes Stock and To the Boneyard.
View course: Beginners’ Poetry Workshop – Bishopsgate Institute
15. Poetry Writing – Learndirect
Whether you’re a novice or more experienced writer, this online poetry course will help you from idea to final revision. The course states “wiith the help of your personal tutor you will develop and hone your skills, in addition to receiving advice on writing poems suitable for publication, broadcasting, and competition”.
There are 5 comprehensive units where you will learn all aspects of poetry writing, so this course will help you to progress and hone your writing skills. Students will also receive advice on writing poems to publish or enter into competitions.
After each lesson, students are assessed so your tutor can monitor your progress and provide you with support and guidance throughout the duration of the course.
Upon completion of this poetry course, you will receive a Level 3 Poetry Writing Certificate of Achievement.
View course: Poetry Writing Course – Learndirect
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