MA Creative Writing Poetry

The MA in Poetry is for anyone who has been writing poetry for long enough to know that it is a vital part of his or her life, and who now wants to develop further, through expert guidance and in a committed group of like-minded peers.

A key part of UEA’s world-renowned Creative Writing provision, the MA is taught by widely published and award-winning poets Tiffany Atkinson, Sophie Robinson and Denise Riley, and is closely linked with the innovative UEA Poetics Project.

At its core is the weekly workshop, a supportive but rigorous environment in which to test and refine your poetic technique. There’s also a module on ‘Describing Poetry’ and a diverse range of relevant options. You will have regular individual tutorials and receive detailed written feedback on your work, meet distinguished poets, editors and publishers, and develop a body of work close in length to a first collection.

Overview

Why study for an MA in writing poetry?

You have been writing poetry for long enough to know that it is as vital part of your life. You need expert guidance and feedback in order to develop further. One-off workshops and short courses are not enough, and you need to work in a group that is of a consistently high level, and which offers rigorous feedback and intensive support. You are also committed to offering this in return.

You want a chance to put poetry at the forefront of your life, to be absorbed in writing and reading, and to discover more about your imaginative, artistic and intellectual capabilities.

You want to do this in an academic context because you want to learn more about poetry across time and place, about form and technique, concept and theory, cause and effect. You want to read the kinds of poetry you’ve never come across and discover things about its potential that you’ve never known.

Your aim is to write poetry of a publishable standard and with this in mind you want to learn more about publishing procedures and opportunities, readings, awards, etc.

You want to benefit from the ways in which the study of poetry enhances analytical, conceptual and verbal skills as well as refining your powers of precision, argument and logic.

What are we looking for?

We are not looking for a particular kind of poet nor do we have a house style. The students we choose come from all kinds of backgrounds and write in very different ways. What we look for is an emerging poetic self, the beginnings of a voice unlike any other, a deep engagement with all poetry, an understanding of how a poem might work, and the analytical and imaginative capacity to bring a poem to fruition.

What do we offer?

A year of intensive reading, writing, exploration and risk-taking during which our students develop a body of work close in length to a first collection. We aim to create a supportive but rigorous environment in which students feel encouraged to test, extend and refine their poetic technique – an experience that is often exciting and sometimes uncomfortable but always rewarding.

How is the course structured?

The core element of the course is the weekly three-hour workshop in a group of around 12 students. The workshop structure varies but generally consists of looking at the work of three students plus a session on some aspect of poetry. Work is circulated a week in advance and annotated in detail before being returned to its author. The tutor may also circulate texts for discussion.

In addition to the weekly workshop, the MA includes a course on Poetics, Writing, Language and a number of options ranging from publishing to translation. Students receive regular individual tutorials and extensive written feedback on their coursework.

There is no workshop in the summer semester (May to June), during which time you have one-to-one sessions with your dissertation tutor.

In July and August you work independently although students usually continue with the workshop in some form.

How is the course assessed?

There are two coursework submissions of 12 poems each in January and May.

The dissertation consists of 15 poems plus a commentary and is submitted in September.

Who are the tutors?

The two main tutors for this course are Professor Tiffany Atkinson and Dr Sophie Robinson, both of whom are piblished poets with extensive experience in their field.

What else do we offer?

Students also have the opportunity to meet some of the UK’s leading poets and poetry editors, and to benefit from their insight and expertise.

The annual anthology is professionally published and distributed to a key list of poetry houses and other contacts.

The UEA literary festival attracts some of our leading poets (this year Carol Ann Duffy, Don Paterson, Simon Armitage and Robin Robertson) who not only give readings but usually agree to spend time in conversation with the MA writing students as well. UEA is also part of a thriving network of regional poetry activity which offers plenty of opportunity to gain performance experience and to get involved in publication.

Course Modules

Students must study the following modules for 20 credits:

Name Code Credits

CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOP: POETRY 1

Only students who are registered for the MA in Creative Writing: Poetry may enrol for this module.

LDCC7002A

20

Students will select 20 credits from the following modules:

Students must select a Semester 2 module only.

Name Code Credits

ADAPTATION AND INTERPRETATION

Critical reading and creative writing meet in the activity of adapting a text in one medium for presentation in another. The module focuses on dramatic adaptation, establishing a foundation in basic theory and then focusing on readings or original works and screenings. Discussions probe the choices offered by original texts and explore the possibilities and limitations inherent in different dramatic forms. In the later sessions, students will have the opportunity to workshop an adaptation for a final project.

LDCC7010B

20

ASIAN CINEMA

'Asian Cinema' is a category of films increasingly in evidence in diverse places ranging from cinemas to high street shops. Recent years have seen a variety of Asian cinema incursions into global film culture, from Bollywood in UK multiplexes to Hong Kong action styles used in the Hollywood blockbuster. Inherent within the label are debates of resistance, industry, art, technology and aesthetics that have held sway since the dawn of cinema worldwide. In this module we break down these discourses and address the significant cultural, economic and political influences that Asian cinemas have had, and indeed still have, within world culture.

AMAM7000B

20

CREATIVE-CRITICAL WRITING

A CORE MODULE FOR STUDENTS ON THE MA WRITING THE MODERN WORLD. Too often, academic critical writing seems to bring pre-packaged language to bear on works whose whole essence and aim is to change the ways in which we see and describe our world. And too often such writing fails to acknowledge the ways in which it itself necessarily participates in the literary 'creativity' it is also about. How, then, to write criticism? Criticism which responds inventively to the literature which it analyses? Criticism which registers, in its own form, language, method and thinking the ways in which it has been transformed by the work(s) of art it encounters? Criticism which recognizes that it cannot rest on received concepts and categories? This module aims to explore those questions. Over the course of the semester will consider - and experiment with - a broad range of possible ways of practising creative-criticism, including the 'essay' form, auto-commentary, aphorisms, ecriture feminine, conceptual writing, criticism as performance, inventive 'theoretical' writing, camp, and diaristic writing. The module covers creative-critics as different from one another as Anne Carson and Jacques Derrida, Geoff Dyer and Helene Cixous, Maurice Blanchot and T. J. Clark, Theodor Adorno and Eve Sedgwick.

LDCE7004B

20

EAST ANGLIAN LITERATURE

Throughout the medieval and Early-Modern periods Norwich was one of England's most important cities - probably second only to London - and East Anglia one of the country's culturally liveliest and richest areas. This module explores the literature of these periods in its material contexts (the region's prosperity and power may still be seen in its architecture and in the rich holdings of its libraries and museums) and asks whether there was a specifically East Anglian cultural tradition. The module explores East Anglia's rich dramatic traditions, its devotional literature and practices (in orthodox forms and in those that brush against the heterodox), and, insistently, the manner in which its literature participates in its broader social and cultural worlds. The module is compulsory for students on the Medieval and Early Modern Textual Cultures MA but may also appeal to those with an interest in the cultural traditions of Norwich and East Anglia or, more generally, in the literature of place.

LDCE7002B

20

LUDIC LITERATURE

Play, or the ludic, is often listed as one of the main characteristics of postmodernist art, but what is meant by play is usually left no more clearly defined than what is meant by postmodernism. This course seeks to trace the evolution of leading postmodernist styles and themes, especially ludic ones, back to their origins in Joyce, Kafka, Borges, and Nabokov. Using these enormously influential authors as a starting point, we will read a range of ludic authors, passing back and forth between languages, nations, and genres. Authors studied will include Georges Perec, Italo Calvino, Raymond Queneau, Thomas Pynchon, Donald Barthelme, Robert Coover, Angela Carter, Paul Muldoon, and John Ashbery. We will examine these authors in relation to one another, and to their major pre-postmodernist sources, such as Carroll, Rimbaud, Mallarme, and Dostoevsky. We will also be reading theorists of play such as Schiller, Huizinga, Derrida, and Bakhtin. Central to the module is the exploration of play as a response to literature, and a way of creating new literature out of old, through the play of parody, imitation, transposition, and translation. We will be studying these ancient modes of literary response and performing them ourselves: all students will be encouraged to try their hand at parodying and imitating the texts we are studying, though this is not compulsory. Final assessment can take the form of a 5000 word critical essay or of a combination of a creative piece and a critical essay, to make up 5000 words.

LDCE7006B

20

MULTICULTURALISM

This module looks at the responses in political theory to the rise of multicultural societies in Europe and North America since the end of World War II. The aim is to introduce students to a range of contemporary theoretical perspectives on multiculturalism and to facilitate critical assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of competing approaches. Theorists under examination will include: Parekh, Kymlicka, Taylor and Modood as well as major liberal alternative views; Barry, Rawls and Raz. The module will combine theoretical study with analysis of practical issues/case studies surrounding multiculturalism. Among the issues to be considered are the following: models of integration, group rights, institutional racism, Islamophobia, and the Rushdie affair. The module will also consider divergent policies adopted within European states (eg, France and Germany) and give attention to the attempts to operationalise multiculturalism in the UK in particular via the Parekh Report.

PPLX7003B

20

NOVEL HISTORY

We are currently witnessing a renaissance in history writing. Sales of historical novels continue to rise steeply. Societies have formed, new prizes established. A number of eminent historians are turning from fact to fiction. What can the historical novel do in terms of reaching the past that more conventional historical accounts cannot do? Can it challenge long-told historical narratives, propose new ones or give us new vantage points? Novel History is a critical-creative MA module that crosses the boundaries between literature, art history, history and creative writing to explore the possibilities (and paradoxes) of historical fiction. Students will study the history of the historical novel and read critical and theoretical essays about the writing of history alongside examples of innovative or revisionist contemporary historical fiction. They will also explore ideas around 'object history' through a series of workshop sessions amongst the historical objects of UEA's extraordinary rich collection in the Sainsbury Centre. Students will present work in progress in the workshop format as they move towards a final piece of creative writing, a short story or radio script, screen or theatre script. Students will be given the option of structuring their final work around a single chosen object from the Sainsbury Centre collection.

LDCC7008B

20

PHILOSOPHY OF LITERATURE SEMINAR

In a collaborative seminar format, students explore together with the teacher a range of topics in the philosophy of literature. Topics studied typically include: the definition and purpose of literature; the status of fictional characters; the relevance of author's intention and the role of interpretation in fixing meaning; aesthetic evaluation, taste, subjectivity and objectivity; the value of fakes and copies; the emotional effect of literature; whether literature can convey truth and knowledge, and the relationship between aesthetic judgement and ethics. Students prepare a package of two essays relating to different parts of the course, preceded by formative drafts and essay tutorials.

PPLP7001B

20

PROCESS AND PRODUCT IN TRANSLATION

This module is designed to allow students to produce translations in conditions that encourage and facilitate reflection on the process and product of translation. It encourages students to think experimentally, not only about the forms a finished translation might take, but also about the ways in which process might be incorporated into that translation. The module has a workshop format and culminates in a series of presentations by students of the projects on which they have chosen to work. A series of sessions, devoted to the discussion of problems, both theoretical and practical, connected with translation and the projects ahead, precede the presentations. This module is compulsory for students on the MA in Literary Translation but may also appeal to those students with an interest in experimental writing and creative re-writing and textual intervention practices. Please note there is no foreign language requirement.

LDCE7014B

20

PUBLISHING - A PRACTICAL APPROACH

This module aims to give students an introduction to the modern publishing industry and a practical survival guide to the different functions involved in the publication of a book. As well as learning about the structure and economics of the British book industry, the opportunities and challenges of digitalization, students will engage with the process whereby books are chosen for publication, review principles of text and jacket design, practise basic copyediting and proofreading skills and learn tips for running a marketing and publicity campaign, writing 'blurbs' and press releases. The course will also touch on copyright law, finance and distribution. Students from the module are invited to join the core team producing the annual MA Creative Writing anthologies.

LDCC7012B

20

RADICAL DRAMATURGIES

Radical Dramaturgies is an advanced level study of dramatic texts and theory, exploring a range of experimental ways of writing for the stage. Weekly seminars build upon students' understanding of form and practice in a variety of modes of writing: monologue, the solo play, micro-plays, site-specific writing, verbatim, 'post-dramatic', devised, multi-media, hyper-naturalist - we look at work by Wallace Shawn, Samuel Beckett, Suzan Lori-Parks, Martin Crimp, Caryl Churchill, Moises Kaufman, Simon Stephens, Franz Xavier Kroetz, Hans Thies-Lehmann as well as film-makers such as Michael Haneke and theatre directors working with film such as Katie Mitchell. Overall, we will explore: a variety of radical modes of writing, the theoretical and intellectual context informing such work, the structural and performative values informing this writing, a set of criteria for evaluating this work, developing the students' own aesthetic through writing and/or theorising. Writers and artists across disciplines are welcome as are theoretically minded students wishing to work creatively.

LDCD7001B

20

THE BIG PICTURE: CONTEMPORARY HOLLYWOOD CINEMA

Hollywood has remained a dominant force in film production, distribution and exhibition in recent decades, despite competition from other local and transnational cinemas. This module aims to explore the success of the Hollywood system through a focus on the industry itself, and the films it produces, particularly those that have been most successful at the domestic and international box office. The module will, therefore, cover a range of relevant topics that may include: what kind of films does Hollywood invest in? Is financial gain the best lens to judge issues of 'popularity'? Who are the target audiences for those films? What is the role of the audience in receiving and popularising these hit movies? What is the relationship between domestic theatrical release, circulation in foreign markets and distribution in other media such as television, film, and DVD?

AMAM7011B

20

THE NORTHERN RENAISSANCE, 1500-1620

This module sets out to understand why and how humanism -- the advocacy of the study of the humanities, the Greek and Roman classics -- gave birth to the astonishing outpouring of literature that we call the Renaissance. We will situate English Renaissance literature within the wider context of the humanist literature of France, the Netherlands, and Italy. Questions we consider include: how did the rediscovery of classical texts generate new possibilities for literary writers? How did humanists understand the nature of poetic creation? How did their advocacy of rhetoric create new ways for writers to engage with public life? And what happened when humanists turned philological methods upon the most sacred text of their culture: the bible? Authors studied include: Thomas More, Desiderius Erasmus, Edmund Spenser, Joachim Du Bellay, Philip Sidney, Ludovico Ariosto, Torquato Tasso, Jean Bodin, Michel de Montaigne, and Ben Jonson. Foreign language texts are all read in translation. The module is compulsory for students on the Medieval and Early Modern Textual Cultures MA, but might be of interest to anyone who wishes to gain an in-depth understanding of one of the most dazzling periods of European literary history.

LDCE7011B

20

THEORY AND PRACTICE OF FICTION

This module is designed to complement the prose fiction workshop but is open to students on related programmes. It is intended to provide students with creative and critical knowledge in a single experiential burst, by exploring as they are relevant to writing fiction such topics as time, place, dramatic structure, character and concinnity. The unit also gives consideration to professional issues confronting novelists, from writer's block to editing, contracts and dealing with the media. The module presents the writer as both artist and supplier of intellectual property to a market, while examining that and other tensions critically. Reading, writing and analysis happen alongside each other. Fictional, critical and professional texts are examined, writing exercises illuminating the issue at hand are undertaken. Students are also expected to make presentations on topics of their choice. Assessment by creative writing coursework with a critical commentary.

LDCC7015B

20

Students must study the following modules for 140 credits:

Name Code Credits

CREATIVE WRITING AND RESEARCH SEMINARS

This 10-credit module consists of a series of lectures by Creative Writing and Critical faculty of direct relevance to the practical aspects of researching and writing a major piece of creative work. Attendance is compulsory.

LDCC7006B

10

CREATIVE WRITING DISSERTATION

Students are required to write a dissertation of a length as specified in their MA Course Guide on a topic approved by the Course Director or other authorised person.

LDCC7017X

90

CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOP: POETRY 2

Only students who are registered for Creative Writing: Poetry may enrol for this module.

LDCC7003B

20

DESCRIBING POETRY

This MA module is compulsory for students taking the poetry strand of the MA in Creative Writing. It is also offered as an optional unit for students taking other MA programmes. We often think of poetry as a descriptive art, representing our experience of the world. One of the most important things it describes, however, is the experience of language. This module will consider some of the ways in which poetic language has been described in philosophy and literary criticism, and some of the poems in which it has described itself. It offers a historical survey of some of the major texts in Western poetics, from Plato to the Language poets, to be read alongside a range of poetic treatises in verse. Students will be encouraged to contribute texts from their own reading for discussion. Short writing exercises will also be set in class, in preparation for the final 5,000-word coursework essay.

LDCC7009A

20

Disclaimer

Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules and regular (five-yearly) review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff or sabbatical leave. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

Entry Requirements

  • Degree Subject UK BA(Hons) 2.1 or equivalent
  • Special Entry Requirements Sample of work - see below

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

We welcome applications from students whose first language is not English. To ensure such students benefit from postgraduate study, we require evidence of proficiency in English. Our usual entry requirements are as follows:

  • IELTS: 7.0 (minimum 6.0 in each section and 7.0 in writing)
  • PTE (Pearson): 68 (minimum 55 in each section and 68 in writing)

Test dates should be within two years of the course start date.

Other tests, including Cambridge English exams and the Trinity Integrated Skills in English are also accepted by the university. The full list of accepted tests can be found here: Accepted English Language Tests

INTO UEA also run pre-sessional courses which can be taken prior to the start of your course. For further information and to see if you qualify please contact intopre-sessional@uea.ac.uk

Special Entry Requirements

Candidates will be expected to submit a portfolio of writing for assessment - up to 20 pages of poetry.

Intakes

The School's annual intake is in September of each year.

Please note that those candidates offered a place on the course will not be able to defer their offer to the next year if they are unable to take up the offer of a place, however they are welcome to reapply the next year.

 

Alternative Qualifications

If you have alternative qualifications that have not been mentioned above then please contact the Admissions Office directly for further information.

Fees and Funding

Tuition fees

Tuition fees for the academic year 2016/17 are:

  • UK/EU Students: £7,150
  • International Students: £14,500

If you choose to study part-time, the fee per annum will be half the annual fee for that year, or a pro-rata fee for the module credit you are taking (only available for UK/EU students).

We estimate living expenses at £820 per month.

Scholarships and Awards:

There are a variety of scholarships and studentships available to postgraduate applicants in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. For further information relevant to the School of Literature and Creative Writing, please click here.

How to Apply

Applications for Postgraduate Taught programmes at the University of East Anglia should be made directly to the University.

You can apply online.

Further Information

To request further information & to be kept up to date with news & events please use our online enquiry form.

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances prior to applying please do contact us:

Postgraduate Admissions Office
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515
Email: admissions@uea.ac.uk

International candidates are also encouraged to access the International Students section of our website.

    Next Steps

    Need to know more? Take a look at these pages to discover more about Postgraduate opportunities at UEA…

    We can’t wait to hear from you. Just pop any questions about this course into the form below and our enquiries team will answer as soon as they can.

    Admissions enquiries:
    admissions@uea.ac.uk or
    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515