Poetry 1

Poetry is often described as a conversation—with the self, the world, and the work of other writers.

In this introductory course, you'll gain the tools you need to enter the conversation through a hands-on study of poetic techniques and structures. You'll examine poetic language, exploring how elements such as rhythm, pacing, alliteration and repetition can transform a line and make it sing.

You'll also study traditional and emerging forms as windows into the hidden machinery of a poem, experimenting with everything from sestinas to sonnets, ghazals to glosas, found poetry to spoken word. You'll read contemporary and classic poems and use them to inform your work, give and receive feedback on poems-in-progress, and consider the skills involved in giving a public reading. All the while, you'll be in conversation—with yourself, the world, the poems, your instructor, and a supportive community of other writers.

This course is available at the following time(s) and location(s):

Campus Session(s) Instructor(s) Cost Seats available  
Online - Rob Taylor $628.95 25 Register

Schedule clarification: This course begins on the first date listed and ends six days after the last date listed. Between those times, you work at your own pace within the timelines set by the instructor.

What will you learn?

By the end of the course, you will be able to do the following:  

  • Identify forms of poetry and apply them to your own work 
  • Use poetic language and techniques to strengthen your writing 
  • Give and receive effective feedback on works-in-progress
  • Think and speak about poetry with confidence
  • Maintain an ongoing reading practice and use your reading to inform your writing

How will you learn?

Each week you will:

  • Read the weekly module
  • Complete additional reading, as assigned 
  • Complete a writing assignment (often in multiple parts)
  • Participate in one or more discussions based on your reading (approximately 250 words total)
  • Read and provide feedback on other learners’ work

Twice during the course you will:

  • Submit a piece of your own writing for feedback (maximum 40 lines)

How will you be evaluated?

This course is graded using a competency-based grading scale. Read more here.

Learning materials

We encourage you to purchase these books from your local independent bookstore or the sources listed below. 

Required textbooks:

Taylor, Rob. What the Poets are Doing. Harbour Publishing, 2018. ISBN-10: 0-88971-343-X, ISBN 13: 978-0-88971-343-7.

Braid, Kate and Shreve, Sandy. In Fine Form: A Contemporary Look at Canadian Form Poetry (2nd Edition). Caitlin Press, 2017. ISBN-10: 198791502X, ISBN-13: 978-1987915020.

Hardware and software requirements 

We deliver this course using SFU's online course management system, Canvas. You will receive course details and Canvas access instructions on the first day of the course. You can check if your browser is compatible with Canvas here.

New to online learning? See About Online Learning for helpful videos and additional information.

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