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The Monthly Poet

Course Times & Enrolment

(Code LI326-201) Thursdays 16 Jan, 13 Feb & 12 Mar, 10:00-13:00 (3 classes) LG47 Paterson's Land, Holyrood Campus • Tutor: Rachael King MA
This course is now closed for enrolments

Course Summary

The Monthly Poet aims to open up the study of poetry to everyone; from those who have read fewer poems than they would like, to those who are avid readers but who would benefit from the structured discussion a tutor-led experience offers. We shall meet three times per term (roughly once a month), each time exploring a different important poet from the past 200 years, using the poetry anthology The Zoo of the New (ed. Patterson and Laird) as our principal text.

Course Details

Content of Course

Each session will explore in depth an individual poet, introducing recognised literary terminology to evaluate key thematic and technical aspects of their verse. The poems will be taken from The Zoo of the New where possible, or be made available through our VLE in advance of each class. Where available, recordings of the poets will be played, as will documentary footage. Students will be encouraged to consider the poetic elements of the poems such as form, rhythm, rhyme, imagery and metre, and students will compare and contrast the poets studied over the three sessions, discussing the contribution each poet has made to the development of the poetic form.

Teaching method(s)

The Monthly Read offers a gentle introduction to the life and works of some great poets. Students will be encouraged to engage in group discussion and will gain confidence in reading poetry aloud. Sessions will include an introductory presentation, followed by close reading of poems. Wherever possible, the poems selected for study will be taken from The Zoo of the New

Learning outcomes

On completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Communicate ideas and arguments about a poem using recognised literary terminology;

  • Consider and identify the tools and techniques (such as form, meter, rhyme, imagery) used by poets;

  • Compare and contrast the works of a diverse range of poets, identifying any common themes;

  • Place the poems within their historical, political and social contexts.


Core Readings


  • Patterson, D. and Laird, N., 2016. The Zoo of the New. London: Penguin


  • Carper, T. and Attridge, D., 2003. Meter and Meaning: An Introduction to Rhythm in Poetry. London: Routledge.

  • Fenton, James, 2003. An Introduction to English Poetry. Harmondsworth: Penguin.

  • Fry, Stephen, 2007. The Ode Less Travelled. London: Arrow.

  • Eagleton, T., 2006. How to Read a Poem. Cambridge: Wiley-Blackwell.


If you have questions regarding the course or enrolment, please contact COL Reception at Paterson's Land by email or by phone 0131 650 4400.

Student support

If you have a disability, learning difficulty or health condition which may affect your studies, please let us know by ticking the 'specific support needs' box on your course application form. This will allow us to make appropriate adjustments in advance and in accordance with your rights under the Equality Act 2010. For more information please visit the Student Support section of our website.