MA Creative Writing Poetry (Part time)

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UEA has announced the launch of the British Archive for Contemporary Writing (BACW), which contains the extensive personal archive of the Nobel Laureate, Doris Lessing, and literary material from other prominent authors such as Naomi Alderman, Tash Aw, Malcolm Bradbury, Amit Chaudhuri, J.D. Salinger, Roger Deakin, Lorna Sage, WG Sebald and the playwright Snoo Wilson.

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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 such as 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

You have been writing poetry for long enough to know that it is as vital part of your life, and are looking for expert guidance and feedback in order to develop your writing practice further. One-off workshops and short courses are not enough, and you wish 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. An academic context allows you to do this through learning more about poetry across time and place, about form and technique, concept and theory, cause and effect. It is a chance to read the kinds of poetry you’ve never come across and discover the potential of poetry beyond the forms and approaches you already know.

The part-time MA in Creative Writing Poetry offers two years of intensive reading, writing, exploration and risk-taking during which you develop a body of work close in length to a first collection. We aim to support you in writing poetry of a publishable standard and to create a supportive but rigorous environment in which you feel encouraged to test, extend and refine your poetic technique – an experience that is often exciting and sometimes uncomfortable but always rewarding. With this in mind, we also give you the chance to learn more about publishing procedures and opportunities, readings, literary awards and more. You will benefit from the ways in which the study of poetry enhances analytical, conceptual and verbal skills, as well as refine your powers of precision, argument and logic.

As part of UEA’s Creative Writing community, you will have the opportunity to meet some of the UK’s leading poets and poetry editors, and to benefit from their insight and expertise. Our 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, such as Carol Ann Duffy, Don Paterson, Simon Armitage and Robin Robertson. UEA also hosts an annual Poetry Festival, part of which is an event showcasing the MA poets’ work. You will have the opportunity to attend a masterclass and to discuss your writing one-to-one with the Poetry Festival Fellow, who will be resident at UEA for a fortnight in the spring semester. 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 structure

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 close critical discussion of the work of 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, in the second semester of the first year you will choose from a number of optional modules ranging from publishing to translation. You will receive regular individual tutorials and extensive written feedback on your coursework. In the second year, you will continue the weekly workshop, and take a course on describing poetry.

There is no workshop in the summer semester (May to June) of the second year, during which time you have one-to-one sessions with your dissertation tutor. In July and August you work independently, although you may, with your peers, continue the workshop in some form. Over this period you will write your dissertation, which is a body of poetry and a critical commentary on it.

Assessment

There are two coursework submissions for the Poetry Workshop, in January and May respectively, each of 12 poems and a critical commentary. The dissertation consists of approximately 15 poems plus a critical commentary and is submitted in September. The assessment for the Describing Poetry module is a 3,000-word essay, or a 2,000-word essay plus a 1,000-word poetry review. Assessments for option modules vary, but are typically a 3,000-word essay or an equivalent portfolio of creative and/or critical work.

Course tutors and research interests

In 2017/18 the two main tutors for this course are Professor Tiffany Atkinson and Dr Sophie Robinson, both of whom are published poets with extensive experience in their field. 

Staff in the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing are writers as well as teachers. Many write novels, short stories, poems and plays, contribute articles to newspapers and appear on television and radio arts programmes. Our body of teaching staff includes tutors such as Peter Womack, Stephen Benson, Rebecca Stott, Steve Waters, Rachel Potter and Jeremy Noel-Tod. Expect to be inspired by leading figures in the literary world such as Kathryn Hughes, writer of the biographies of Mrs Beeton and George Eliot, Giles Foden, whose novel The Last King of Scotland was made into an Oscar-winning Hollywood movie, and the internationally renowned novelist, poet, essayist, Booker Prize judge and musician Amit Chaudhuri.

Where next?

Our poetry graduates go on to enjoy all kinds of careers, especially in the literary arts. Several have received scholarships for further work at PhD level; many work in publishing (at Granta and the London Review of Books, for example), and many publish their poetry to acclaim: most recently, for example, Mona Arshi (MA Poetry 2010) won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection in 2015, Sam Buchan-Watts (MA Poetry 2014) was named a Faber & Faber New Poet in 2015, Sohini Basak (MA Poetry 2016) was winner of the Eyewear Publishing Beverly Series Poetry Prize, and Sean Wai Keung (MA Poetry 2016) was the winner of the inaugural Rialto Open Pamphlet Competition 2016. 

Frequently asked questions

What are we looking for?

We are not looking for a particular kind of poet, nor do we have a house style. Our students 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 kinds of poetry, an understanding of how a poem might work, and the analytical and imaginative capacity both to bring a poem to fruition and to engage in rigorous discussion of poems and the craft of poetry.

Course Modules 2017/8

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

CONTEMPORARY FICTION

A COMPULSORY MODULE FOR STUDENTS ON THE MA IN MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY WRITING: Various attempts at (sub-)categorising contemporary fiction interpret it as a departure from previous aesthetics or a response to political or historical events or movements: post-modern; post-colonial; post-feminist; post-communist; post-9/11; post-millenial; post-national; even post-post-modern etc. As a prefix, "post-" suggests supersedence rather than novelty; at worst it is merely an aspirational syllable. Its proliferation co-exists with more conventional attempts at temporal taxonomy such as monographs and student guides dedicated to specific decades. One way of reading "post"-something-or-other is to think of it as an engagement with, and critical reassessment of, the past it so assiduously hyphenates: its literary conventions, cultural heritage, philosophical traditions, political ideologies, and - paradoxically - its long shadows way beyond the present moment. The manifestations of these engagements and reassessments can be rather contradictory. The memory boom of the 1990s put paid to claims about "the end of history" or skepticism over Grand Narratives. The renewed popularity of the (neo)historical novel and period drama also chafes against the recent turn towards trauma studies. The effects of new market forces, media and digital technology on the form of writing and the construction of the "author" could also be seen as one of the legacies of modernism. A focus on mindfulness, ethics and affect sits uneasily alongside the necessity for art to provoke and push boundaries. Expressions of the regional contend with an increasing awareness of transnational subjects, diasporic identities and global issues, and some of the most interesting writing today comes from 'the East' or writers with hybrid origins and hyphenated identities. Can fiction still be formally inventive and how might it enter into dialogue with other art forms (photography, sculpture, painting, cinema)? In the light of the critical and commercial success of 'creative non-fiction' we might also want to ask precisely how narrative can perforate disciplinary and generic categories. On this module we will attempt to construct a (naturally provisional, selective and incomplete) genealogy of the contemporary by examining some of the discernible trends and tensions of relatively recent writing (relative, that is, to the age of the convenor and the age of the students!). Much of this writing will be Anglophone but you should be prepared for adventures in reading translations. We will also do some work in UEA's newly founded Archive of Contemporary Literature: what and who is being archived according to which criteria, and what do archivists, academics and critics consider archival about the contemporary?

LDCC7020B

20

CREATIVE-CRITICAL WRITING

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 we'll read, ponder - and experiment with - a broad range of possible ways of practising creative-criticism, including the 'essay' form, auto-commentary, conceptual writing, criticism as performance, inventive 'theoretical' writing, and diaristic writing.

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

GOOD GOOD GIRLS AND GOOD BAD BOYS? AMERICAN FICTIONS OF INNOCENCE

Oscar Wilde wrote that 'The youth of America is their oldest tradition; it has been going on now for three hundred years'. Is this true? If so, why? This module will seek to account for the preoccupation with youth in America by focusing particularly on the concept of 'innocence', and by examining how various models of innocence are invoked and questioned in American literary texts. Drawing on a wide array of fictional and theoretical works, we will consider the following questions: What is at stake in America's investment in innocence? Major cultural events - such as the Vietnam War and 9/11, for example - are often described as representing a 'loss of innocence' in American culture. What power interests and ideologies are maintained by repeatedly describing America as 'innocent'? How is this investment in innocence revised in different historical moments? How is it challenged? With particular reference to fictions of growing up in America, how is innocence (and loss of innocence) depicted differently for male and female protagonists?

AMAL7000B

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

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

POLITICS AND MEDIA

Working from the assumption that the media are an integral part of modern political life, this module examines the way in which politics is represented in the media and reviews critically the argument about 'bias'. It also explores the arguments around the ownership and control of media, the increasing use of the media by political parties and the changing relationship between citizens and politics engendered by new communication technologies.

PPLM7002B

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

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 NON FICTION NOVEL

Some of the most exciting and innovative fiction of the moment is in fact a hybrid form of fiction, borrowing subject matter and techniques from traditionally non-fiction modes such as memoir, criticism, journalism, reportage and life-writing. These novels depart from the usual concerns with character, realistic dialogue and plot to focus on voice, place, time, employing strategies of literary craft to be formally innovative. This course looks at original non-fiction and also at contemporary 'realist' novels which are pushing boundaries and gaining attention in the wider literary culture. We will study the forms, techniques and thematics of both non-fiction and fiction, with an aim to experimenting with and improving students' writing in both forms. Some writing in class and between classes will be required. The second half of the module will include workshopping student work-in-progress. This is a practice-based module taught by a novelist and non-fiction writer and aimed primarily at students on the creative writing strands but is also open to students studying for critical MAs.

LDCC7022B

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

THE POETICS OF PLACE

This module explores innovative and experimental forms of place writing, from the critical and theoretical to literary and artistic. Among the critical and theoretical approaches that the course takes in will be such subjects as psychogeography, ecocriticism, critical heritage studies, deep mapping, animal studies, and literary activism. At the same time, it will consider a number of original works of literature from recent years, thinking carefully about the relationship between theory, method and form.

LDCC7023B

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.

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Entry Requirements

  • Degree Subject UK BA (Hons) 2:1 or equivalent preferred but not essential.
  • 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 2017/18 are:

  • UK/EU Students: £7,300
  • International Students: £14,800

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

    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