Poet and Emerita Professor Wendy Woodward

Why are some poems so moving? Why are we so persuaded by them to rethink the world? Why do their messages resonate with us in heartfelt ways?

So much depends on the writer’s ability to convey a vital sense of the moment in a poem, to take readers into an experience or feeling. In this course participants will develop their own abilities to connect with readers and to depict such immediacy. They will learn to show rather than to tell as they hone their writing strategies.

Each session will consist of writing exercises designed to bring participants into the moment through various experiences. After editing practices there will be time to share what has been written in a non-judgmental and supportive atmosphere. Participants will also read vivid contemporary poems by local and international writers.

This course is for people who may not think of themselves yet as writers, or for people who have done some writing and need renewed inspiration or guidance.



1.         Writing the senses I

2.         Writing the senses II

3.         Writing memory

4.         Writing by chance

5.         Writing form



Astley, N. (ed.). 2002. Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Times. Newcastle Upon Tyne: Bloodaxe Books.

Astley, N. (ed.). 2005. Being Alive: The Sequel to Staying Alive. Newcastle Upon Tyne: Bloodaxe Books.

De Kock, L. and Tromp, I. (eds.). 1996. The Heart in Exile: SA Poetry in English, 1990–1995. London: Penguin Books. 

Hirson, D. (ed.). 2014. In the Heat of Shadows, South African Poetry 1996–2013. Grahamstown: Deep South.


Date: 7–11 August
Time: 10.00 am–12.00 pm
No admission to single sessions
MAXIMUM 20 participants   
 COURSE FEES  Full: R1 150,00  Staff: R805,00  Reduced: R570,00