Arvon at Home Masterclass: Taming the Elastic Beast

Zoom masterclass with Caroline Bird

Tuesday September 28th 2021, 19:00 BST


‘How to Teach Poetry’ Masterclass series with Caroline Bird

How do you teach a poetry workshop? But, even more excitingly, how do you invent a poetry workshop that is entirely yours? Your exercises. Your games. Your analogies. Your structure. We are often led to believe it is necessary to borrow or adapt already existing exercises, to resource material from other people. But this isn’t true! Creating and leading a workshop is a creative, personal act in itself, and can be just as original and fulfilling as the writing itself. It can also make you a better poet and reignite your own wonder. In these series of masterclasses, we will explore (amongst many other things) the inexhaustible well of untapped poetry exercises in the world, how to extract multiple exercises from the same poem, how to structure a workshop around a theme and how to fuel, compile and infuse a poetry workshop with a spirit that is nobody else’s but yours.

We asked award-winning poet Caroline Bird to curate a trio of sessions to shed light on the creative practise of teaching poetry. Each of these sessions is self-contained but they build to form a practical and inspiring series. Booking for all three sessions is advised, with a number of free places available for those not able to afford the concession rate.

Taming the Elastic Beast:

Part 3 of 3 f a Poetry Masterclass with Caroline Bird

During this final masterclass, Caroline will cover how to structure a living, breathing workshop, that feels as exciting for you as a teacher, as well as for the group of poets you are guiding.

Part 1- Personal Fuel

Part 2- The Game of the Poem


The masterclass will be delivered via Zoom and will last two hours (19:00 – 21:00) including time for you to write. You will need to have a computer or smart device and a reliable internet connection in order to participate. Our masterclasses are live and will be recorded. Recording will be saved in the cloud and made available to those with confirmed advance bookings for a period of two weeks only. It will not be downloadable.

As part of our wider effort to increase participation in the arts, concessionary places are available for this course.

Cost: £35 (concession: £17.50) Ten free places are available for those not able to afford the concession rate. Please email for more details.


"These zoom opportunities are really helping to open my world and keep me inspired to write."

—Masterclass participant

"Arvon at Home creates a model to participate in inspirational tutoring for writers, at a distance. The feeling of attending to my writing life in an excellent fashion, and still having a half-day for my work and caring responsibilities at home, felt like a good balance."

—Masterclass participant

"It was an absolutely brilliant session and very very useful. And it made me realise how much I’ve missed this kind of workshop because of having children and family that I can’t leave. Now we’re all in the same boat the online stuff is truly transformative."

—Masterclass participant



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