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 Maurice Riordan and Richard Scott for this six-month course at the home of British poetry.



What do these levels mean?




6 month +
  • Start Date
  • Time
  • Flexible (see Course Programme)
  • Application Deadline
  • Sunday 14 Jan 2024

Spaces left



£400 / month for 5 months and a £750.00 deposit


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Dedicate six months to your craft

Faber has been at the heart of poetry for near 100 years – from Eliot to Plath to Heaney and through to today’s diverse and celebrated poets. 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 newly redesigned 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 experience writing poetry, whether you've been learning the craft on your own or have taken previous courses. You'll be motivated to develop your skills further, and will be open to experiment with new techniques, forms, and perspectives. You’ll be keen to build up a body of work, writing within the community of a like-minded and committed group of poets.

‘A poem,’ the Australian poet Les Murray said, ‘comes from the unconscious mind, the conscious mind, and from the body.’ In this course, you will be prompted to stimulate your latent imagination, to discover and activate potent material, and find confidence in your own distinctive voice. You will also learn, or re-learn, poetry’s demanding skills in an informed and disciplined context. You will acquire the habit of reading with the predatory instincts of a practising poet, so you possess the technical know-how, discriminating ear and self-critical awareness to push your own work to the highest standard.

Follow an intensive schedule that includes week-by-week input from the tutors – with writing tasks, exemplary poems, reading recommendations and considered feedback. The 24 sessions provide a substantial and coherent online programme, which combines regular live Zoom classes lead by the tutors with online resources you can access in your own time. You are also encouraged to share work and ideas with your fellow poets, and to interact critically and supportively within the group. In addition, the course comes with one-to-one tutorials with Maurice and Richard, with expert tips and guidance, and with four acclaimed poets as guest readers and tutors.

The course is tuned both to the innovative practices of contemporary writing and to the enduring principles of poetry through the ages. You will encounter a diverse spectrum of styles and voices, and will be encouraged to experiment in new directions and to exert your imagination with fresh intent – while always maintaining a central focus on the development of your own poetry.

A key feature of the course will be its one-to-one feedback sessions. Each student will have one hour’s individual tutorial time between Richard and Maurice, as well as ongoing feedback opportunities within the group.

This is a course with a dynamic overall structure designed to enable everyone to advance their writing incrementally over the six months. The cumulative objective is for you to assemble a pamphlet-long portfolio of workshopped and redrafted poems in that period.

    This course will feature a mix of 'live' group teaching, one-on-one conversations with the tutors, reading prompts, writing exercises, workshopping, forum discussions and guest tutor session. There will be a weekly group video conference between 19.00 and 20.30 on Monday evenings. Please note there will be an Easter break between sessions 8 and 9,

Course Programme

Session 1

Monday 5 February

The Art of Improvisation...

Session 2

12 February

The Reader Over Your Shoulder: Edi...

Session 3

19 February

Rapidity and Concision...

See remaining sessions

Course Programme

Advanced Poetry

Session 1

Monday 5 February 2024 – Sunday 11 February

The Art of Improvisation

Meet your tutors and fellow poets on Zoom – and get off to a flying start with an in-class exercise in anaphora

Session 2

Monday 12 February – Sunday 18 February

The Reader Over Your Shoulder: Editing

How to undertake the mysterious and hermitic act of editing a poem

Session 3

Monday 19 February – Sunday 25 February

Rapidity and Concision

Using language more intensely, and at a higher level, than in prose

Session 4

Monday 26 February – Sunday 3 March

The Reader Over Your Shoulder: The Workshop

Further explore the process of redrafting poems, and develop key tools for workshopping

Session 5

Monday 4 March – Sunday 10 March

Private Self and Public Exposure

How do we make our intimate world present in poems? Learn to connect the personal with the public domain

Session 6

Monday 11 March – Sunday 17 March

Contemporary Edge: guest poet Don Paterson

Listen and learn with the first of our guest poets, the acclaimed poet Don Paterson

Session 7

Monday 18 March – Sunday 24 March

Language / L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E

Experiment with, and even supercharge, your natural poetic language!

Session 8

Monday 25 March – Sunday 7 April

Lineation & Syntax

How we create rhythmic movement and give the poem music and impetus

Please note this session will last two weeks, to allow a break for Easter

Session 9

Monday 8 April – Sunday 14 April

Progress Review: One-to-One Tutorials

Meet with Richard or Maurice for a 30-minute feedback session on your poems

Session 10

Monday 15 April – Sunday 21 April

Haunting & Intertextuality

Be inspired by the diaphanous, the uncanny and the spookily intertextual

Session 11

Monday 22 April – Sunday 28 April

Register and Tone

Learn to explore, and play with, diversity of ‘register’ in your poems

Session 12

Monday 29 April – Sunday 5 May

Contemporary Edge: guest poet Daljit Nagra

An evening with our second guest poet, Daljit Nagra

Session 13

Monday 6 May – Sunday 12 May

Progress Review: Plenary Session with Tutors

Listen to Maurice and Richard on their own poems. And give your own feedback on the course at mid-point

Session 14

Monday 13 May – Sunday 20 May

Unfaithful Translation

Translate nineteenth-century European poems inventively, and ‘unfaithfully’, into our time

Session 15

Monday 20 May – Sunday 26 May

The Reader Over your Shoulder: Group Workshop

Join with members of the group to workshop your poems

Session 16

Monday 27 May – Sunday 2 June

Contemporary Use of Form

Explore new(ish) poetic forms, such as the Golden Shovel, the Bop, the Calligram, the Specular, Found poetry and the Duplex

Session 17

Monday 3 June – Sunday 9 June

Contemporary Edge: with guest poet Rachel Long

An evening with our third guest poet, acclaimed writer and beloved tutor Rachel Long

Session 18

Monday 10 June – Sunday 16 June

You Must Change your Life: Ekphrasis

Discover the wilder side of ekphrasis…

Session 19

Monday 17 June – Sunday 23 June

A Heap of Broken Images: Fragmentation

We investigate innovative practices in contemporary poetry and discover the formal principles to use them successfully

Session 20

Monday 24 June – Sunday 30 June

Progress Review: One-to-one Tutorials

Meet with Richard or Maurice for a 30-minute feedback session on your poems

Session 21

Monday 1 July – Sunday 7 July

Contemporary Edge: with guest post Denise Riley

An evening with our final guest, the near-legendary Denise Riley

Session 22

Monday 8 July – Sunday 14 July

Writing Risk

Expand the lyric space with poems that dare to speak what goes unsaid or is considered uncomfortable

Session 23

Monday 15 July – Sunday 21 July

Radiant Form

Let’s think about formal perfection in poems – and how we might work towards it

Session 24

Monday 22 July – Sunday 29 July

Next Steps & the Grand Finale

Specific guidance on maintaining the impetus of your writing individually and as a group

Advanced Poetry Tutors


Maurice Riordan

Maurice Riordan was born in Co. Cork. His first book, A Word from the Loki (1995), was nominated for the T. S. Eliot Prize...

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Maurice Riordan

Richard Scott

Richard Scott was born in London in 1981. His pamphlet Wound (Rialto) won the Michael Marks Poetry Award 2016 and his poem...

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Richard Scott
Rachel Long.

Rachel Long

Rachel Long’s debut collection, My Darling from the Lions was published by Picador in the UK, in 2020, and by Tin House, in the US, in 2021. It was shortlisted for...

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Rachel Long

Guest Tutor

Daljit Nagra

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

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Daljit Nagra
Don Paterson

Guest Tutor

Don Paterson

Don Paterson is the author of numerous works of poetry and non-fiction; his writing has won many awards, including the Whitbread Poetry Prize, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, the Costa Poetry Award, all three Forward Prizes...

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Don Paterson
Denise Riley b&w

Guest Tutor

Denise Riley

Denise Riley’s books are War in the Nursery: Theories of the Child and Mother (1983), ‘Am I That Name?’ Feminism and the Category of 'Women' in History...

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Denise Riley

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 regular live Zoom classes (led by either Maurice or Richard), 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 £750 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.

Browse the Reading Room

From author interviews and writing tips to creative writing exercises and reading lists, we've got everything you need to get started – and to keep going.

For more information, message us or call 0207 927 3827