Advanced Poetry Advanced Poetry Advanced Poetry

Advanced Poetry

If you’re a committed aspiring poet hoping to take your writing to the next level, join Daljit Nagra and Rachael Allen for this six-month course at the home of British poetry.



What do these levels mean?




6 month +
  • Start Date
  • Time
  • Mondays, 19.00 – 20.30
  • Application Deadline
  • Sunday 18 Sep 2022

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£400 / month for 5 months and a £500.00 deposit


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The application deadline for this course has now passed.

Dedicate six months to your craft

From Eliot to Plath to Walcott to Heaney, Faber has been at the heart of the poetic world for ninety years. Where better to work on your own poems? Combining the rigour and camaraderie of Faber Academy's London courses with the flexibility of the online space, this new six-month poetry course is for the serious, committed poet working towards a first pamphlet or collection.

Is this the right course for me?

This is an advanced course, so you'll already have some experience writing poetry, whether you've been writing alone or taken previous courses. You'll be serious about developing your grasp of poetic craft, ready to experiment with new techniques and forms, and committed to building up a body of work and to being a keen and supportive group member.

Poetry may come from the heart and from the mind – but to find its shape requires a practical knowledge and application of craft. That craft makes the difference between subject matter and art, and during the course, you'll be taught key techniques and encouraged to apply them to whatever material you want to address. You'll gain new insights about the classic forms such as the sonnet and sestina alongside new forms such as the Golden Shovel, the ghazal or the duplex. You will discover the rules and be encouraged to find new ways to break them.

Regular workshops, guest tutors, reading lists and intensive one-to-one sessions with the tutors will deepen the sophistication and variety of your poems, and structured feedback on other students’ work will ensure you develop an editorial sense you can bring back to your own writing. We believe the support of a group and the motivation it affords is invaluable in making rapid progress as a poet.

Good writing is dependent on good reading and participation in the wider community of poetry. To this extent, you will discover the very best poetry being written in the English language over the course of your time with us. Alongside new work, you'll discover a range of contemporary poets whose work inspires us to critically consider gender, race, status and ableism. In addition, you will be encouraged to attend poetry events as they occur, to discover poetry online and to make that all important step of seeking publication in magazines and attending floor spot events to read your own work.

There is no generic form of poetry but many different schools, and many poetic ways to imagine the world. You will play with traditional page poetry, the avant garde, social media poetry and performance poetry. You will be inspired to create your own poetic excellence in each of these forms as they engage with their respective mediums. Overall though, you will be encouraged to write strong poems for the page that will go on to shape your first manuscript.

    This course will feature a mix of 'live' group teaching, one-on-one discussions with the tutors and self-paced elements. There will be a weekly group video conference between 19.00 and 20.30 on Monday evenings. Please note there will be a Christmas break between sessions 11 and 12.

Course Programme

Session 1

Monday 3 October 2022, 19.00 – 20.30

What’s New...

Session 2

10 October, 19.00 – 20.30

Narrative Poems...

Session 3

17 October, 19.00 – 20.30

Genre Poems...

See remaining sessions

Course Programme

Advanced Poetry

Session 1

Monday 3 October 2022, 19.00 – 20.30

What’s New

An introduction to the latest poetry

Session 2

10 October, 19.00 – 20.30

Narrative Poems

How to tell a narrative through lyric methods and experimental modes.

Session 3

17 October, 19.00 – 20.30

Genre Poems

Is there such a thing as a genre poem? Should there be? What can we take from the themes and genres of novels and how they can expand the things we write about and the way we write them?

We'll look at poems by Katherine Kilalea and Luke Kennard.

Session 4

24 October, 19.00 – 20.30

Guest Slot

Session 5

31 October, 19.00 – 20.30

Being Weird

How weirdness is created in verse, for what effect and how elements of weirdness can be deployed to help energise a poem.

Session 6

7 November, 19.00 – 20.30

History of Experimentation

Thinking about experimental histories in poetry – who writes them, why, and why they are necessary – to bring us to a contemporary definition of what is experimental, and what it means to ‘experiment’.

We'll look at poems by Hope Mirrlees, Denise Riley, Geraldine Monk, Haryette Mullen, Will Alexander and Verity Spott.

Session 7

14 November, 19.00 – 20.30


How we weave the edges of one thought into the succeeding ones so the fabric of the sentence is seamless and adequate for the copious vision.

Session 8

21 November, 19.00 – 20.30

Guest Slot

Session 9

28 November, 19.00 – 20.30

Ecological Thinking

The current climate of contemporary ecopoetics. Animal-human relationships and ecological thinking.

We'll be discussing poems by Isabel Galleymore, Rebecca Tamas, John Kinsella and Elizabeth Jane-Burnett.

Session 10

5 December, 19.00 – 20.30

Mastering the Breath

How to control the breath within and down the line through grammar and rhythm.

Session 11

12 December, 19.00 – 20.30

Funny Bones

How to create serious humour through the philosophy of laughter.

Session 12

9 January, 19.00 – 20.30

Free Verse

The history behind the go-to form in contemporary poetry. A look at what it means to follow natural rhythms and speech and how to better understand the mode in which poets largely write now.

We'll be looking at work by Veronica Forrest Thomson and Hannah Sullivan.

Session 13

16 January, 19.00 – 20.30

Syllabic Verse

How this neglected form can inspire your imagination and create compression in the poem.

Session 14

23 January, 19.00 – 20.30

Gender, Sexuality and Poetics

Recent movements in queer and gender non-conforming poetics.

We'll look at the work of Richard Scott, C.A.Conrad, Eileen Myles and Danez Smith.

Session 15

30 January, 19.00 – 20.30

Guest Slot

Session 16

6 February, 19.00 – 20.30

Rhythm Fun

Methods to create basic and advanced rhythms in verse so we have maximum control of the subject and the reader’s breath.

Session 17

13 February, 19.00 – 20.30

Prose Poems

A look at a history of the prose poem, and the blurry line between flash and short fiction and prose poem. How the strengths of prose can be utilised to make the most out of poems.

We'll consider poems by Russell Edson, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, Cathy Park Hong and Lydia Davis.

Session 18

20 February, 19.00 – 20.30

Mood & Consciousness

What is the science behind the significance of creating a mood, and how is this ‘qualia’ significant for the poet when creating exciting new work?

Session 19

27 February, 19.00 – 20.30

Guest Slot

Session 20

6 March, 19.00 – 20.30

Writing in Sequence

Thinking about how writing sequentially can push our poetry to breach limits we impose on it. How can our ideas be expanded when we work through them in sequences? How can a poem still stand alone and live as part of a longer work?

We'll look at the work of A.R. Ammons, Claudia Rankine, Sophie Collins, Ben Lerner and Sylvia Legris.

Session 21

13 March, 19.00 – 20.30

The Art of Performance

Ways to control breath, the reading voice and find the best method for reciting your own verse.

Session 22

20 March, 19.00 – 20.30

Grand Finale

Students perform their own poems to the group and invited guests.

Advanced Poetry Tutors


Rachael Allen

Rachael Allen’s first collection of poems, KINGDOMLAND, is published by Faber & Faber. She is the co-author of a number of collaborative...

More About This Tutor
Rachael Allen

Daljit Nagra

Daljit Nagra has published four poetry collections with Faber & Faber. He has won the Forward Prize for Best Individual Poem...

More About This Tutor
Daljit Nagra

How to Apply

Click 'Apply now' and you'll be prompted to upload the documents detailed below. Remember that when reading your application, tutors are looking to get a sense of you as a poet and as a potential member of the group – so both parts of your application are as important as each other.

Covering letter

Tell us what you want to get out of the course, what sort of writing experience you've had, why you've chosen us and why you've decided to do it now.

Four to six poems

These should total no more than 1,200 words, and give the tutors a good idea of your style and voice. We're happy to accept prose poems, and will also accept translations although we can't guarantee we'll have a reader who speaks the original language.

Submit your application

That's it! We'll aim to respond to all applications within ten days of the application deadline.

The Faber Academy Scholarship Programme

There is a scholarship place available on this course for a writer who otherwise could not afford to attend. We particularly welcome applications from writers of colour, disabled writers and LGBTQ+ writers.

To apply, please email your covering letter and a single document of four to six poems (both as Word docs or PDFs) to, with the subject line ‘Scholarship Application: APO3’. The full terms and conditions and more information about our scholarship programme can be found below.

Find out more

Better than any MA. The most generative, supportive, inspiring environment any budding poet could wish for. […] Life changing. Do it

Jennifer Nadel

Without exaggeration, this Faber course, in form and design, has given me new life-blood as a poet. I’d do as many Faber courses as I possibly could, it was so expansively invigorating.

Wendy Orr

The Faber Academy program was one of my true poetic educations. […] The formative enquiry I received at the academy was impeccable.

Simon Costello

[L]earning was driven by the sheer joy of reading contemporary work and being part of that […] community. We were unquestionably welcomed as serious writers and peers and that level of trust was easy, natural and empowering.

Wendy Orr

Faber Academy was such a jewelbox for me. I really felt pushed and challenged; I read poems I’d never read before […] and wrote poems that I never would have been able to write otherwise.

Ellora Sutton

We were immersed in theory, practice and technical challenges, which didn’t feel like work at all – just a group of friends sharing ideas.

Wendy Orr

I loved the Faber Poetry course. It freed my writing and gave me confidence to pursue my ideas in new ways.

Mary Mulholland

Where an MFA has been financially and physically inaccessible to me […] this Faber course left me feeling like I'd had the intensity of depth of that experience from my own home, and I wasn’t disappointed.

Wendy Orr

What was most powerful about the course was placing active aspirant poets together and getting them into contexts where they could write.


It was a wonderful experience. Can't thank you enough.


It was very creative but also intellectually challenging which I liked [...] It has got me through the last six months. It's been amazing and I will be recommending it widely.


Frequently Asked Questions

What level do I need to be at to take this course?

The course is the practical equivalent of an MA, so it’s for those who have a serious interest and commitment to reading and writing contemporary poetry. We’ll expect you to be familiar with contemporary poetry, and to be writing poems seriously with an eye towards publication. The tutors won’t be teaching the basics of poetry on this one, so it’s important to have either had a fair amount of experience of writing and self-studying, or perhaps to have taken a course of some kind in the past​.

How much contact will I have with the tutors during this course?

You’ll see a lot of both tutors during the six months – as well as each week’s live Zoom class (led by either Daljit or Rachael), where you’ll be discussing the week’s poems, and receiving tutor instruction and timed writing exercises, there will also be four thirty-minute tutorials over the length of the course.

Can I pay the fee in instalments?

Yes, there’s an instalment plan available for this course. This consists of a £500 deposit followed by four monthly instalments of £500 once the course begins. If your application is successful, you’ll be able to opt to pay in instalments when accepting your place.

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