Image, Shape and Music (EASM144)

StaffProfessor Andy Brown - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15.00
NQF Level7
Duration of Module Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

Students will work in a stimulating environment in which existing writing skills can be developed to a professional standard, and a portfolio of poetry produced alongside some critical writing and self-reflection. Students will explore their responses to aspects of poetry, discussing their own work alongside the work of their peers. The module aims to foster the notion of literary poetry as a vehicle of imaginative, personal and cultural expression, and to develop and sustain features which are important to ALL writers - individual figurative language, tone and music, and overall shape and direction.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. demonstrate an advanced understanding of presentation and formal layout and technical expertise in a variety of poetic forms and free verse;
  • 2. demonstrate an advanced awareness and understanding of the broad nature of contemporary poetry and poetics;
  • 3. demonstrate an advanced ability to synthesise a range of themes, or to explore an in-depth narrower range of themes across a wider range of poetic approaches;
  • 4. demonstrate an advanced ability to analyse the work of contemporary writers at an advanced level, especially from the point of view of techniques and writing processes.
  • 5. evaluate their own work and the work of others at an advanced level, and know how to justify those evaluations in depth, and with reference to contemporary writing and theory;

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 6. demonstrate an advanced and intellectually mature appreciation of formal techniques and imaginative expression in creative writing;
  • 7. analyse and critically examine, at an advanced level, diverse forms of writing;
  • 8. present sustained and persuasive written and oral arguments concerning their own creative writing and the work of other authors, both peers and published authors, and to use such ideas relating to their own work to develop their creative ideas;
  • 9. demonstrate an advanced and autonomous understanding of a variety of theoretical positions in the appropriate critical and professional terminology;
  • 10. demonstrate an ability to independently originate creative ideas and to respond positively to appropriate criticism of their work;
  • 11. demonstrate a consistent ability to create imaginative written work in a variety of forms [appropriate to genres/styles covered by the module];

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 12. through seminar work, demonstrate advanced communication skills, and an ability to work both individually and in groups;
  • 13. through writing essays and creative work, demonstrate advanced research and bibliographic skills, an advanced and intellectually mature capacity to construct a coherent, substantiated argument, advanced skills of creative expression, and a capacity to write clear and correct prose;
  • 14. through research for seminars and essays, demonstrate an advanced proficiency in information retrieval and analysis;
  • 15. through research, seminar work and research for written pieces, demonstrate an awareness of readership, publishability, including professional accomplishment, and an understanding of the purpose of formal structures, layouts, and techniques.

Syllabus plan

Week 1. Introduction. Form and Free Verse.

Week 2. Stanzas: Couplets and Tercets.

Week 3. Free Verse Workshop.

Week 4. Stanzas: Quatrains and Cinquains.

Week 5. The Contemporary Sonnet.

Week 6. Discussing the unassessed student research assignments.

Week 7. Free Verse Workshop.

Week 8.TheProse Poem.

Week 9. Free Verse Workshop.

Week 10. Syllabics – Syllabic Poems, Haiku, Tanka, Renga, Li Po sonnet.

Week 11. Verse Workshop – Student Research Summaries – Assessment Rationale – Q&A.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Guided Independent33Study Group Meetings and Preparation
Guided Independent70seminar preparation (individual)
Guided Independent175reading, research and essay preparation

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
A research assignment for week 61000 words2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 14, 15Feedback sheet with opportunity for tutorial follow-up. Cohort feedback via seminars.

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
A portfolio of original, new poems75250 Lines1, 3, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13Feedback sheet with opportunity for tutorial follow-up. Cohort feedback via seminars.
A critical essay based on module research, reading and the creative process. 252000 words2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 14, 15Feedback sheet with opportunity for tutorial follow-up. Cohort feedback via seminars.

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Portfolio of original new poemsPortfolio of original new poems1, 3, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13Referral/deferral period
Critical Essay Critical Essay 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 14, 15Referral/deferral period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Students are expected to read widely in contemporary/modern poetry and to be able to contextualise their reading and writing through contemporary and modern poetics. Students are expected to read the works of at least two contemporary/modern poets new to them, in addition to the key texts.


Core Reading:

Boland, Eavan & Strand, Mark, Eds., The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms (Norton, 2000)

Heaney, Seamus, New & Selected Poems 1966 – 1987 (Faber & Faber, 1990)


Secondary Reading:

Allnutt, D’Aguiar, Edwards, Mottram, eds. the new british poetry (Paladin, 1988)

Astley, Neil. Ed. Astley, Neil. Staying Alive (Bloodaxe, 2002)

Brown, Andy. The Fool and the Physician (Salt, 2012)

BrownAndy. ed. Binary Myths 1 & 2 conversations with poets and poet-editors (Stride, 2004)

Cook, Jon, Poetry In Theory: an anthology 1900- 2000 (Blackwells, 2004)

Dooley, Maura, ed. Making for Planet Alice (Bloodaxe, 1997)

Godbert, G. Freedom to Breathe (Stride, 2002)

Heaney, Seamus, Finders Keepers: Selected Prose 1971 – 2001 (Faber & Faber, 2002)

Herbert & Hollis, ed. Strong Words: modern poets on modern poetry (Bloodaxe, 2000)

Hulse, Kennedy, Morley, eds. The New Poetry (Bloodaxe, 1994)

Messerli, Douglas, ed. From the Other Side of the Century, (Sun and Moon, 1994)

Morrison & Motion, eds. Penguin Book of Contemporary British Poetry (Penguin, 1982)

Paterson, Don, Ed., 101 Sonnets from Shakespeare to Heaney (Faber & Faber, 1999)

Paterson, Don and Brown, Clare. Don’t Ask me What I Mean (Picador, 2004)

Preminger, Alex, et al, eds., Princeton Encyclopaedia of Poetry and Poetics, (Macmillan, 1993)

The Penguin Book of Zen Poetry (Penguin, 1981)


Students should regularly read these magazines and periodicals from the library:

Agenda, American Poetry Review, Hudson Review, Kunapipi, Modern Poetry in Translation, Overland, Paris Review, Parnassus, PN Review, Poetry Chicago, Stand Magazine, Wasafiri.


Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Other resources



Available as distance learning?


Origin date

November 2011

Last revision date

February 2012

Key words search

Creative Writing; narrative; screenwriting