Poetry Writing: Taking the Poetic Leap

Revise and polish your rough draft to achieve potentially publishable work. Five units propel you through dynamic exercises, in-depth analysis, and craft tips you can apply immediately. At the end of each unit, you polish and submit a 1-page poem for professional critique.

At a glance

What: Poetry Writing: Taking the Poetic Leap

When: Start anytime, complete within 1 year

Where: Online

Cost: $160

Continuing education credit: 20 hours (2.0 CEUs)

Instructor: Angela Rydell

Register Online
or register by phone at
608-262-2451
Register anytime

For additional information, contact Christine DeSmet: 608-262-3447


Make your poetic leaps higher and more ambitious than they’ve ever been before!

Poets of all levels can strengthen their skills. This course is for writers looking for professional feedback to help polish their work, beginners ready to get their poetry off the ground, intermediate-to-advanced poets ready to publish, and anyone who wants to take their poetry to the next level.

What we cover in this course

You’ll discover dozens of techniques in Poetry Writing: Taking the Poetic Leap. The 5 units include:

  • The Power of Sensory Detail
  • The Magic of Metaphor
  • The Meaning of Musical Language
  • The Art of Line Breaks
  • The Nature of Voice

The course also includes:

  • A writer’s notebook component with more than 30 exercises that help you practice your new skills
  • A glossary of terms
  • Useful references and links
  • Interactive quizzes that offer instant feedback on what you’ve learned in each unit
  • Lists of Top Ten tips
  • Practical and eloquent quotes help fix key ideas in your mind

You have a full year to finish the course. Feel free to e-mail your instructor with questions on feedback and unit concepts any time. Page by page, experience how leaps can be surprising, joyful, challenging—and often downright fun.

You offer two poetry courses. Which should I take first?

Take either course first. The instructor gears each one to your needs. Every poet — from beginner through advanced/already published — can benefit from either course.

What’s the difference between the two offerings?

“Getting to Good” gives you:

  • Reflection and warm-up exercises
  • In-depth discussion of one-liners from Shakespeare, Dickinson, and contemporary poets
  • A look at how theme creates a poem greater than the sum of its parts
  • A foundation in the history of poetry

“Poetic Leap” gives you:

  • Practical tips on drafting and revision
  • In-depth discussion of 1 or 2 contemporary poems per unit
  • A look at how line breaks tease meaning or deliver it
  • Bonus exercises for your Writer’s Notebook

How the course works

You can start our workshops anytime, and there are no required hours to log on. It's all done with one-on-one correspondence with the instructor using email. You can read and print course materials in the course Web site, which you can access at your leisure with a password that we will give you. We have writers from around the world participating in our workshops. A lot of great writing gets accomplished via email. Because of the one-on-one nature of our workshops, you'll find them an excellent "coaching" or mentoring situation that will keep you going. And if you want to just work on your own — hey, that's fine too. Of course you can do the suggested exercises on your own without the feedback if you'd rather do that. We're also here throughout the year if you have questions.

Review the current technical requirements for students in Learn@UW online courses.

Success story

James Croteau, Kalamazoo, MI, publishes poems in literary journals
James Croteau’s poems "Evan" and "Cover Boys" will be published in Assaracus: A Journal of Gay Poetry, Issue 15, July 2014. The issue will be available through Amazon. "Evan" first appeared in the November 2012 postcard issue of HOOT: a postcard review of {mini} poetry and prose.

James writes, "I took Angela Rydell's class ‘Getting to Good’ in the late summer of 2012 and am in ‘Taking the Poetic Leap’ now. Her feedback is some of the most helpful (and challenging) I have gotten on my work. Both of the poems mentioned here have been worked on in one or both the classes and would not have made their way to publication without the class. 'Evan' was the first poem I ever had published and 'Cover Boys' has special meaning for me. I am grateful for Angela and these classes." Congratulations, James!

Details

Cost: $160

Credit: 2.0 CEUs

Contact: For more information about Poetry Writing: Taking the Poetic Leap, contact Christine DeSmet at cdesmet@dcs.wisc.edu or call 608-262-3447.