Shaping the Poem: Structure in Contemporary Poetry

Ron Pretty

Saturday 6 April, 10am-4pm

Full Price: $195
Member: $135
Conc Member: $120

This workshop with Ron Pretty will look at the possibilities and problems relating to structure in poetry today, exploring such issues as the line break, the stanza, and visual and aural patterns. We’ll begin by having a quick look at traditional rhyming and metrical poetry, and then explore these structural issues in contemporary poetry.

We will have a look at a number of examples, and participants will be encouraged to bring in two of their own poems to experiment with during the day. This course is not really suitable for raw beginners, but all other poets will find new ways to consider the structure of their work.

Shaping the Poem: Structure in Contemporary Poetry course outline:

  1. We will begin by having a quick look at the way traditional poets organised line and stanza patterns – options that are still available today.
  2. Ron will distribute a series of contemporary poems, and you will discuss them in terms of both line structure and stanza patterns.
  3. From the poems distributed, we will deduce the range of options open to contemporary poets in terms of line structure, sound, language and image patterning and stanza options, and we will explore links between meaning and structure.
  4. Participants will then examine the poems that they have brought in relation to these options.
  5. Participants will then experiment with their poems, seeing what differences are made with different structural approaches.
  6. The day will conclude by discussing the results of the participants’ experimentation with poetic structures.

Expected Learning Outcomes

  1. A greater understanding of the options available to poets in terms of line and stanza structure.
  2. A greater preparedness to experiment with structure and with sound, language and image patterning.
  3. Greater understanding of the relationship between structure and meaning.

Participant Requirements

  • Pen and paper or preferred device for writing. Please ensure your device is charged.
  • A copy of two of your own poems for each student (i.e. 20 students). Poems are to be a maximum of 60 lines.
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