Upcoming courses

Correspondence Courses

Our online/ correspondence courses are 6 or 12 weeks in length. Each week you receive a tutorial (via email) with written material and links to audio and video recordings. There are various quick tasks within the email and then one main writing task for the week. You can send that work to Live Canon for detailed written feedback each week. There is also an online discussion group for the course, which you can dip into at any time, and discuss work with other participants and get their feedback. The courses are designed to be as flexible as possible around your other life commitments. 

Feedback from participants:

'The tutorials are absolutely packed with information, inspiration and ideas. Way more than I was expecting'.

'I've been on quite a lot of poetry courses. This is the first that has really changed me as a writer.'

'I found myself relating pretty much everything I was reading, writing or thinking to the course. It was three months of pure engagement for me'.

'This sort of correspondence course is a god send if, like me, you are on the other side of the world from the poetry community you used to be a part of...'

Autumn Term 2020 

Writing 'Climate Crisis' (12 weeks, starts 16th Sept)

Book here: https://tinyurl.com/ybedlmey

The course will spend 12 weeks exploring poetry, from across the world, which has been written in response to the current global climate emergency. Each week we will be using aspects of the environmental discourse to inspire new poems.

Black British Poets - 1945-1970 (6 weeks, starts Oct 7th)

Book here: https://tinyurl.com/ybedlmey

This course explores the incredibly vibrancy of black British poetry in the wake of the windrush. The course will be packed with interviews with keys poets, and literary historians specialising in the period, as well as a wealth of readings and videos. Each week there will be a writing prompt based on the poetry read that week, with weekly peer and tutor feedback. 

Gathering and Editing your First Collection (6 weeks, starts 16th Sept)

Book here: https://tinyurl.com/ybedlmey

If you have written a substantial body of poems and you are starting to think about gathering them into a first collection, this course aims to support that process. We work through how to select material, give a collection cohesion and a structural arc and how to be ruthless with what you leave out.  We look at the editing of individual poems and the balance of the collection as a whole. It is a 6 week course, hoping to guide you through this, often daunting, process.

Playwriting for Poets (12 weeks, starts 16th Sept)

Book here: https://tinyurl.com/ybedlmey
Interesting in exploring a new genre? This 12 week course gets to the heart of theatrical writing and dramaturgy. It includes the opportunity to have your work read and recorded by actors. 

Writing the Classics (12 weeks, starts 16th Sept)

Book here: https://tinyurl.com/ybedlmey

Exploring how poets have engaged with the literature and mythology of ancient Greece and Rome.

Explore the wide range of poetry in the English language responding to classical literature, and write 12 of your own new poems.

Writing poetry for children (6 weeks, starting October 7th)

Book here: https://tinyurl.com/ybedlmey

Explore the history of poetry for children, and embark on writing your own work - with weekly feedback (including feedback from a panel of young readers!)

Spring Term 2021

Lyrics and Librettos (6 weeks)

A six week course on writing text for music. How does this differ from writing poetry. How to lyricist/composer collaborations work. How have different lyricists and librettists approached their work?

Black Modernists (6 weeks)

This course explores the work of writers of colour whose work was vital to the modernist movement. The course will be illustrated by newly commissioned audio and video recordings. Each week there will be a writing prompt and peer and tutor feedback. 

Writing Science (12 weeks)

This course looks at how poets have engaged with science (and vice versa) throughout two-thousand years of writing. We look at poetry and maths, geology, physics, astrophysics, chemistry, medicine... and science fiction. Each week you'll be prompted to create your own new work.

Political Poetry (12 weeks)

Have things you'd like to say about the world right now? Want to channel that into your writing? In this course we look at the many ways poetry can engage with politics including form, protest poetry, discourse, rhetoric and vocabulary, the poet as witness, satire and public poetry. You'll then be inspired to write 12 new poems of your own...

Woman the Canon (12 weeks)

This course explores the work of 12 under-known female poets from the eighteenth and nineteenth century and prompts you to create new poems in response to their work. 

Summer Term 2021

Writing the Classics (12 weeks)

Exploring how poets have engaged with the literature and mythology of ancient Greece and Rome.

Explore the wide range of poetry in the English language responding to classical literature, and write 12 of your own new poems.

Experimenting with Form (12 weeks)

Reasonably confident poet, but want to know more about form and metre? This course will mentor you through exploring, playing and experimenting with form in your work, covering forms including the modern sonnet, tanka and haiku, the ghazal, sestina, villanelle, terza rima, visual and concrete poetry, epistolatory poems, iambic pentameter and rhyme royal...

Lost Lionesses (12 weeks)

Our course Woman the Canon explores the works of 12 under-known female poets from the 18th and 19th centuries. But what about the women who came before? Who were the first female poets to write and be published in the UK? This courses explores the work of 12 under-known, under-studied, and in some cases forgotten, female poets from the 16th and 17th centuries. We'll explore one poet each week, with each tutorial including the poet's work, video/audio content, and writing tasks to inspire new you to write new poems.

Written feedback

If you would like written feedback from Live Canon, outside the parameters of a course, don't hesitate to get in touch. We offer a feedback service at a cost of £50 (£25 for concessions)  for written feedback on three poems. Email us at livecanon @ btinternet.com

One-on-one coaching

If you are a poet and would like some one-on-one help from Live Canon with performing your poetry (including voice, breath, preparing poems for performance, combatting nerves, microphone technique) then get in touch to find out more and book a session. 


from partipants on Live Canon's 'Performing Your Poetry' course:

‘a stimulating and interesting day… it helped that it was a small group’

‘it was great to get to spend a day learning with some very impressive poets and theatrical professionals’

‘I felt I’d improved over the day. Of course that’s mainly an illusion, but I do feel that I now have the tools to improve and that I know what to do to start to get better and more confident.’

‘I thought it was incredibly good value… I felt that I got a lot of stuff packed in to my day’s worth of hours, and at a very reasonable cost.’

‘it was pretty much bang-on’

‘it was a perfect balance of instruction, interaction and practice’

‘I had a brilliant time and learned loads, thank you!’

‘A really helpful day’

‘if it had stopped at lunchtime, I would already have learnt an awful lot’