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Poetry and Prose

Getting Ready


Poetry workshops are run on an occasional basis approximately every three months, often in association with poetry festivals.

The Spoken Word presently offers three workshops: Crafting Your Poem, Performing Your Poem, Approaching Your Poem, andAfter Craft.
See the events page for the current schedule.

Crafting Your Poem

Modern poetry is not all rhythm and rhyme but there are all sorts of techniques you can use to make your poem more effective. This workshop, led by Alan Gillott, focusses on ideas that you can use to structure your poem to add interest and underline your key points. There is no prerequisite to the course though having a pen or pencil will be handy.

While there are no exercises, attendees are encouraged to use what they have learned and to bring these poems to the After Craft workshops. See the events page for the current schedule.

Performing your Poem

Reading at an open mic is a form of group therapy. To misquote Emile Zola, we ‘live our lives out loud’. We read out our beliefs, our fears, our joys. To share one’s work is to share one’s humanity.

Performing a poem in front of an audience can be daunting, yet, it is the single most important thing a poet can do as part of the process of honing a poem to perfection. Reading a poem in ones head or in front of the mirror never exposes that one line that really, really, is in need of attention. This workshop, led by Performance Poet Rose Drew, focusses on presenting your poem effectively and audibly at an open mic.

Please bring two or three poems of your own that you would like to practice among your fellow students.

After Craft

This is full on hard hitting session primarily aimed at those who have taken the Crafting Your Poem session where students bring poems they have written using the ideas they have created for further discussion. This session is not for the faint of heart nor for those with easily bruised egos.

Led by Alan Gillott, poems will be discussed in considerable depth and attendees will be expected to describe how they constructed their poem, what it is the poem is intended to impart, and how the structure meets that objective.

The session is open to all, however, participants will find that doing the Crafting your Poem prerequisite will be beneficial. Please contact Alan to discuss participation before booking: for a small extra fee, potential participants can be sent the prerequisite course material to determine if the session will be of benefit.

Approaching your Poem

“Poetry is a way of saying things you couldn’t otherwise express.” Approaching your Poem is intended for those interested in poetry but overwhelmed by the apparent complexity. Participants will be asked to think of a subject or issue they would like to write about. The workshop focusses on the simplicity of poetry and the process of paring your idea down so it can be expressed in a few direct words.


See the events page for the current schedule.


Both Alan and Rose are available for one-on-one sessions to explore your poems or help prepare for competition entry. Please contact us individually to make arrangements.


All workshops are offered at 10 per session. We will keep to a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 8 attendees for each session.

Individual sessions will be 10 for each hour.