Poetry Writing Course

 Structure  –  Tutor  –  Enrolement/Fees   –  Testimonials

Poetry Writing Course Online. The French poet Paul Valéry defined poetry as ‘a language within a language.’ American poet Kenneth Koch spoke of poetry as ‘a language in which the sound of the words is raised to an importance equal to that of their meaning.’

Each word has a little music of its own, which poetry rearranges so it can be heard. In Adam’s comprehensive workshops you will delve deep into these arrangements, exploring the full arsenal of poetic tools– such as symbolism, repetition, figurative speech and persona – you need to become fluent in poetry.

Adam will combine reading poems with writing them and encourage both beginners and more experienced poets to listen for words that help a poem hang together.

The course will also introduce many poetic forms such as the sonnet, haiku and villanelle, and you will discover how contemporary poets continue to push the envelope of these age-old forms.

Taking its approach from Paul Muldoon’s advice to, ‘lose your voice and write about what you don’t know’, the course will take you deeper into your unique poetic style where you will be encouraged to first learn the rules and then break them.

All this and lots more …

Each week you will receive a module with several exercises constructed by Adam and then receive personal feedback to encourage and help you move forward. This one-to-one workshop is individually tailored for each poet – beginners, intermediate and advanced level.



Structure: Poetry Writing Course

Week 1: Writing from experience. 

  • Using your own life to find and strengthen your writing  voice.
  • Showing not Telling.
  • How avoiding abstract nouns and using concrete language makes your work more evocative.

Week 2: Keep it Symbol

  • Using symbols in your work.
  • Writing about objects.
  • Exploring anthropomorphic or personification poetry.
  • Sensory perception; using the senses to enhance your work.

Week 3: Transforming Tradition

  • Recognising cliches.
  • Subverting and re-enlivening clichés.
  • Learning about stereotypes in writing.

Week 4: Making more with less

  • Mastering the art of brevity
  • and learning Haiku from the old masters
  • using haiku in the 21st century.

Week 5: The Sonnet

  • learning different aspects of the sonnet
  • Rhyme scheme and iambic pentameter. Using the contemporary slant sonnet.
  • Creating a rhyme well to form a sonnet.

Week 6 Module 6: Found in Translation (for monoglots)

  • How to become a translator even if you speak only one language.
  • translating fragments of classical poetry.
  • Translating from cribs.
  • Homophonic translation.

Week 7: Mythology in poetry

  • Putting ancient myths into a contemporary context
  • Demythologizing the myth
  • Adapting and reinterpreting mythology for the modern age.
  • Apotheosis: bringing the gods back down to earth.

Module 8: Man and Beast

  • Stepping into the skin of animals
  • Abstract animals – having fun juxtaposing animals with abstract nouns, such as love and hate.
  • Animal as muse. Finding animals for inspiration.
  • Sound poetry, creating your own language through mythical beasts.

Module 9: Editing and Redrafting

  • The next stage.
  • Tips and exercise to help edit and re-draft your work.
  • Writing pastiches.

Module 10: The end is just the Beginning

  • Writing about home
  • The Guide exercise.
  • Ars poetica: writing your own poem about poetry.
  • Writing tips from writers and advice on how to get published.



Course Tutor: Adam Wyeth

Adam Wyeth

Tutor: Adam Wyeth

ADAM WYETH is an award-winning poet, playwright and essayist who lives in Dublin. He has three books published. His critically acclaimed debut collection, Silent Music (2011) was Highly Commended by the Forward Poetry Prize. Adam’s second book, The Hidden World of Poetry: Unravelling Celtic Mythology in Contemporary Irish Poetry(2013) contains poems from Ireland’s leading poets followed by sharp essays that unpack each poem and explore its Celtic mythological references. Adam’s third book and second poetry collection The Art of Dying was published with Salmon in November 2016 and was named as an Irish Times Book of the Year. Adam’s poetry has won and been commended in many international competitions, including The Bridport Poetry Prize, The Arvon Poetry Prize and The Ballymaloe Poetry Prize. His work appears in several anthologies including The Forward Prize Anthology (2012 Faber), The Best of Irish Poetry (Southword 2010) and The Arvon 25th Anniversary Anthology. Adam is also selected poet for the 2016 Poetry Ireland Review’s Rising Generation of poets. Recently an excerpt from a new poem was selected for the Wild Atlantic Way Passport. 


Adam’s first play Hang Up, produced by Broken Crow (2013), has been staged at the Electric Picnic, Home Festival, Cork and the Galway Theatre festival. It was adapted for film in 2014 and premiered at Cork’s International Film festival and was screened in 2016 in Berlin alongside his fourth play, Apartment Block (Broken Teapot Productions) who presented ‘An Evening of Adam Wyeth’ at Theaterforum Kreuzberg. His third play, Lifedeath was showcased at the Triskel Arts Centre mini-festival of new work in December 2013 and was named by the Irish Examiner as the play of the festival.


In 2013 Wyeth was commissioned by Cyclone Rep. to writeThe Poetry Sessions, a full-length play covering all the poets on the Leaving Cert syllabus, which had a nationwide tour; co-written with Paula McGlinchey. He is co-founder with McGlinchey of Why on Earth Productions, which had its first production of solo-play Yoga For Beginners as part of the Scene & Heard work in development Festival at Smock Alley, 2016. Adam has over twelve years experience as a creative writing facilitator and works as a professional reader and editor. Adam is running many creative workshops in 2017 including the Mythic Imagination week long creative writing at Anam Cara, Co. Cork and a sailing retreat creative writing holiday around Spain with Kingfisher Sailing. See for further details.




Enrolment/Fees: Poetry Writing Course

The course costs £337, payable in advance to Fish Publishing through PayPal. To check how much that is in your currency  – Currency Converter –

Use the button below to make the payment.
Payment secures your place on the course.
Confirmation of payment from PayPal will be by email.
You will shortly receive an introductory email from your course tutor (normally within 3 working days). We hope that you find the course useful, constructive and enjoyable. Please fill out the Feedback form after the last module.
Enrolment Conditions





Testimonials: Poetry Writing Course


Adam’s course took me on an exciting adventure with language. The varied exercises did present challenges but they also promoted creativity. Some exercises as well as helping me to do my best work, also taught me to approach poetry writing in an innovative and more imaginative manner. Adam’s feedback is an important element of the course. His specific feedback pinpoints exactly why lines work or don’t work. Incisive, supportive and clear feedback pointed out strengths as well as guiding me on areas that needed to improve. After completing Adam’s course, I feel more confident in my approach to writing and editing my poems.

Marian Brannigan 
Working with Adam Wyeth has been like pulling up a chair next to a master craftsman, as he patiently explained the tools of his craft. Adam has allowed me to experiment without embarrassment, which I truly needed. 
      I teach my university students how to analyze poetry and literature, but with Adam I learned how to try to enter the world of poetry with beginner’s eyes, inhabit the role of the poet, allow myself to have fun with words, fall off the poet’s stool and get back on again. Working with Adam has also given me courage to go back to my prose, which I keep on dropping and sticking in a drawer, like a scalding pot of words.

Peggy Preciado


The whole course has been an adventure. An eye opener too. It has given me lots of exercises I can use to stimulate ideas. Mostly it has given me insight into where my strengths might lie, and of course where I need to concentrate my efforts to improve.

Maureen Cullen


What an enjoyable course it has been, thank you.

Avril Leigh


The course has been fun but challenging, always nudging me beyond my comfort zone and giving me plenty of new ideas and new ways of thinking about poetry. Above all, the personalised feedback has been incredibly useful, like having your own mentor, encouraging but also very honest. A great learning experience.

Marina Sofia


Working with Adam Wyeth has been like pulling up a chair next to a master craftsman, as he patiently explained the tools of his craft. Adam has allowed me to experiment without embarrassment, which I truly needed. 
      I teach my university students how to analyze poetry and literature, but with Adam I learned how to try to enter the world of poetry with beginner’s eyes, inhabit the role of the poet, allow myself to have fun with words, fall off the poet’s stool and get back on again. Working with Adam has also given me courage to go back to my prose, which I keep on dropping and sticking in a drawer, like a scalding pot of words.

Peggy Preciado

I cannot overstate how multi layered the course has been in improving my own writing, having confidence in my voice, and appreciating other poems in a deeper and more fulfilled way.
Rena Ong


Enrolment Conditions: Poetry Writing Course

Once the Poetry Writing Course has commenced, there are no transfers or refunds in the event you are unable to continue. In exceptional circumstances, a time extension may be granted if the student is unable to complete the course in the allotted time limit. You understand the course materials are copyright and agree never to sell, rent or otherwise distribute your course materials in any way. Enrolment on the Poetry Writing Course is taken as acceptance of conditions.

Fish Books

Fish Anthology 2022

‘… delightful, lively send-up … A vivid imagination is at play here, and a fine frenzy is the result.’ – Billy Collins
‘… laying frames of scenic detail to compose a lyric collage … enticing … resonates compellingly. … explosive off-screen drama arises through subtly-selected detail. Sharp, clever, economical, tongue-in-cheek.’ – Tracey Slaughter

Fish Anthology 2021

Fish Anthology 2021

Brave stories of danger and heart and sincerity.
Some risk everything outright, some are desperately quiet, but their intensity lies in what is unsaid and off the page.
These are brilliant pieces from bright, new voices.
A thrill to read.
~ Emily Ruskovich

Fish Anthology 2020

Fish Anthology 2020

I could see great stretches of imagination. I saw experimentation. I saw novelty with voice and style. I saw sentences that embraced both meaning and music. ~ Colum McCann


Fish Anthology 2019

These glorious pieces have spun across the globe – pit-stopping in Japan, the Aussie outback, Vancouver, Paris, Amsterdam and our own Hibernian shores – traversing times past, present and imagined future as deftly as they mine the secret tunnels of the human heart. Enjoy the cavalcade. – Mia Gallagher

Fish Anthology 2019

Fish Anthology 2018

The standard is high, in terms of the emotional impact these writers managed to wring from just a few pages. – Billy O’Callaghan

Loop-de-loopy, fizz, and dazzle … unique and compelling—compressed, expansive, and surprising. – Sherrie Flick

Every page oozes with a sense of place and time. – Marti Leimbach

Energetic, dense with detail … engages us in the act of seeing, reminds us that attention is itself a form of praise. – Ellen Bass

Fish Anthology 2017

Fish Anthology 2017

Dead Souls has the magic surplus of meaning that characterises fine examples of the form – Neel Mukherjee
I was looking for terrific writing of course – something Fish attracts in spades, and I was richly rewarded right across the spectrum – Vanessa Gebbie
Really excellent – skilfully woven – Chris Stewart
Remarkable – Jo Shapcott


Fish Anthology 2016

The practitioners of the art of brevity and super-brevity whose work is in this book have mastered the skills and distilled and double-distilled their work like the finest whiskey.

Sunrise Sunset by Tina Pisco

Sunrise Sunset

€12  (incl. p&p)   Sunrise Sunset by Tina Pisco Read Irish Times review by Claire Looby Surreal, sad, zany, funny, Tina Pisco’s stories are drawn from gritty experience as much as the swirling clouds of the imagination.  An astute, empathetic, sometimes savage observer, she brings her characters to life. They dance themselves onto the pages, […]

Fish Anthology 2015

Fish Anthology 2015

How do we transform personal experience of pain into literature? How do we create and then chisel away at those images of others, of loss, of suffering, of unspeakable helplessness so that they become works of art that aim for a shared humanity? The pieces selected here seem to prompt all these questions and the best of them offer some great answers.
– Carmen Bugan.

Fish Anthology 2014

Fish Anthology 2014

What a high standard all round – of craft, imagination and originality: and what a wide range of feeling and vision.
Ruth Padel

I was struck by how funny many of the stories are, several of them joyously so – they are madcap and eccentric and great fun. Others – despite restrained and elegant prose – managed to be devastating. All of them are the work of writers with talent.
Claire Kilroy

Fish Anthology 2013

Fish Anthology 2013

The writing comes first, the bottom line comes last. And sandwiched between is an eye for the innovative, the inventive and the extraordinary.


Fish Anthology 2012

A new collection from around the globe: innovative, exciting, invigorating work from the writers and poets who will be making waves for some time to come. David Mitchell, Michael Collins, David Shields and Billy Collins selected the stories, flash fiction, memoirs and poems in this anthology.


Fish Anthology 2011

Reading the one page stories I was a little dazzled, and disappointed that I couldn’t give the prize to everybody. It’s such a tight format, every word must count, every punctuation mark. ‘The Long Wet Grass’ is a masterly bit of story telling … I still can’t get it out of my mind.
– Chris Stewart


Fish Anthology 2010

The perfectly achieved story transcends the limitations of space with profundity and insight. What I look for in fiction, of whatever length, is authenticity and intensity of feeling. I demand to be moved, to be transported, to be introduced into other lives. The stories I have selected for this anthology have managed this. – Ronan Bennett, Short Story Judge.


Fish Anthology 2009 – Ten Pint Ted

I sing those who are published here – they have done a very fine job. It is difficult to create from dust, which is what writers do. It is an honour to have read your work. – Colum McCann


Fish Anthology 2008 – Harlem River Blues

The entries into this year’s Fish Short Story Prize were universally strong. From these the judges have selected winners, we believe, of exceptional virtue. – Carlo Gebler


Fish Anthology 2007

I was amazed and delighted at the range and quality of these stories. Every one of them was interesting, well-written, beautifully crafted and, as a short-story must, every one of them focused my attention on that very curtailed tableau which a short-story necessarily sets before us. – Michael Collins


Fish Anthology 2006 – Grandmother, Girl, Wolf and Other Stories

These stories voice all that is vibrant about the form. – Gerard Donovan. Very short stories pack a poetic punch. Each of these holds its own surprise, or two. Dive into these seemingly small worlds. You’ll come up anew. – Angela Jane Fountas


All the King’s Horses – Anthology of Historical Short Stories

Each of the pieces here has been chosen for its excellence. They are a delightfully varied assortment. More than usual for an anthology, this is a compendium of all the different ways that fiction can succeed. I invite you to turn to ‘All the King’s Horses’. The past is here. Begin.
– Michel Faber


Fish Anthology 2005 – The Mountains of Mars and Other Stories

Literary anthologies, especially of new work, act as a kind of indicator to a society’s concerns. This Short Story collection, such a sharp and useful enterprise, goes beyond that. Its internationality demonstrates how our concerns are held in common across the globe. – Frank Delaney


Fish Anthology 2004 – Spoonface and Other Stories

From the daily routine of a career in ‘Spoonface’, to the powerful, recurring image of a freezer in ‘Shadow Lives’. It was the remarkable focus on the ordinary that made these Fish short stories such a pleasure to read. – Hugo Hamilton


Feathers & Cigarettes

In a world where twenty screens of bullshit seem to be revolving without respite … there is nothing that can surpass the ‘explosion of art’ and its obstinate insistence on making sense of things. These dedicated scribes, as though some secret society, heroically, humbly, are espousing a noble cause.
– Pat McCabe


Franklin’s Grace

It’s supposed to be a short form, the good story, but it has about it a largeness I love. There is something to admire in all these tales, these strange, insistent invention. They take place in a rich and satisfying mixture of places, countries of the mind and heart. – Christopher Hope


Asylum 1928

There are fine stories in this new anthology, some small and intimate, some reaching out through the personal for a wider, more universal perspective, wishing to tell a story – grand, simple, complex or everyday, wishing to engage you the reader. – Kate O’Riodan


Five O’Clock Shadow

I feel like issuing a health warning with this Fish Anthology ­ these stories may seriously damage your outlook – Here the writers view the world in their unique way, and have the imagination, talent, and the courage to refine it into that most surprising of all art forms ­ the short story. – Clem Cairns.


From the Bering Strait

Every story in this book makes its own original way in the world. knowing which are the telling moments, and showing them to us. And as the narrator of the winning story casually remarks, ‘Sometimes its the small things that amaze me’ – Molly McCloskey


Scrap Magic

The stories here possess the difference, the quirkiness and the spark. They follow their own road and their own ideas their own way. It is a valuable quality which makes this collection a varied one. Read it, I hope you say to yourself like I did on many occasions, ‘That’s deadly. How did they think of that?’ – Eamonn Sweeney


Dog Day

Really good short stories like these, don’t read like they were written. They read like they simply grew on the page. – Joseph O’Connor


The Stranger

The writers in this collection can write short stories . . . their quality is the only thing they have in common. – Roddy Doyle


The Fish Garden

This is the first volume of short stories from Ireland’s newest publishing house. We are proud that fish has enabled 15 budding new writers be published in this anthology, and I look forward to seeing many of them in print again.


12 Miles Out – a novel by Nick Wright

12 Miles Out was selected by David Mitchell as the winner of the Fish Unpublished Novel Award.
A love story, thriller and historical novel; funny and sad, uplifting and enlightening.


Altergeist – a novel by Tim Booth

You only know who you can’t trust. You can’t trust the law, because there’s none in New Ireland. You can’t trust the Church, because they think they’re the law. And you can’t trust the State, because they think they’re the Church And most of all, you can’t trust your friends, because you can’t remember who they were anymore.


Small City Blues numbers 1 to 51 – a novel by Martin Kelleher

A memoir of urban life, chronicled through its central character, Mackey. From momentary reflections to stories about his break with childhood and adolescence, the early introduction to the Big World, the discovery of romance and then love, the powerlessness of ordinary people, the weaknesses that end in disappointment and the strengths that help them seek redemption and belonging.


The Woman Who Swallowed the Book of Kells – Collection of Short Stories by Ian Wild

Ian Wild’s stories mix Monty Python with Hammer Horror, and the Beatles with Shakespeare, but his anarchic style and sense of humour remain very much his own in this collection of tall tales from another planet. Where else would you find vengeful organs, the inside story of Eleanor Rigby, mobile moustaches, and Vikings looting a Cork City branch of Abracababra?


News & Articles

Short Memoir Prize: Results 2023

31st March 2023
Winners Short-list Long-list   On behalf of all of us at Fish, we congratulate the 10 winners who made it to the Fish Anthology 2023, and to those writers who made the long and short-lists, well done too.  Thank you to Sean Lusk, for the time and enthusiasm that he put into selecting the winners. (About […]

Short Story Prize 2022 Results

16th March 2023
Winners Short-list Long-list   On behalf of all of us at Fish, congratulations to the 10 winners, and to those who made the short and long lists.  I was delighted to find so many skilled pieces in the entries this year, stories that were gem-like, compressed and glinting . . . Sarah Hall     […]

Fish Anthology 2022: launch photos

21st July 2022
MORE ABOUT THE ANTHOLOGY The Maritime Hotel, (Bantry, West Cork, Ireland) hosted The Anthology launch on 11th July, during the West Cork Literary Festival. 15 of the 39 writers published in the Anthology made it to the launch to read an extract from their short story or memoir, or their entire flash story or poem.   […]

Fish Anthology 2022 – LAUNCH

1st July 2022
Maritime Hotel, Bantry, West Cork, Ireland 11th July at 6pm All welcome! This event is part of the week long West Cork Literary Festival which runs from Friday 8th until Saturday 16th July. There is a packed schedule of talks, readings, interviews and workshops. Many of the authors published in the 2022 Anthology will be […]

Poetry Prize ’22, Results

14th May 2022
  Winners Short-list Long-list     Winners Here are the 10 winners, as chosen by judge Billy Collins, to be published in the Fish Anthology 2022 The Anthology will  be launched as part of the West Cork Literary Festival, (The Maritime Hotel, Bantry, West Cork – Monday 11th July – 18.00.) All welcome! The 10 […]

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