Drawing on our long-standing reputation for producing distinguished critics and poets, this programme's creative-critical intersections make it suitable for a new generation of poets and critics alike. Students will be joining an academic environment with a world-leading expertise in the critical appreciation, writing, and understanding of modern poetry.
English - Poetry highlights
World Class Facilities
•Poetry is, quite simply, the activity for which Queen's University is best known around the world. Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney was both a student and lecturer here at Queen's, and other famous poet-alumni of the university include Ciaran Carson, Paul Muldoon and Medbh McGuckian. Heaney was a founding member of the famous 'Belfast Group' in the 1960s: a forum in which young poets came together with critics to discuss their work and the craft of good poetry more generally. The fruitful interaction of creative and critical activity is at the heart of what this unique MA offers.
•You will be joining an academic environment with a long-standing reputation for the writing and critical appreciation of poetry from Ireland, Britain and the United States, and will also benefit from the literary activities and resources of the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen's – the first centre of excellence for poetry in Ireland. Poets and poetry critics in the Centre include Leontia Flynn, Ciaran Carson, Fran Brearton, Edna Longley, Gail McConnell and Stephen Sexton, along with annual visiting international poetry fellows.
Students take 3 taught modules in each semester (the core 'Reading and Writing Poetry' module in semester 1 is a double module) followed by the dissertation/portfolio. In semester 1 students explore a range of writings – both poetry and criticism – through concepts and themes such as: Conflict; Politics; Death; Sickness; Things; Animals; Nonsense; Confession; Work. Poets studied in the seminars include Yeats, Plath, Auden, Eliot, Bishop, and Heaney. Students are introduced to the form and language of poetry, as well as to the historical dimensions of, and contexts for, various poetic forms – both traditional and experimental. The writing workshops involve detailed discussion of students' own poetry, which they can bring to class for feedback from the tutor and other students. In semester 2 students study contemporary poetry collections, focusing on the ways in which the structure of a given poetry collection contributes to the overall meaning of the work, as well as choosing from specialist options which include Irish poetry, American poetry, and writing workshops. The optional module list is indicative only.